A year to remember for Nebraska high school boys basketball culminates with the first All-Nebraska starting five from the Metro Conference.
Never before have all five players on the newspaper’s top honor team been from the conference. The Metro started in 1964-65. The All-Nebraska team started 50 seasons earlier.
The first team is made up of all seniors. They are Akoy Agau and Tra-Deon Hollins from four-time state champion Omaha Central; Brett Dougherty from runner-up Papillion-La Vista; Cam Williams from third-place Omaha South and Connor Lusso from state qualifier Millard West.
"They're a testament to what went on in the conference and illustrated how tough the conference was," Papio coach Jason Ryan said.
St. Bernard Catholic School, including eighth-grade students Nolan Bekeart, Brianna Wessling, Nash Kelly, Laura Shaw, Sebastien Winter, Nancy Galloway, Johnathan Wood, Cierra Boatwright, Jacob Thoms, Cheyenne Hill, Noah Melgares, Dylan King, Trevor Leone; Benson mascot Frankie Szynskie; Millard West mascot Brayden Belt; Lincoln Southeast mascot Samantha Shepard; Lincoln Southwest mascot Duncan Works; Omaha Benson band members Elizabeth Green and Courtney Green; Grand Island Northwest band members Nathan Adams and McKenzie Reed; Papillion-La Vista band members Alexandria Hilliard and Daniel Woodworth; Omaha South cheerleaders Abbey Fields and Sierra Fields; Omaha Central cheerleaders Kayla Tibbles, Katy Pellman and Peyton Suggs; and extras Cory Gilinsky, Mike Works and Grady Works.
She averaged almost 18 points per game as a freshman while Lincoln Southeast finished second in Class A last season.
That wasn’t good enough for Jessica Shepard, who took her game to the next level in 2012-13 and helped elevate the Knights to a state championship.
Shepard, a 6-foot-3 sophomore forward, averaged 24.6 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. She averaged 23.6 points in three state tournament games as 24-3 Southeast captured its 10th state title.
Shepard is recognized as the honorary captain of The World-Herald’s All-Nebraska girls basketball team. It’s the second straight year that the Nebraska recruit has earned a spot on the first team.