Bellevue West kept it close much of the way Saturday night, but the end result was still the same.

Another victory for No. 1 Omaha Central.

The Eagles boosted their record to 15-2 with a 65-54 home win over the seventh-ranked Thunderbirds. Central led just 30-26 at halftime but widened that advantage to 10 late in the third quarter and 13 late in the game.

“They were within striking distance most of the way,’’ Eagles coach Eric Behrens said. “But they’re a good team, so that didn’t surprise me.’’

Central was playing without Tra-Deon Hollins, who suffered a high ankle sprain in practice earlier in the week. Behrens said the senior guard should return to the lineup soon.

KJ Scott, Tre’Shawn Thurman and Akoy Agau helped pick up the scoring slack. Scott finished with 19, Thurman 18 and Agau 17.

Thurman scored 12 in the first half as the Eagles were content shooting from long range. Central put up 28 shots before intermission with 16 coming from behind the arc.

Only 3 of those 16 went in as the Thunderbirds, with nine each from Chris Martin and Christian Hatterle, kept it close entering the third quarter.

“We took too many 3s in that first half,” Behrens said. “We did a better job of getting it inside in the second half.’’

Agau, who had a relatively quiet five-point first half, had 10 of Central’s points in the third quarter. He also made an impact at the defensive end with four of his game-high eight blocked shots.

The Louisville recruit went to the bench early in the fourth quarter after picking up his fourth foul, but the Eagles maintained their lead in his absence. Scott had 10 points in the second half and Central capped the win with an Agau dunk in the final minute.

“Without Tra-Deon, everybody stepped up and took a bigger role,’’ Behrens said. “We needed that tonight.’’

The 8-6 Thunderbirds, who have lost four in a row, were led by Hatterle. The 6-foot-6 junior led all scorers with 25 points.

Bellevue West (8-6) ................. 13 13 12 16—54

At Omaha Central (15-2) ................. 18 12 16 19—65

BW: Deon Pettigrew 4, Malik Hluchoweckyj 6, Clester Johnson 8, Chris Martin 9, Austin Moore 2, Christian Hatterle 25.

OC: Akoy Agau 17, Kevin Scott 19, Deandre Hollins-Johnson 6, Nick Billingsley 2, Austin McGaugh 3, Tre'Shawn Thurman 18.

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