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Metro Conference Boys Holiday Basketball Tournament Sports Editor Predictions
December 20, 2022
Metro Conference Boys Holiday Basketball Tournament
Play-In Games (Tuesday, December 20th)
#19 Omaha South (0-6) vs #14 Papillion-Lavista (1-5)
The Packers are still looking for their first win. Omaha South’s record has dropped to 0-6. The Monarchs haven’t been much better, and sit at 1-5. Yet for the Monarchs with senior guard Chase Williams, has burst on the scene and he is averaging 15.2 points a game. I expect the Monarchs to take this one.
#20 Buena Vista (0-7) vs #13 Omaha Burke (2-6)
The new OPS school has been the worst team in the Metro by far. The Bison are 0-7 and haven’t even scored over 24 points in a game. The Bulldogs on the other hand got off to a hot start beating Omaha South and North, but they have lost six straight. Zeb Svoboda has been the breakout guy, averaging 16.2 a game, and leading the team in assists. Dakarai Davis has also been solid, averaging 13.7 PPG, while also leading the team in rebounds and steals. This won’t be a ballgame.
#17 Omaha Benson (2-3) vs #16 Bellevue East (2-5)
The Bunnies have not defeated any team who they are supposed to beat, and lost who they are supposed to lose to. Chiok John is quietly averaging a double-double. The Chieftains have a decent win at Norfolk, but other than that, they have not looked impressive. I’m taking the Bunnies to upset the Chieftains.
#18 Omaha Northwest (2-4) vs #15 Omaha Westview (2-5)
Northwest is an expected 2-4. Michael Hassenstab is averaging 14.3 for the Huskies. On the other side, Westview has looked a lot better than the other expansion high school (Buena Vista), yet hasn’t looked incredibly impressive. Tayvin Murphy and Carson Healy have been leading the way for the Wolverines, each averaging double-digits. The Wolverines will get it done.
2nd Round (Wednesday, December 21st)
Bellevue East/Benson winner vs #1 Bellevue West (5-0)
The T-Birds have looked pretty dominant to start out the year, and are the pretty much unanimous #1 team. Josiah Dotzler, the Creighton signee has averaged 15 points a game, with nearly six assists a game. Junior guard Jaden Jackson has stepped into a big role, averaging 14.4 points and an impressive 3.6 steals a game. The Thunderbirds win big.
#9 Millard West (2-5) at #8 Elkhorn South (5-1)
The Wildcats may be 2-5, but are a lot better than their record indicates. They’ve lost close games against Westside, Lincoln East, Prep, and Lincoln Southwest. The Storm have gotten off to a great start, winning five straight after losing the opener to the Silver Hawks. Alec Noonan has been flaming hot for the Storm, averaging 18.3 points, while shooting over 50% from beyond the arc. The Storm will win this one.
#12 Omaha North (3-4) at. #5 Papillion-LaVista South (4-2)
Omaha North has been just average. Ruai Lew, Daleron Thomas, and T’Andre Perkins have all looked good for the Vikings. The Titans have two losses against great teams (Bellevue West and Gretna). Bryson Bahl has picked up where he left off last season, leading the team with 13.3 points a game. I’ll take the Titans to win.
Buena Vista / Burke winner at #4 Westside (5-1) 4:30 p.m. (WTV-Live)
The Warriors have won five straight after dropping their home-opener against the Knights from Lincoln Southeast. Kevin Stubblefield has been a very pleasant surprise for the Warriors, averaging 19.7 points a game. Tate Odvody has an efficient 16.5 points a game too. Neither Burke or Buena Vista will stand in Westside’s way.
Omaha North/ Papio South winner at. #3 Millard North (6-0)
The Mustangs are off to a great start, led by sophomore Derek Rollins. Rollins averages 15.3 a game. Junior sharpshooter Neal Mosser has averaged 50% from deep, while averaging 14.8 points a game.. Eli Gaeth has been a monster in every stat category, with 9.8 points, 9.8 rebounds (team leader), and 6.8 assists (team leader), The Mustangs take this one, whoever it is.
#11 Omaha Bryan (3-3) at. #6 Omaha Central (5-1)
The Bears have perhaps the best sophomore duo in the state of Nebraska in A’mare Bynum and Amir Martin. The 6’7 big man, Bynum, averages 14.3 points and 7.2 rebounds. Martin, the Burke transfer, has also contributed 11.8 points, and leads the team in three point percentage. Central is 5-1, with 17.3 a game from Awit Mamer, the senior guard. These two teams faced off earlier in the year, and the Eagles took it by 8. Everyone says, “It’s hard to beat a team twice,” so I’m taking the Bryan Bears in the upset here.
#10 Millard South (1-5) at. #7 Creighton Prep (3-3)
The Millard South Patriots could be compared to the 2021 Huskers. The Patriots are 1-5, with four of those losses being by a combined six points. Lance Rucker has led the way with 16.7 points and 6.8 rebounds. The JuniorJays sit at .500, led by Dillion Claussen with 10.8 points. He also leads in rebounds with 7.7 boards a game. I’m going with another upset here. Pats take this one.
Northwest/Westview winner at #2 Gretna (6-0)
The Dragons are 6-0. The Junior duo of Wilcoxin and Pokorski has executed as expected, as both are averaging double digits in points. Jeff Rozelle is nearly averaging a double-double (11.3 points and 8.5 rebounds). The Dragons could be a scary team come March. They’ll win this game with ease.
(Thursday / Dec. 29 at Bellevue West)
#1 Bellevue West over #8 Elkhorn South (3:30 p.m.)
#4 Westside over #5 Papio South (5:15 p.m.)
#3 Millard North over #11 Omaha Bryan (7:00 p.m.)
#10 Millard South over #2 Gretna (8:45 p.m.)
(Friday / Dec. 30 at Bellevue West)
#4 Westside over #1 Bellevue West (7:00 p.m.)
#3 Millard North over #10 Millard South (8:45 p.m.)
(Saturday / Dec. 31 at Bellevue West)
#3 Millard North over #4 Westside (5:00 p.m.)