A 15-0 run boosted Papillion-La Vista to a home win Saturday over Bellevue East.
With the game knotted at 27 late in the third, the Monarchs run led them to a 42-30 win over the Chieftains.
“It was a grinder tonight,” Papio coach Dan Moore said. “It's not how you'd draw it up but we'll take any win we can get.”
One of the big reason for the run was a switch to the 3-2 zone by the Monarchs. The Chieftains were starting to get into a rhythm on offense with an 8-0 in the third to tie, when the zone changed the game.
“I don't do a lot of zone but it hurt their rhythm and slowed them down, “Moore said. “We made a few stops and were able to get back ahead.”
The Monarchs used a 9-2 start in the first quarter on its way to an 11-9 lead after one. Bellevue East took the lead halfway through second before the Monarchs rallied for a 16-15 halftime lead.
Papio scored the first seven points of the third quarter and built an eight-point lead at 27-19. East responded with an 8-0 run to tie the game with a minute left in teh third before the offense stalled.
“The effort was great for us tonight,” East coach Tola Dada said. “Unfortunately, when the ball didn't go into the basket we let it affect us in other parts of the game.”
The Monarchs are continuing to improve, but they're still not where Moore wants them to be.
“The objective is to win and I'm proud we did what we needed to do to win, but we got to get better,” Moore said. “We're way better than we were in November, we have to just keep improving.“
Caleb Piatkowski scored a game-high 14 points to lead the Monarchs in scoring. Tyler Dougherty added nine points and eight rebounds.
Trevor Lenear netted 12 to pace the Chieftains.
• Papillion-La Vista dropped its Friday game 55-49 to Millard South.
The Patriots were the aggressors early and built a 33-24 halftime lead. The Monarchs cut into the lead in the third and fourth quarters but not enough for the win.
The Monarchs were led by Piatkowski, who netted 15 points. Ayo Baker and Dougherty added 13 and 10 points, respectively.
• East dropped a 51-46 decision to Omaha Northwest Friday at home.
Northwest jumped out to a 14-8 lead after one. The Chieftains cut the lead to four at halftime and three by the start of the fourth quarter. The Huskies hung on to the win in the fourth.
Brady Pelzer and Lenear poured in 16 and 14 points, respectively.
The Chieftains effort in their two close losses this weekend is a bright spot for Dada and the Chieftains, who are having a tough season.
“It's encouraging,” Dada said. “It shows us we're capable of getting it done.
“These guys are great kids and they're still giving me everything they have. I appreciate that.”