Published Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 12:01 am / Updated at 11:56 pm
Vikings 10-1 as slow start hurts York again

YORK, Neb. — For the second straight night, a slow start proved to be York’s undoing.

The host Dukes, ranked fourth in Class B, trailed by 17 at halftime Saturday night and fell to second-ranked Grand Island Northwest 67-59. York (9-2) trailed by 22 at half Friday night against seventh-ranked Gretna in a 61-49 setback.

“It was just like last night,” Dukes coach Matt Kern said. “Our girls were tight in the first half and we just couldn’t get anything going.”

The 10-1 Vikings, the defending Class B champions, trailed only at 3-2 when York’s Emma Grenfell sank an early 3-pointer. But Northwest led 17-12 after the first quarter and widened that margin to 34-17 at half after holding the Dukes to five second-quarter points.

“Our girls handled their defense at the start,” Vikings coach Mike Herzberg said. “We were able to build a nice lead and then we had to hang on.”

The lead grew to 26 in the third quarter but Northwest fans received a scare when All-Nebraska guard McKenzie Brown fell to the floor with an ankle injury after being fouled. She headed to the bench for a short time but was able to re-enter the game three minutes later.

“I hope it’s just a sprain,” Herzberg said. “She’s as tough as nails and she wanted to go back in.”

The Vikings lost Brown for good early in the fourth quarter when she committed her fifth foul. The Dukes, who had whittled that 26-point deficit to 16, took advantage of the situation to draw closer.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Erin Malleck and Grenfell and two free throws each from Malleck and Tayte Hansen drew York within 56-48 with four minutes left. But Northwest responded primarily from the free-throw line, getting nine of its final 11 points on foul shots.

“As a team we were shooting 77 percent from the line coming in,” Herzberg said. “We weren’t great from there tonight (12-23) but we made enough to get the job done.”

The Dukes, who scored 26 points in the final period, sank seven 3-pointers — five in the fourth quarter. Grenfell even had a four-point play when she swished a shot from behind the arc and made the subsequent free throw.

“This was another good learning experience for us,” Kern said. “We’re not quite there yet, but it really helps us to play tough teams like this.”

Erin Sorahan led the Vikings with 21 points while Brown finished with 14. Katie Placke added 12 and Kennadi Keezer chipped in 11.

Grenfell paced the Dukes with 20 points while Malleck had 15 and Hannah Riley 14.

Both teams return to action Tuesday night. Northwest will play host to Hastings St. Cecilia while York will play visiting Grand Island Central Catholic.

Grand Island Northwest (10-1) .......................................... 17 17 17 16—67
At York (9-2) ...................................................................... 12    5 16 26—59

GINW: Katie Placke 5-9 1-2 12, Erin Sorahan 8-17 3-7 21, McKenzie Brown 6-11 0-1 14, Hannah Rathke 1-4 0-1 2, Erin Schleicher 1-2 0-0 2, Kennadi Keezer 4-6 3-4 11, Shelby Schacher 0-2 5-8 5.

Y: Hannah Riley 6-11 0-1 14, Emma Grenfell 6-10, 5-8 20, Tayte Hansen 1-3 6-6 9, Jordyn Stearns 0-1 0-0 0, Veronica Botts 0-7 0-1 0, Dacia Stuhr 0-0 0-1 0, Erin Malleck 3-8 8-10 15, Lauren Horras 0-0 1-2 1.

3-point goals: GINW 5-16 (Placke 1-3, Sorahan 2-6, Brown 2-4, Rathke 0-2, Schacher 0-1); Y 7-24 (Riley 2-4, Grenfell 3-5, Hansen 1-3, Stearns 0-1, Botts 0-6, Malleck 1-5). Rebounds: GINW 36 (Brown 7, Keezer 7); Y 29 (Malleck 7, Stuhr 7). Total fouls: GINW 23; Y 17. Fouled out: Brown, Placke. Field-goal percentage: GINW .471; Y .400. Free-throw percentage: GINW .521; Y .689.

Contact the writer: Mike Patterson    |   402-444-1350    |  

Mike covers high school sports, primarily volleyball in the fall, girls basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring and summer.

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