The Grand Island Senior High boys basketball team would like to make the start it put together on Friday a regular occurrence.

The Islanders raced out to an 18-4 lead five minutes into an 82-61 win over North Platte.

Grand Island scored its most points since an 85-60 victory over Lincoln East on Dec. 18, 2010.

“We wanted to pressure the ball,” G.I. coach Jeremiah Slough said. “We wanted to get out and make them make decisions with ball pressure in their face, and our guys did a really good job early on of turning them over.

“Then we converted those turnovers into baskets, and I really think that set the tone for the rest of the game.”

The Bulldogs (2-12) committed 18 turnovers in the first half, and the Islanders (5-9) cashed in by going 18-for-27 (66.7 percent) from the floor to take a 47-21 halftime lead.

It wasn’t all layups for Grand Island, either. The Islanders went 5-for-9 on 3-pointers in the first half with Will Nordhues connecting on all four of his en route to a game-high 22-point performance.

“Our guys really shared the basketball,” Slough said. “We put an emphasis on assists to basket made ratio. We haven’t been really good in that area. We’ve been really efficient offensively lately, but we weren’t quite sharing the ball well enough.

“Tonight we had 18 assists on 30 baskets. That was emphasized, and to our guys’ credit they went out and did it.”

LeBeck Warren added 20 points and Shay Schanaman chipped in 10 points and five assists.

North Platte used a 15-5 run in the third quarter to get back within 22 points, and Slough said the Islanders did suffer a letdown after halftime.

“We haven’t been in a situation like that in my tenure here at Grand Island Senior High,” he said. “It’s a learning experience. We have to be better in those situations, and we were trying to get some seniors on the floor.”

With the win, Grand Island improved to 3-2 in January with one of its losses coming in overtime at Class A No. 2-rated Omaha Creighton Prep.

“We’re playing good basketball,” Slough said. “I think we’re knocking on the door of being a pretty good team. We just have to understand that you’re not as good as you feel and you’re never as bad as you feel. Somewhere in the middle is reality.

“Monday we have to come back and give ourselves a really good week of practice to prepare for Norfolk.”

North Platte....8 13 17 23—61

At Grand Island....24 23 19 16—82

 NORTH PLATTE (2-12)

Will Phillips 3-4 0-0 8, Zavion Mitchell 2-6 6-10 10, Ryan Letourneau 4-8 4-4 12, Bryson Krull 2-3 6-8 10, Alec Sawyer 3-5 0-0 6, Christian Ramos 1-3 0-0 2, Chance Simpson 0-0 1-2 2, Logan Hansen 1-4 3-6 5, Chesney Tatman 0-1 2-2 2, Max Hayes 0-0 1-2 1, Caleb Horne 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 17-36 24-34 61.

GRAND ISLAND (5-9)

LeBeck Warren 8-15 0-0 20, Shay Schanaman 3-8 2-6 10, Brayden Wald 2-2 2-3 6, George Siliman 2-4 0-0 4, Will Nordhues 8-13 1-3 22, Casey Burnham 3-4 2-3 8, Andrew Bardales 0-0 1-2 1, Ashtyn Keezer 2-2 0-0 4, Noah Vahle 0-3 0-0 0, Evan Ludwig 0-0 2-2 2, Jackson McInturf 1-1 0-0 2, Youna Ghaifan 1-1 0-0 3, Brooks Douglass 0-0 0-0 0, Rashawn Smith 0-0 0-1 0, Much Biel 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-53 10-20 82.

3-point field goals—NP 5-16 (Phillips 2-3, Mitchell 0-1, Letourneau 2-5, Krull 0-1, Sawyer 0-1, Ramos 0-1, Hansen 0-1, Tatman 0-1, Horne 1-2), GI 12-26 (Warren 4-7, Schanaman 2-7, Nordhues 5-9, Vahle 0-2, Ghaifan 1-1). Fouled out—none. Rebounds—NP 31 (Krull 7), GI 18 (Schanaman, Wald, Nordhues 3). Assists—NP 10 (Krull 3), GI 18 (Schanaman 5). Turnovers—NP 32, GI 14. Total fouls—NP 19, GI 23. Technicals—none.

Grand Island girls 49, North Platte 17

Grand Island Senior High quickly got to work at ending a three-game losing streak.

The Islanders scored the first nine points and then limited North Platte to seven field goals in a 49-15 victory Friday.

It was just the kind of performance coach Alex Michel was looking from his team, which had suffered two losses by a combined six points during its recent slump.

“I was just happy with the intensity we played with all game long,” he said. “We were looking for a complete game, and I was super happy because I felt like we played hard for 32 minutes.”

Sydney Wald scored all seven of her points in the first quarter to spark the quick start, which benefited from production from the Islanders’ transition game.

“Key No. 1 was to create offense from our defense,” Michel said. “I think we got some good deflections on defense and converted them into buckets. That gives us confidence.

“We also executed our plays really well. The girls did a good job of finishing down low.”

Already leading 16-8, the Islanders (6-8) made things brutal for the Bulldogs (1-13) in the second quarter.

North Platte committed eight turnovers and didn’t get its first shot off of the period until there were only 50 seconds remaining.

“We were mixing up our presses and playing solid half-court man-to-man defense,” Michel said. “When our girls give that kind of effort, they’re tough to score on. That’s what I want to see.”

After missing her first two shots, Alexa Blase connected on her final sixth to finish with a game-high 14 points.

Although she only scored two points, point guard Lindsey Norvell played a big role in the offense clicking along with her seven assists.

“Lindsey makes it all go,” Michel said. “I don’t care how many points she has. She had a ton of assists tonight.

“She’s our heart and soul. I don’t care if she’s scoring points. She’s always affecting our game on offense and defense at all times.”

North Platte....8 1 4 2—15

At Grand Island.....16 10 13 10—49

NORTH PLATTE (1-13)

Kyilee Elsten 1-3 0-0 2, Peyton Negley 1-4 0-0 2, Kaitlyn Hansen 3-12 1-3 7, Abri Contos 1-4 0-0 2, Leela Keck 1-3 0-0 2, Kathy Mathieu 0-0 0-0 0, Callie Haneborg 0-1 0-0 0, Kamryn Hughes 0-2 0-0 0, Becca Lindley 0-0 0-1 0. Totals 7-29 1-4 15.

GRAND ISLAND (6-8)

Sydney Wald 2-6 3-3 7, Haleigh Hoos 3-6 3-4 9, Michelle Boroff 0-3 0-0 0, Lindsey Norvell 1-8 0-0 2, Alexa Blase 6-8 1-2 14, Rya Chavez 0-0 0-0 0, Lauren Hauser 3-6 1-2 7, Lauren Eihusen 0-2 1-2 1, Katie Zuelow 1-3 2-2 4, Kiara McInturf 0-1 0-0 0, Jaimasyn Hunter 1-2 0-0 2, Tori Hale 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 18-43 12-17 49.

3-point field goals: NP 0-3 (Elsten 0-2, Haneborg 0-1), GI 1-13 (McInturf 0-1, Wald 0-2, Hoos 0-1, Boroff 0-3, Hauser 0-2, Norvell 0-2, Blase 1-1, Hale 0-1). Fouled out—none. Rebounds—NP 23 (Hansen 8), GI 30 (Eihusen, Wald, Hauser, Blase 4). Assists—NP 3 (Elsten 2), GI 13 (Norvell 7). Turnovers—NP 26, GI 12. Total fouls—NP 12, GI 14. Technicals—none.

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