With Jack Dotzler leading the way Tuesday night, Omaha Roncalli finally put away Bennington.
The senior guard scored 26 points to lead the Class B No. 4 Crimson Pride to a 70-60 home win over the No. 8 Badgers. Roncalli moved to 16-4 while Bennington fell to 15-4.
It was another spirited game between the teams that last met at the 2019 state tournament. The Crimson Pride prevailed in that first-rounder 66-60 in overtime and went on to finish as the Class B state runners-up.
“They are such a good team and so well coached,’’ Roncalli coach JJ Stoffel said. “Give them a lot of credit because they really battled us tonight.’’
The Crimson Pride, playing their fifth game in eight days, led 18-16 after the first quarter and 33-30 at halftime. Dotzler, a Morningside pledge, scored 12 of his 15 first-half points in the opening period.
“He’s a really good player,’’ Bennington coach Luke Olson said. “We gave him too many clean looks.’’
The Badgers tied the game at 40 in the third quarter after a pair of free throws by Grady Corrigan, who scored a game-high 27 points. But Roncalli responded with a 9-0 run and never trailed the rest of the way.
Shane Orr started that stretch with a 3-pointer and Dotzler followed with a layup. Baskets by Taiden Red and Mitch Hines made it 49-40, and Bennington could draw no closer than five.
“We didn’t have the urgency on defense that we needed right there,’’ Olson said. “And we kind of hit a dry spell on offense.’’
He added that his squad didn’t dwell on the last time Roncalli and Bennington met.
“We’ve got a lot different team,’’ Olson said. “We were just concentrating on this one.’’
Red, a senior guard, scored 15 points for the Crimson Pride while Orr added 11 points and eight rebounds.
Roncalli will play at Omaha Concordia on Thursday night and then have an eight-day break before finishing the regular season at Elkhorn.
“I’m really looking forward to that break,’’ Stoffel said. “It’ll be nice to finally catch our breath, because this part of our schedule has been really tough.’’
The teams are in the same subdistrict, so it’s possible they’ll play again before state.
“That wouldn’t surprise me,’’ Stoffel said. “I’m hoping that we’ll be playing again here at home.’’
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The Nebraska 100: Our greatest athletes
The Nebraska 100, originally selected in 2005 and then updated and re-ranked in 2015, came from a pool of nearly 500 names from the ranks of high school, college, amateur and professional sports from the past 140 years. Assistance came from a panel of veteran sports observers from across the state, with the newspaper's sports staff determining the final rankings.