Anthony Bratton was there Thursday night for Omaha South’s 60-59 win over Millard West — his seat was two rows from the top of the bleachers.
He saw a great finish.
The Packers’ Tristin Anderson scored on an inbounds pass from Tahj Glover with 2.3 seconds left after Colby Gomes had retaken the lead for Millard West on a jumper.
Anderson was “like the third option,” South coach Bruce Chubick said. “When they got that far, I went, ‘Uh, holy cow, we went all the way through the options.’ That was excellent.”
More on the game later. Here’s what we know regarding Bratton, a 6-foot-6 forward who was third-team All-Metro as a junior.
He is now, officially, a former Omaha Westside student. He withdrew from that school Thursday, two days after reportedly texting a Westside assistant coach that he was transferring to South.
Under state rules, he can transfer. Option enrollment students, such as Bratton, can return to any school in the district in which their parents reside. Bratton’s home is in the Burke attendance area.
Chubick said Thursday afternoon that Bratton’s mother and stepfather called him Sunday night, and that he met with Bratton and his family after practice Tuesday. The coach said that was the first time he had spoken to Bratton at any length.
In the meantime, it’s known that the prospect of a rare in-season transfer of a high-profile player stirred up Wednesday’s monthly meeting of the Metro Conference’s athletic directors and prompted an emergency meeting Thursday of the league’s executive board.
Several athletic directors contacted Thursday night declined to comment or didn’t return text messages.
I approached Bratton at halftime and he and his stepfather, William Franklin, also declined to comment. Franklin said the family would share their thoughts at a later time.
Chubick said he sensed the situation was affecting his team, especially in the past day. The Packers (3-0) were sluggish in the first half, falling behind by 14 points and trailing 34-23 at halftime.
“The way we played the first half, I was beginning to wonder,” Chubick said. “That wasn’t the South team I’m familiar with, but Millard West had a lot to do with it. They got after my freshman guard, and he was turning it over which he normally doesn’t do.”
Wildcats senior Shae Wyatt had 13 points in the first half, but was held to one in the second half as Anderson defended him. Wyatt was 0 of 2 from the field before his desperation shot at game’s end from halfcourt hit the top of the backboard.
“Tristin’s a really good athlete,” Chubick said. “He’s a pretty tough kid. You give him an assignment, and he gets after it. I think he wore (Wyatt) down, I really do.”
Millard West coach Bill Morrison said the Wildcats, who were coming off an overtime loss to Omaha Creighton Prep and now are 1-2, must make sure they keep their senior guard involved.
“I thought the same thing happened at Prep a little bit,” Morrison said. “He didn’t get the ball as much. We have to make sure we get it in his hands.”
South got back into the game by outscoring the hosts 23-10 in the third quarter as Jordan DeLeon and Glover got hot. Glover’s 11 points all were after halftime and DeLeon had seven in the third period to finish with 12.
Aguek Arop had game highs of 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Packers, who next travel to North Platte on Saturday. Glover and Anderson are taking the ACT that morning and will miss the trip, Chubick said.
Omaha South (3-0)...........15 8 23 14—60
At Millard West (1-2).........19 15 10 15—59
OS: Jordan DeLeon 5-7 1-3 12, Tahj Glover 4-12 2-2 11, Jay Saunders 0-4 0-0 0, Tristin Anderson 4-7 0-2 8, Aguek Arop 7-12 5-6 19, Tyreek Crawford 2-4 4-5 8, Ta’Vion Anderson 1-5 0-0 2, De’Shon Thompson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-51 12-18 60.
MW: Simon Hay 4-9 2-3 11, Shae Wyatt 5-12 3-4 14, Gio Guido 2-4 2-4 6, Colby Gomes 3-6 0-1 7, Brock Burling 3-6 5-7 11, Christian Hall 1-2 3-4 6, Brandon McClintock 0-0 0-0 0, Peyton Buscher 0-1 0-0 0, Hunter Schnuerle 0-2 0-0 0, Omid Sidiqi 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 20-45 15-23 59.
3-point goals: OS 2-11 (DeLeon 1-1, Glover 1-5, Saunders 0-1, Arop 0-1, Crawford 0-1, Ta. Anderson 0-2), MW 4-14 (Hay 1-3, Wyatt 1-5, Gomes 1-3, Hall 1-2, Schnuerle 0-1). Total fouls: OS 21, MW 20. Fouled out: DeLeon. Technicals: none. Turnovers: OS 19, MW 17. Rebounds: OS 35 (Arop 11), MW 255 (Wyatt 4, Gomes 4). Field-goal percentage: OS .451, MW .444. Free-throw percentage: OS .667, MW .652. A: 900 (est.)