Thunderbirds defend their No. 1 ranking against No. 5 Creighton Prep

Billy Dunkleman, Broadcast Manager

What happened: The top-ranked Bellevue West boys basketball team defeated No. 5 ranked Omaha Creighton Prep 69-66 on Friday Feb. 8. The Thunderbirds defended their No.1 ranking.

By the numbers: Sophomore Chucky Hepburn and senior Nico Felici led the Thunderbirds in scoring with 17 points each. Junior David Nuor dropped 14 points, and Louis Fidler added to the total with 13 points of his own. Creighton Prep senior Akol Arop led all scoring with 22 points and Prep senior Thomas Faber had 19 points.

Those who showed up: The close battle on the court took place before an estimated crowd of over 2,000 students and parents from both sides. Student sections from both teams had shouting matches with each other as they cheered on their respective teams.

Did you see that?: In the 4th quarter with only eight seconds left on the clock, Chucky Hepburn banked in a three-pointer which put the Thunderbirds up 67-66. Creighton Prep’s following inbound went down court and out of bounds leaving only 2.5 seconds remaining on the clock. After missing almost the full football season due to injury, senior quarterback Jacob Coldanghise threw a downcourt football-like pass to Chucky Hepburn. Hepburn then finalized the Thunderbird victory with the dunk.

Up next: After a Saturday win against Elkhorn South, West improved their record to 22-1. West’s next home game is on Friday, Feb. 15 against the Millard South Patriots at 7:15 pm.