Skutt throttles Mount Michael, but both teams qualify for district finals

Omaha Skutt’s Tyson Gordon scored 22 points, including 15 in the third quarter as his team outscored Elkhorn Mount Michael 23-5.

One of Omaha Skutt’s best defensive efforts of the season thwarted any Elkhorn Mount Michael upset hopes Tuesday night as the Class B No. 4 SkyHawks rolled to a 63-24 victory to win the B-2 subdistrict tournament.

The SkyHawks forced the Knights into tough shots and limited them to one shot on nearly every possession, turning the battle between River Cities Conference foes into a one-sided affair.

Mount Michael grabbed only four offensive rebounds and ran out of steam in the third quarter, when Skutt outscored the Knights 23-5 to take a 57-22 lead.

Despite the blowout, Mount Michael (18-7) will host one of Saturday’s eight Class B district championship games after Alliance lost to Scottsbluff 53-49. Skutt secured its spot as a district final host; the 21-4 SkyHawks were fourth in the wild-card standings entering Tuesday’s games.

Even with that berth secured, the SkyHawks weren’t about to coast through a game against a foe they had split games with during the regular season. In a loss during the River Cities Conference tournament, Skutt coach Kyle Jurgens said the Knights outhustled the SkyHawks on the boards.

“We were ready to go from the tip defensively,” Jurgens said. “We work on it every day, so you hope after 50 practices your defensive intensity is at a championship level. This time of year is what we shoot for, and I think that fueled everything tonight.”

The Knights hung close for the first four minutes, trailing just 9-7 before Skutt ended the first quarter with a 10-0 run for a 19-7 lead.

Skutt continued to pull way in the second quarter, steadily building its lead into a 17-point advantage late in the first half and eventually heading into intermission with a 34-17 lead.

While nine players scored for the SkyHawks, it was junior guard Tyson Gordon who sparked Skutt’s offense with a third-quarter performance that dashed any hope of a Knights comeback.

The 6-foot-3 junior scored 15 of his game-high 22 points in the third, primarily with layups as he consistently found a path to the basket down the middle of the lane. With the clock winding down, Gordon raced to his right and banked a 3-point shot off the glass to put Skutt ahead by 35 points heading into the final eight minutes.

“From the get-go they played harder and smarter than we did tonight,” Knights coach Derrik Spooner said. “They can do that to you if you don’t come out with energy, and the score can get out of hand quickly when you’re playing a team like that.”

Elkhorn Mount Michael (18-7).........7 10 5 2—24

At Omaha Skutt (21-4).............19 15 23 6—63

EMM: Parker Hottovy 1-3 0-0 2, Joe Bruggeman 1-3 0-0 2, Drew Thornton 0-1 0-0 0, Clifford Roepke 0-2 0-0 0, Airan Lopez 1-1 0-0 2, Joe Chouinard 1-8 0-0 2, Greg Gonzalez 0-2 0-0 0, Kyle Pelan 3-6 0-0 6, Brad Bennett 0-4 1-2 1, Kaleb Brink 4-7 1-2 9. Totals 11-37 2-4 24.

OS: Andrew Merfeld 4-6 0-0 9, Grant Bertucci 2-5 2-2 7, Tyson Gordon 9-15 3-3 22, Jake Kudron 2-3 0-0 5, Ryan Doble 0-1 1-2 1, Mason Cushing 0-1 0-0 0, Charlie Fletcher 3-7 1-2 8, Jon Spidle 1-2 0-2 2, Luke Skar 1-2 1-2 3, TJ Skradski 3-4 0-2 6. Totals-25-46 8-15 63.

3-point goals: EMM 0-13 (Hottovy 0-2, Bruggeman 0-2, Chouinard 0-3, Gonzalez 0-2, Pelan 0-1, Bennett 0-2, Brink 0-1), OS 5-12 (Merfeld 1-2, Bertucci 1-3, Gordon 1-3, Kudron 1-2, Cushing 0-1, Fletcher 1-1). Total fouls: EMM 11, OS 11. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None. Turnovers: EMM 18, OS 9. Rebounds: EMM 15 (Gonzalez, Brink 3), OS 27 (Skradski 7). Field goal percentage: EMM .297, OS .543. Free throw percentage: EMM .500, OS .533. A-800 (est.)

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