Despite a double-overtime win taking precedence on Friday, No. 2 Creighton Prep paid close attention to how close Lincoln Southeast played No. 4 Lincoln East on the same night and made sure it wouldn’t be that close on Saturday in Lincoln.
Everything seemed to be working for the Juniors Jays (12-1) against the Knights (4-9), who could do little to slow down the high-powered Prep offense. Four players finished in double figures for the Junior Jays in a 74-60 road win at Prasch Gymnasium.
“We’ve watched (Southeast) many times, and they beat Bellevue West, which is our only loss, and they played East very tough last night, so I told our kids that we need to be ready,” Creighton Prep coach Josh Luedtke said. “We knew that we couldn’t come in here and just expect to win, so I thought our guys did a really nice job of rebounding after last night.”
Following a sluggish start, the Junior Jays started to put things together midway through the first quarter. CJ Wolfe sparked a late Prep run with nine points as the Jays closed the quarter on a 16-3 run that created a deficit the Knights couldn’t climb out of throughout the contest.
NU recruit Akol Arop scored 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter as Prep built a 42-25 by halftime.
Ajantae Hogan was the spark for the Knights against Prep, and while it might not have been enough to cut into the lead, he still finished with a game-high 23 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter. He was the only Knight to finish in double figures.
Prep’s Spencer Schomers led his team with 17 points behind strong outside shooting, while Wolfe had 16 points and Robert Peters added 14 in the win.
“Tonight was good because we had four players finish in double digits, and usually we stand around and watch Akol (Arop) and Thomas (Faber) play,” Luedtke added. “We want four or five guys in double figures because that way we’re tough to guard. It was good to see the productivity and confidence from our guys tonight.”
The loss made it six straight for the Knights, but four of those losses came against ranked opponents and they’ve shown progress since passing the mid-point of the season. Games at Omaha Bryan and Lincoln Northeast next week will provide Southeast a chance to right the ship before the home stretch of the season.
Prep will put its ranking to the test next week with games against Omaha Westside, Millard North and Omaha Central.