by Terry Douglass
The main event in the seventh annual Heartland Hoops Classic figures to be an up-tempo affair.
Four-time defending Nebraska Class A state tournament champion Omaha Central will be making its second consecutive Classic appearance as the Eagles will play Denver East High School on Saturday, Feb. 15. Tipoff at Grand Island’s Heartland Events Center is scheduled for 9 p.m.
“It’s going to be full-court basketball,” Denver East coach Rudy Carey said of the matchup he believes features the best teams from Nebraska and Colorado going head to head. “We press and run and they like to press and run. I know Omaha Central is very aggressive, very good and they’re very well-coached, so we expect it to just be a war.”
Omaha Central coach Eric Behrens echoed Carey’s sentiments.
“Denver East is just really talented,” Behrens said. “They have some guys that can really play — if you look at the Rivals rankings, they’ve got some guys who are really well-known nationally.
“Playing them is going to be a real challenge. Everyone tells us that Denver East is the top team in Colorado in the top class, so we know that’s going to make it a lot of fun.” (more…)