- BOYS A-3 DISTRICT BASKETBALL: 3rd Quarter Run Sparks Prep over Pius X
By Jeff Motz
OMAHA---Creighton Prep needed to find a spark in the second half to take control of the A-3 district final Monday night.
The No. 2 Junior Jays used a 9-0 start to the third quarter to pull away for a 59-50 victory over Lincoln Pius X at the Heider Center.
Prep (22-3) will now get to defend their Class A state championship next Thursday, Mar. 10 at the NSAA Boys State Basketball Tournament, likely as a No. 2 seed.
The win for the Junior Jays didn't come easy. Pius X jumped out to a 17-16 first quarter lead thanks in part to three-pointers from sophomore Joe Burt and senior Jerome Schmidt.
Prep outscored the Thunderbolts 14-11 in the second quarter and got a boost when Senior Drew Homa was assessed a technical foul after Nate Schimonitz committed an offensive foul late in the half.
TJ Hansen, who led Pius X with a team-high 14 points, hit two of three free throws after he was fouled on a three-point attempt as time ran out. That pulled the 'Bolts to within two at halftime, 30-28.
Pius X (15-8) couldn't fully recover after Prep's 9-0 third quarter run. They got as close as 49-42 with 3:15 left in the game, when Hansen hit a three-pointer.
Schimonitz led the Junior Jays with a game-high 18 points, while Homa and Joey Machado each finished with 11 points in the win.
Thomas Robertson added 11 points in the losing effort for Pius X.