Published Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 12:01 am / Updated at 11:42 pm
Efficient Monarchs thwart Bunnies

Papillion-La Vista had won its first three games prior to Saturday night’s showdown with Omaha Benson, but Monarchs coach Jason Ryan felt his team wasn’t playing its best.

Ryan got a pretty complete effort against the Bunnies.

Papillion-La Vista led throughout the final three quarters as the third-ranked Monarchs won 59-54 at No. 4 Benson.

“I thought we were ready to go from the get-go,” Ryan said. “We were focused and ready. We thought two keys would be defensive rebounding and limiting turnovers, and for the most part we did a good job of that.”

Papillion-La Vista took control midway through the game as it went on a 17-2 run over an eight-minute stretch that included the closing minutes of the first half and the first five minutes of the second half. That run put the Monarchs up 41-24, their largest lead of the night.

Benson (2-2) had handed previously unbeaten Papio South a 67-47 loss Friday, but Bunnies coach Donnie Johnson said he didn’t see the same energy from his team Saturday.

“We just didn’t come out of the gates to play,” Johnson said. “(Papillion-La Vista) came in to take it away from us and they did. We didn’t match their intensity until there was five minutes left in the game.”

Benson was able to trim its deficit to 42-34 after three quarters, but the Bunnies never got closer until Khyri Thomas hit a 3-pointer with 37 seconds left to make it 57-51. Two Papillion-La Vista free throws built the lead to eight before Benson’s William Curtis hit a 3 in the closing seconds for the final margin.

The Monarchs maintained their advantage by hitting 13 of 19 free throws in the fourth quarter. They built their lead by getting the ball to 6-foot-6 senior Brett Dougherty on the low post.

Dougherty made three field goals around the rim during the 17-2 run. He finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

“Our guys know if we go inside to Brett, good things are going to happen,” Ryan said. “When we throw inside, he’s a tough matchup.”

Meanwhile, Papillion-La Vista forced 18 Benson turnovers and held the Bunnies to 40.3-percent shooting (23 of 57). Benson missed its first 14 3-point attempts — it finished 3 of 19 from behind the arc, not making an attempt until 1:14 was left in the game.

“Bar none, that was our best defensive performance of the year,” Ryan said. “We were in a stance to the ball, our vision was good. We challenged our guys and they responded.”

Besides Dougherty, Nate Maloley and Spencer Lewis also were in double figures for the Monarchs with 14 and 11, respectively. Maloley and Lewis combined to go 8 of 11 from the free-throw line in the final five minutes.

Deion Wells-Ross led Benson with 17 points off the bench.

Papillion-La Vista (4-0) ................. 16 19 7 17—59

At Benson (2-2) ................. 13 11 10 20—54

PLV: Murry 0-1 0-0 0, Lewis 3-4 5-7 11, Neelon 1-2 3-5 5, Sheard 3-6 2-4 8, Safranek 0-1 0-0 0, Maloley 3-3 7-10 14, T. Dougherty 1-1 0-0 2, B. Dougherty 5-14 9-12 19. Totals 16-32 26-38 59.

OB: Thomas 6-9 0-2 13, Stewart 0-5 0-0 0, Bradley 2-4 0-0 4, Peter 4-10 0-0 9, Buckley 2-8 0-0 4, Curtis 1-4 0-0 3, Wells-Ross 6-13 5-8 17, Bol 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 23-57 5-10 54.

3-point goals: PLV 1-3 (Maloley 1-1, Murry 0-1, Safranek 0-1); OB 3-19 (Peter 1-1, Curtis 1-3, Thomas 1-4, Stewart 0-2, Bradley 0-2, Wells-Ross 0-2, Buckley 0-5).

Contact the writer:


Contact the writer: Gene Schinzel    |   402-444-1038    |  

Gene Schinzel is a copy editor and staff writer for The World-Herald.

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