Pretty much all of us have suffered through one of those nights somewhere along the line. Not everybody gets to have one of these nights, though.
The Grand Island Northwest Vikings did virtually everything right start to finish and the result was an impressive 72-54 victory over Class C-1 No. 4 Adams Central.
Northwest (4-9) put together one of its most impressive performances of the season. The Vikings went 25-of-37 from the field and 15-22 from the line. They hit seven threes at a 63 percent clip, and they turned the ball over five times. Northwest allowed one basket by the Patriots in the first quarter as they sprinted to a 23-3 lead after the first eight minutes.
“We played smart tonight,” Northwest coach Chip Bahe said. “We played with balance and with purpose right out of the gate. We did a good job finding the rim, and Riley (Schliep) was a big part of that. We showed poise because we knew that Adams Central would make a run at us. They’re a proud program and they never quit fighting.”
Schliep was indeed a big part of the Vikings’ offensive success as he hit 8 of 10 shots and hit all five free throws for a 21-point night. But as Bahe pointed out, the success was a product of the half court offense and his team being patient enough for opportunities to develop.
“We found ways to score with our offense,” he noted. “And it didn’t matter if it came off one pass or twelve.”
The other big story offensively for Northwest was senior Brady Glause, who scored 17 of his game high 24 points in the second half as the Patriot defense managed to make it a little harder for the Vikings to consistently move the ball inside.
Schliep also added a team high six rebounds and six assists as the Northwest offense proved itself to be lethally efficient.
After jumping to the big first quarter lead, the Vikings saw Adams Central (9-3) bounce back for a 14-4 run over the course of the second quarter. Haggan Hilgendorf hit a three with less than two minutes to go in the half to cut the lead to 10, but Northwest took advantage of two late possessions to recapture the momentum.
Glause fed the ball inside to Caleb Jacobsen for a bucket, then after a missed three by the Patriots, grabbed the ball and headed upcourt, launching a three that beat the buzzer and pushing the margin back to 15. The Vikings then opened the third with a three from Jeremiah Iverrs and a steal and layuup from Glause, and suddenly the lead was back to 20.
“We couldn’t get a stop defensively tonight,” Adams Central coach Zac Foster said. “We ran every defense we have at them, and they had the answer every time. The problem is that when you get down early like we did that gets you away from defensive game plan. We panicked early and we got ourselves into a hole that we could never get out of.”
Northwest kept up the pressure offensively during the third quarter, outscoring the Patriots 25-19 and preventing any kind of significant rally over the course of the final two periods.
“I thought defensively we did a good job contesting shots and talking to each other,” Bahe said. “It sounds simple, but it’s not. Every time they hit a big shot in the second half we didn’t let them go on a run – we got some kind of an answer almost every time.”
Northwest’s efficiency offset an impresive performance by the Adams Central offense, which hit 13 of 29 shots from three-point range, but still failed to keep pace with the Viking offensive attack, especially at the start of each half.
“That was the difference,” Foster said. “Northwest seemed ready every possession. We had them shooting around 70 percent. We could have played better defense, but they shot the ball as well as I’ve ever seen.”
Adams Central (7-6)......10 5 12 15—42
GI Northwest (7-6).....12 4 4 18—38
AC: Slechta 2-2 0-0 6, Pohlson 0-1 0-0 0, Sughroue 5-13 0-0 14, Spady 0-1 0-0 0, Keller 1-4 1-2 3, Lipovksy 3-6 0-0 8, Placke 0-1 0-0 0, Hunt 3-12 2-3 10, Hilgendorf 4-7 2-2 13. Totals 18-47 5-7 54.
GINW: Foight 0-0 0-2 0, Terry 3-5 1-3 10, Hiser 2-4 1-2 6, Glause 7-12 8-10 24, Ivers 2-2 0-0 5, Hageman 1-2 0-0 2, Schliep 8-10 5-5 21, Jacobsen 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 25-37 15-22 72.
