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Millard North vs. Lincoln Southwest, 11.29

Lincoln Southwest’s Mayuom Buom (31) drives to the basket for two points against Millard North’s Max Murrell (41) during the second half Thursday at Lincoln Southwest High School. 

Millard North threw Lincoln Southwest off guard with a 1-3-1 look on defense Thursday night.

But Lincoln Southwest showed it can throw in a defensive wrinkle, too.

The Silver Hawks went zone late, using a strong defensive effort to upend the Class A third-ranked Mustangs 56-45 in the season opener at Southwest High School.

“We played zone and I had no anticipation going zone,” Southwest coach Alex Bahe said. “I think you can kind of catch teams like they caught us — I don’t know that we were ready for their 1-3-1, so that put us on our heels. I think where we lucked out, they went to that earlier in the game and so we could kind of get comfortable with it. We decided to go to ours late and I think they just ran out of time.”

The Silver Hawks got the clutch buckets to complete the comeback after trailing throughout the first half and third quarter. Frazzie Wynn’s three-pointer from the top of the key gave Southwest a 43-41 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Cam Frederick’s layup pushed the lead to 47-41, and Wynn drove into the lane for two more to make it 51-43 with 2 minutes remaining.

“Our main goal, the second half, was to start off with a defensive effort,” Wynn said. “I think that’s what got us going.

Southwest outscored the Mustangs 21-6 in the final quarter.

“I thought we handled (the zone) fine,” Millard North coach Tim Cannon said. “We had guys in the spots. We missed shots.”

Mayuom Buom led Southwest with 15 points, and Frederick had 14.

“It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, starting 1-0 is a lot better than starting 0-1,” Bahe said. “But what’s really special about this one is now we get another chance, another crack at a top-five team (Creighton Prep on Saturday). We’ve got a chance to get more momentum and make some noise out of the gates.”

Sophomore Hunter Sallis, who is receiving Division I interest (NU coach Tim Miles was in the house Thursday night), scored a game-high 18 points for the Mustangs.

Millard North girls 53, Southwest 33

Millard North didn’t like how last season ended. It had to like how this one started Thursday night.

The Class A second-ranked Mustangs looked sharp while pulling away for a season-opening win against the No. 3 Silver Hawks. The win came against a Southwest team that knocked Millard North out of last March’s state tournament.

“They ended our season, so we were super-hungry to come in and beat them,” said junior Nicole Avila-Ambrosi, who finished with a game-high 21 points. “We’ve been working all preseason, all postseason of last year after state, and it felt great.”

The final score will look good on the résumé. But it wasn’t the margin of victory that impressed David Diehl.

What impressed the Mustangs’ head coach was how his team followed the blueprint. They smothered the Silver Hawks’ wing players, closing passing lanes and creating 19 turnovers. Offensively, they moved the ball around, took good shots and got a big performance from Elle Danley.

The senior hit back-to-back three-pointers to open the third quarter to give Millard North a 34-19 lead. The Mustangs never allowed the Silver Hawks to get back into the game.

“At times it seemed like we would get right back into the game and then, boom, boom, we’d have an empty possession, or a turnover and they’d come down and bam, bam, three, three,” Southwest coach Jeff Rump said.

Danley finished with 13 points and senior Jayna Green had 10 to go along with Avila-Ambrosi’s big night.

Diehl said he didn’t call Avila-Ambrosi’s number on set plays in the first half, yet the Division I recruit managed to score 10 first-half points.

“When I get the ball, I read the defense,” Avila-Ambrosi said. “I don’t really need a lot of plays, I just read how they’re playing on me and I cross them up or I step back. So I’ve been learning how to score in so many other ways.”

Rump said the Silver Hawks will be able to learn a lot from the film, and added he expected challenges on offense in the opener.

“I liked our effort, I thought we rebounded well,” he said. “We just couldn’t finish on the offensive end, and that’s kind of how we are historically. We start off pretty slow and then try to figure some things out (as the season progresses).”

Jaden Ferguson led Southwest with eight points.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2639 or On Twitter @LJSSportsGrell.


Sports editor

Clark Grell is sports editor.

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