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1999 – Basketball: Omaha Central, 1974 and 1975

Omaha Central, one of the state’s first high schools and a grand institution all these years, won its first basketball state championship in 1912, the second year of the state tournament.

The Eagles, who’ve played good basketball year in and year out, qualified for state a lot. But 62 years went past before another state title trophy found its way to Central’s hallways.

Credit in this Silver Anniversary award goes to a determined group of athletes, several of whom played in grade school and junior high together and stayed together in high school.

The 1974 team ended the title drought, finishing a 22-3 year by defeating Lincoln East in the Class A championship game, 57-49. Before anyone hardly had time to figure 62 years down the road to see when Central might win again, the 1975 team posted a 24-1 record and made it two in a row with a state title win over Omaha Creighton Prep, the only team to beat the Eagles that year.

Consecutive state championships….. 66 wins and just four losses in two seasons….The widest margin of victory in the Metro Conference (20.6, 1974-75), a record which still stands…..All-state honors for John C. Johnson and Clayton Bullard, coach of the year honors for Coach Jim Martin.

Johnson was a high scorer both years. Sylvester Pierce averaged in double figures both years. Bullard’s game advanced in his senior year to the point where he was ready for a career at Colorado in college. Michael Ashford was the 1974 scoring leader. Charles Lewis also was a double figure scorer in 1974. Many of the players on the two teams saw action most every game.

One additional spot where they “own” a piece of high school history: Their 1975 championship game was the last game played in the Nebraska Coliseum. The Devaney Center opened for the 1976 tournament.


Omaha Central Basketball:
1974 – 22-3
1975 – 24-1

Michael Ashford, 1974
Thommie Allen 1974
Albert Briggs 1975
Kevin Buckner 1974
Clayton Bullard 1974-1975
Greg Bullard 1974
James Dorsey 1974
John C. Johnson 1974-1975
Phil Jefferson 1975
James M. Kriss 1974
Charles Lewis 1974
Henry A. Moore 1975
Rodney Oliver 1975
Sylvester Pierce-Tally 1974-1975
Mitchell Pinkard 1975
Raymond Williams 1974-1975
Lawrence V. Wilson 1975
Steve Watson 1975

Head Coach

James Martin

Assistant Coaches

Paul Pennington
Stan Standifer

Athletic Director

Don Benning