Omaha Central and Omaha South, as expected, are the top two seeds for the Metro Conference’s holiday boys basketball tournament, with Millard West nabbing the No. 1 seed for the girls tournament.
The Wildcats (5-1) are seeded ahead of the only two undefeated teams left in the Metro or Class A, No. 2 seed Bellevue West (6-0) and No. 3 seed Bellevue East (5-0). The Bellevue teams meet at 5:30 Thursday night in West’s gym.
Millard West has gone 2-1 against the top three teams in The World-Herald’s preseason ratings, beating No. 1 Lincoln Southeast and No. 2 Central and losing last Thursday to No. 3 Bellevue East. That game was played several hours after the tournament’s seeding meeting.
The boys’ No. 3 seed is Papillion-La Vista (6-0), followed by Millard West (5-1), Omaha Benson (4-2) and Bellevue West (6-0). Central is 4-0 and South 6-0.
The golden anniversary tournament begins Dec. 28 with boys’ games at Millard South and girls’ games at Benson. After the quarterfinals during the day on New Year’s Eve, the tournament finishes up at the Civic Auditorium with semifinals on Jan. 2 and finals on Jan. 3.
First-round games (seeds in parentheses):
Boys, at Millard South—Dec. 28: Papillion-La Vista (3) vs. Millard South (14), 11:15 a.m.; Omaha South (2) vs. Bellevue East (15), 1 p.m.; Omaha Burke (7) vs. Millard North (10), 2:45 p.m.; Omaha Central (1) vs. Omaha Northwest (16), 4:30 p.m.; Omaha Creighton Prep (8) vs. Papillion-La Vista South (9), 6:15 p.m.; Bellevue West (6) vs. Omaha North (11), 8 p.m. Dec. 29: Omaha Benson (5) vs. Omaha Bryan (12), 6:15 p.m.; Millard West (4) vs. Omaha Westside (13), 8 p.m.
Girls, at Omaha Benson—Dec. 28: Millard West (1) vs. Omaha Bryan (16), 11:15 a.m.; Bellevue West (2) vs. Millard South (15), 1 p.m.; Bellevue East (3) vs. Papillion-La Vista South (14), 2:45 p.m.; Omaha Benson (6) vs. Omaha North (11), 4:30 p.m.; Papillion-La Vista (7) vs. Omaha Northwest (10), 6:15 p.m.; Omaha Marian (8) vs. Omaha Westside (9), 8 p.m. Dec. 29: Omaha Central (4) vs. Omaha South (13), 6:15 p.m.; Millard North (5) vs. Omaha Burke (12), 8 p.m.
Bellevue West’s Pettigrew out with knee injury
Returning second-team All-Metro basketball player Deon Pettigrew of Bellevue West has a partial tear of a patella tendon and could be out for a month.
“You feel bad for him because he’s worked so hard and he’s had only one injury-free season in his four years,’’ West coach Doug Woodard told the Bellevue Leader.
Also out with early-season injuries were frontcourt players Ryan Huff and Zach Flott of Ralston.
Millard North is expecting returning All-Nebraska player Josiah Gustafson, who had shoulder surgery in the fall, to be back sometime after the Christmas break, Mustangs coach Chip Bahe said.
“He’s doing well with his rehab,’’ Bahe said.
Metro coaches honor Larry Martin
Omaha North’s Larry Martin, whose Vikings went to the Class A championship game for the first time, has been named the Metro Football Coaches Association’s Tom Jaworski Award winner as the league’s head coach of the year.
Millard North offensive coordinator Ty Cotten is the Jerry Ball Award recipient as assistant coach of the year. The awards are named for Jaworski, who coached Omaha Creighton Prep to a state-record 342 wins in 39 years, and posthumously for Ball, who was a longtime assistant coach in the Omaha Public Schools.
Players of the year are Isaac Aakre of Millard North, quarterbacks; Calvin Strong of Omaha North, running backs; Tra-Deon Hollins of Omaha Central, receivers; Mike Milenkovich of Millard North, offensive linemen; Freeman Coleman of Millard South, defensive linemen; Nick DeLuca of Millard North, linebackers; Clay Fisher of Millard North, defensive backs; and Andy Bayne of Millard North and Andy Gelb of Bellevue East, kickers.
On the coaches’ Academic All-Metro offensive team were linemen Matt Kraft of Millard South, Andrew Hostert of Omaha North; Josh Wray of Bellevue East, Lee Carhart of Prep and Mitch Huff of Omaha Burke; quarterbacks Zach Cook of Burke, Anthony Cloyd of Millard South and Ross Drwal of Millard West; running backs Jack Davis of Central and Johnny Murray of Burke, receivers RJ Urzendowski of Prep and Brad Brazeal of Bellevue West and kicker Hayden Guy of Burke.
On their defensive team were linemen Harrison Phillips of Millard West, Sam Stoltenberg of Prep, Elliot Nohr of Papillion-La Vista and Kirby LeBlanc of Burke; linebackers Michael Emodi of Prep, Harrison Jordan of Westside and Keegan Kush of Papio; defensive backs Quentin Williams of Millard South, Drew Fitzmorris of Omaha Westside, Skyler Monaghan of Millard West and Xavier Ferrer of Prep; and punter Andy Gelb of Bellevue East.