- CLASS A BOYS BASKETBALL: North Star's Comeback Falls Short To Omaha South
By Jeff Motz
People knew Omaha South was good basketball team, but expectations were the Packers would perhaps go no farther than the Class A semifinals.
South proved them wrong.
The Packers got 15 points each from Jay Saunders and four free throws in the final 11 seconds from Skyler Wilson to edge Lincoln North Star 59-54 Friday night in the Class A basketball semifinal at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
South will now play Omaha Central in the Class A championship Saturday at 6:30pm, who upset top-seed Bellevue West 71-57 in the other semifinal Friday night.
Undersized, the Packers (20-6) had issues early with North Star's 6-7 center Josiah Allick and 6-5 junior guard and Nebraska recruit Donovan Williams. South had to rely on quickness for the entire game.
North Star trailed 46-35 heading into the final quarter, after Ta'Vion Anderson hit a three at the third quarter buzzer for South. North Star got two quick baskets from Williams and Allick to narrow the lead to seven, 46-39, with seven minutes left.
But South raced out on quick run and led 53-41 with 5:44 left when Ty Griggs scored a layup off a fast-break.
Meanwhile, the Gators sprinted back on a 9-0 run and pulled to within three, 53-50 with 1:50 left, off a basket from Allick. South extended their lead to 55-52 and Wilson missed the front end of a 1-and-1, when North Star got the ball with 22 seconds left.
Williams got the ball in front court, started to attack but three the ball out toward the right side of the floor beyond the reach of Kwat Abdelkarim and went out of bounds with 14 seconds to play.
Wilson was fouled and hit two free throws to seal the win for the Packers.
Williams led all scorers with 19 for North Star (17-9), while Allick finished with 18 in the loss.
South got 14 points from Anderson and Wilson and Griggs each chipped in 12 points for South.