The Rivalry

October 17, 2008
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It was predicted to be one of the best games in the state: Bellevue West versus Omaha Central. In the Omaha World Herald, it was the number one versus the number two. But first you need some inside knowledge, Ralston who got the first seed, had moved up to class A but still had a class B schedule, their schedule was easier. They got a higher seed then they deserved. With West having the second seed and Central the third seed, West and Central were on the same side of the bracket. They would play each other in the semi’s instead of the finals. They both played in the finals the past two years, and both games went into over-time. Central won both years.
When West and Central played, the stadiums were sold out; they both played amazing games. Both teams had division I prospects: Antoine Y. and Jeff A. for West, Josh Jones for Central. Jones and Antoine both committed to Creighton two years ago, and Jeff committed to Army. With Central winning the past two titles and West winning the two before, this game meant a lot. It was a rivalry.
The drive to the stadium was congested, it was a sea of red taillights. Finding a parking spot was like finding a needle in a hay stack. We had to park a mile away from the stadium. When we were walking up to the gate West’s bus was pulling up and we got to walk in with the team. We were walking in with celebrities.
The game before was West’s cross town rival Bellevue East versus Lincoln High. Ironically two Bellevue teams had made it to the state tournament. Bellevue East won and they would play the winner of the West Central game in the finals.
After we finally found a seat in the nose bleeds, My brother and I went to get in line to get a better seat. The atmosphere was ear shattering. The line for the West’s fans was right next to Central student section line. There were cheers going back and forth, you would have thought it was the national championship. I wanted West to win because that would mean that Central wouldn’t three-peat, I used to live in Bellevue when I was younger, and I also new a few players on the West squad. The game also meant more because the loser would play in the consolation game the next day. This was the first year of the consolation game and it was new to everyone, not everyone liked it, it was controversial.
When we sat down the stadium was deafening, the student sections were exchanging chants, trying to bring up the intensity. Our seats were incredible we sat right behind West’s bench in the front row. You get to see so much more there, it was astonishing. When they started at the center circle, the stadium was in an uproar. The game switched momentum many times, the most memorable switch of the game was in the third quarter. West made a four point run and the Student Section started to make some noise, then the stole the ball and made another basket. West’s fans were on their feet. Doug W. called a time out, he wanted the momentum, he drew up an alley-oop from Jeff A to Antoine Y. They came out of the time-out. They ran the play but Central was a step ahead of them and stopped the alley-oop at the rim. Taking the momentum away.
West lost, and played Lincoln High in the consolation game. West beat Lincoln in the consolation game. It was the first time in four years that West was not in the finals. Sure enough Central won the title, but not without a fight, they three-peated.





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