- CLASS A BOYS BASKETBALL: PREP SURVIVES TRIPLE OT TO EDGE PIUS X
By Jeff Motz
Thursday night's Class A quarterfinal between Omaha Creighton Prep and Lincoln Pius X was full of drama that ESPN would consider it an instant classic.
The Junior Jays, however, managed to hold off the Thunderbolts 83-80 in triple overtime at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
It wasn't easy for Prep (24-1), who now advances to the Friday 8:45pm semifinal against Omaha Bryan, who won at the buzzer 50-48 over Lincoln East.
Senior Kyle Luedtke came through for the Junior Jays in the overtime periods, including five points in the third frame. Luedtke hit a three-pointer to open up the third overtime to give Prep an 81-78 lead.
A pair of free throws from Luedtke made it 83-78 with 1:46 left.
Pius X (16-9) got a basket from Joe Dworak with 1:15 remaining, as part of his team-high 25 points. The Thunderbolts had chances to cut the deficit with less than a minute left. Pius X got possession with 3.1 seconds remaining, when Austin Jablonski missed a three-pointer to tie at the buzzer.
Prep's biggest lead of seven points came during two occasions, but stood toe-to-toe with Pius X the whole game. The Thunderbolts came roaring back to trail 25-24 after one before leading 39-38 at halftime after a Joe Burt layup with seven seconds left.
The Junior Jays led 51-44 in the third quarter, before Pius X went on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 53 heading into the final part of regulation.
Burt connected on a three-pointer with 48 seconds left in the fourth to put the Thunderbolts up 68-67. Prep responded with a three-point play with 11.2 seconds left from 6-6 junior center Akol Arop. Then 6-7 senior Jayden Temme stole the ball and nailed one of two free throws with 2.8 seconds left.
Pius X got the ball in bounds after a timeout and Charlie Easley banked in a 28-foot shot at the buzzer to force overtime.
The Thunderbolts had chances to convert in the first two overtimes. Both came up short on a traveling call and a shot attempt after the buzzer sounded.