3-point shots – AC 13-29 (Slechta 2-2, Pohlson 0-1, Sughroue 4-11, Keller 0-1, Lipovsky 2-5, Hunt 2-4, Hilgendorf 3-5), NW 7-11 (Terry 3-4, Hiser 1-2, Glause 2-3, Ivers 1-1, Hageman 0-1). Rebounds – AC 20 (Hilgendorf 7), NW 23 (Glause 6). Assists – AC 12 (Hunt 4), NW 16 (Glause 6, Hiser 5). Turnovers – AC 9, NW 5. Personal Fouls – AC 20, NW 10. Fouled Out – AC, Lipovsky. Technical Fouls – None.
Adams Central girls 42, GI Northwest 38
The Patriots broke open a close game with a strong third quarter performance as they upended the Vikings.
Adams Central (7-6) took control after halftime as it outscored Northwest 12-4 in the third quarter and held off a late rally by the Vikings to nail down the win.
Grand Island Northwest (7-6) found success inside in the early going, but had trouble getting good looks inside the paint after the first quarter. The Vikings turned to their outside game with little success, connecting on only five of 23 shots from outside the arc.
“Early in the game they went man and we felt like we had a mismatch inside,” Northwest coach Rico Burkett said. “The girls did a good job identifying when we had chances to get the ball inside. But Adams Central went to a box and one and that compacted things in the middle. We didn’t have the spacings we needed for post touches, and our offense got stagnant — we just didn’t have enough movement going on.”
Adams Central coach Evan Smith said his team’s defensive response made a big difference.
“We went to a box-and-one and ended up going with a chaser, which was a 1-3 with one person staying with (Whitney) Brown. That seemed to limit their offense inside, and we were able to start hitting some shots on the other end.”
Even as the Vikings saw their offense stumble, they were still delivering the goods defensively for much of the second quarter. Northwest found success with its pressure game, but eventually saw the Patriots make adjustments with its ball handlers that resulted in the Vikings’ backing off into their half court game and it was Adams Central that found a groove offensively as the second half unfolded.
It was still a two-possession game for much of the final quarter, as the Vikings got within two after a three by Megan Anderson midway through the quarter. But Adams Central responded with a basket from Kylie Dierks and then saw Kori Kimberly hit ajumper from the line to push the lead back to six. Northwest kept the pressure up in the late going, but was never able to string together a run against the Patriot defense.
“The urgency kicked in later in the game, and we were able to find some more success,” Burkett noted. “I think that earlier in the year we were shooting with more confidence, and lately we’ve struggled from the perimeter. We’re not in a consistent rhythm, and I didn’t see us putting up outside shots with confidence tonight.”
Emily Stein led the Vikings with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Morgan Samuelson paced Adams Central with 12 points while Dierks added 11.
Adams Central (7-6)......10 5 12 15—42
GI Northwest (7-6).....12 4 4 18—38
AC: Kimberly 3-8 1-2 9, Lonowski 3-3 0-0 6, Krabel 1-5 0-0 2, Bohlke 1-1 0-0 2, Samuelson 5-11 2-3 12, Lang 0-3 0-0 0, Ellerbee 0-3 0-0 0, Dierks 4-6 3-4 11. Totals 17-40 6-9 42.
GINW: Brown 3-8 1-2 8, Cooper 1-7 0-0 2, Anderson 3-10 0-0 9, Mayfield 2-8 0-2 5, Stein 4-7 3-7 11, Jensen 0-4 1-4 1, Buhrman 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 14-45 5-15 38.
3-point shots – AC 2-9 (Kimberly 2-6, Krabel 0-1, Lang 0-2), NW 5-23 (Brown 1-4, Cooper 0-5, Anderson 3-10, Mayfield 1-4). Rebounds – AC 28 (Samuelson 10), NW 28 (Stein 12). Assists – AC 11 (Ellerbee 3), NW 10 (Mayfield 3). Turnovers – AC 18, NW 14. Personal Fouls – AC 15, NW 17. Fouled Out – None. Technical Fouls – None.