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BASKETBALL

Omaha North keeps it close, but Junior Jays pull away late

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Prep closes out another win
Prep closes out another win

Creighton Prep's Leonard McFadden, right, goes up for a basket next to Omaha North's Anthony Laravie.


All night, Omaha Creighton Prep came up with timely baskets.

What else would you expect from the defending Class A state champion whose roster is filled with seniors?

Second-ranked Prep held a single-digit lead throughout the final three quarters in picking up a 60-51 win at Class A No. 7 Omaha North on Tuesday night.

“I thought one thing we were good at all night, even when they made a run, is that we kept our composure,” said Junior Jays coach Josh Luedtke, who played eight seniors Tuesday. “It led to some really good possessions down the stretch.”

North’s best push came midway through the second half. The Vikings finished the third quarter with a 6-1 run to cut their deficit to 44-42, and had two possessions at the start of the fourth to either tie or take the lead.

But the Junior Jays held North scoreless on its first five possessions of the fourth while stretching the lead to 50-42. North made it 54-49 when Anthony Laravie hit the team’s seventh 3-pointer of the night with 2:20 left, but on their next two possessions, the calm and collected Junior Jays answered with driving layups from Drew Homa and Nate Schimonitz to make it 58-49 with 1:10 left.

“They know what we need to do,” Luedtke said of Homa, a four-year starter, and Schimonitz. “I thought Nate was good all night.”

Schimonitz and post Will Schenken each had 17 points and seven rebounds to lead the Junior Jays.

Laravie and Brian Stokes scored 13 apiece to lead North, and they had a hand in the Vikings’ quick start.

North hit five straight shots in the first quarter, bolting to a 12-4 lead. But the Junior Jays scored 13 straight in the next four minutes to take the lead for good.

“We didn’t seem to be able to make enough plays to get that lead back,” Vikings coach Jared Andersen said. “You can’t make that many mistakes against that team because they don’t make many mistakes.”

Andersen said he was proud of how his team stayed within striking distance all night.

“We weren’t able to pull away, and that’s a credit to North. They battled,” Luedtke said. “It was a good win in a tough place.”

Prep has won 11 of 12 since the beginning of January, with its only loss to No. 1 Omaha South. North dropped to 8-9, but eight of its losses have been by single digits.

“I love how we’re playing,” said Andersen, who returned two players who saw significant minutes on last year’s state-qualifying team. “We got some guys who are playing really, really well together.”

Omaha Creighton Prep (17-3)........19 14 11 16—60

At Omaha North (8-9)........................17 10 15 9—51

OCP: John Loughran 2-2 0-0 4, Ethan Walz 0-5 0-0 0, Tom Schembari 1-3 0-0 2, Leonard McFadden 3-5 0-0 7, Will Schenken 6-11 5-8 17, Nate Schimonitz 8-14 0-0 17, Drew Homa 5-9 0-1 10, Joey Machado 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 26-53 5-9 60.

ON: Davon Wells-Ross 2-2 0-0 4, Brian Stokes 5-10 2-2 13, Tyrell Carroll 4-11 0-0 11, Vernon Johnson 2-5 0-0 4, Anthony Laravie 5-18 0-0 13, Jordan Nash 2-7 0-0 4, Boum Dobuol 1-3 0-0 2, Jordan Strong 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-57 2-2 51.

3-point goals: OCP 3-16 (McFadden 1-3, Schimonitz 1-3, Machado 1-4, Schembari 0-1, Homa 0-1, Walz 0-4), ON 7-22 (Carroll 3-6, Laravie 3-11, Stokes 1-4, Johnson 0-1). Rebounds: OCP 30 (Schenken, Schimonitz 7), ON 33 (Wells-Ross, Nash 6). Turnovers: OCP 6, ON 9. Total fouls: OCP 10, ON 15. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: none.

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