Norfolk Catholic

Maddie Love of Norfolk Catholic looks to get around Tiffany Schweer of Sandy Creek during Thursday night's game in Norfolk.

The formula for victory was nearly the same for the Norfolk Catholic boys and girls basketball teams Thursday evening, as each team used pressure defense, transition offense, and the depth to execute both effectively.

The result was a pair of big wins over Sandy Creek squads in the opening round of the Grand Island Central Catholic Early Season Tournament--83-48 in the boys contest and 66-38 in girls action.

In the boys game coach Shane Anderson varied the pressure defense his team used, controlling the game’s tempo and using his team’s depth to keep the pressure on the Cougars.

Offensively, the Knights got balanced scoring--with all 12 players that participated putting points in the scorebook. David Engelhaupt led the way for the game’s starters with 13 points, with Beau Schommer adding 12, Matt Miller and Nathan Boyle 10, along with eight points from Jacob Beller.

Norfolk Catholic shot 52 percent from the field and limited Sandy Creek to just 33 percent.

“I was pleased with our effort,” Anderson said. “All the guys that came in played very hard and, for the most part, played pretty smart. It didn’t seem like we got into ruts where we weren’t getting good shots. So offensively we did a lot of the things that we wanted to do. We shared the ball well.”

“Defensively, I thought our half-court defense was pretty good,” he said. “At times we may have let them split some traps and get up the floor, but when you press somebody it’s risk-and-reward. Tonight I thought we definitely got a lot more good out of it than bad.”

The Knight built a 10-point lead, at 24-14 in the first quarter, then broke the game open with a 14-0 run that helped put the game out of the Cougars’ reach by halftime as Norfolk Catholic put together another 24-point quarter that built a 48-22 advantage.

A pair of three-point plays and eight total points by Schommer and five more from Miller sparked the run.

“We’ve got eight guys that I feel really good about,” Anderson said. “We’ve got good depth at all the positions. I just told the guys who the starters were today, because in practice we’ve just been mixing and matching. I told them that we’ve got eight starters, our lineups may change, and they’re good with that--they just want to go out and play hard. This group is really focused on the team right now; they just want to play for each other. Hopefully we can keep that mentality.”

Norfolk Catholic, ranked No. 7 in the class C-1 preseason rankings, will face Kearney Catholic on Friday and will play in the tournament’s third round on Saturday against an opponent to be determined.

In the girls game the Knights established a 12-8 lead after the first quarter, with both teams struggling with turnovers in their first action of the season.

But in the second period Norfolk Catholic’s pressing defense began to take its toll, and the Knights’ transition game was instrumental in producing a 21-point quarter that led to a 33-15 halftime lead.

“We think that we need to get up and down the floor and take advantage of our athleticism,” Knights coach Tim Kassmeier said. “Geena (Piper) is a great presence inside, but we think we have some skill people to go around her, so I think that combination can be really good for us. We can change tempo from time-to-time that way also.”

Piper led Norfolk Catholic in scoring with 12 points, while Courtney Schindler and Alex Anderson each contributed 11 coming off the bench. Maddie Love added 10 points for the Knights.

Piper also led the Knights’ rebounding effort with 12. Bailey Ehlers grabbed six.

Kassmeier, who rotated players continuously throughout the game, saw his team extend its lead to 26-points at 50-24 after three quarters en route to the 66-38 win.

“We wanted to stay fresh for the end of the game,” Kassmeier said. “In case it ended up being a 32-minute game, then we wanted to be fresh for the fourth quarter, and we think we have good depth with eight or nine kids that can come out and play and do a lot of good things together.”

“Courtney was really good off the bench for us, and Alex was good off the bench,” he said. “We had good balance and we have a number of people who can score. I think that will really help us throughout the year.”

The Knights, who are pre-season ranked No. 6 in class C-1, will play No. 2-ranked Kearney Catholic on Friday and will face an opponent to be determined in a third game on Saturday.

Boys game

SC ..................................... 14 8 11 15--48

NC ..................................... 24 24 16 19--83

Individual scoring

SC: (0-1): Pedro Nunes 0-1 0-0 0; Brendan Lipovsky 6-12 7-10 20; Gabe Munoz 4-15 0-0 8; Colton Shuck 1-6 2-2 4; Corbin Hansen 2-7 2-2 4; Adam Woodbury 0-1 0-0 2; Chandler Soucie 0-1 0-0 0; Jaedin Switzer 1-1 0-0 2; Trace Gordanier 2-4 0-0 4; Jacob Schlick 1-4 0-0 2; Warren Wilson 0-1 0-0 0; Kendall Dickson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 18-55 10-14 48.

NC: (1-0): Seth Montag 3-6 0-2 6; Jacob Molacek 2-4 0-0 5; Jacob Beller 3-5 1-1 8; Myles Vrbka 3-5 1-2 9; Nathan Zach 1-3 0-0 2; Nathan Boyle 4-6 1-2 10; Matt Miller 4-7 1-2 10; Beau Schommer 5-10 2-2 12; Jarod Marsden 2-4 0-0 4; David Engelhaupt 6-9 1-3 13; Austin Becker 0-2 2-2 2; Nate Flaherty 1-4 0-0 2. Totals: 34-65 9-17 83.

Girls game

SC ................................ 8 7 9 14--38

NC ............................... 12 21 17 16-66

Individual scoring

SC: (0-1): Kenzie Turman 0-1 2-4 2; Sadie Svoboda 1-5 2-2 4; Kaylee Yost 1-2 0-0 2; Rylee Morris 2-4 0-2 5; Erika Harms 1-9 1-2 3; Coree Liposvky 3-3 0-0 6; Krista Johnson 1-4 2-2 4; Addison Kuta 3-4 2-2 8; Anna Novacek 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 12-33 11-16 38.

NC: (1-0): Hailey Lammers 1-2 0-0 2; Kallie Olmer 0-0 1-2 1; Joelle Heng 0-5 2-2 2; Maddie Love 5-8 0-0 10; Bailey Ehlers 1-4 1-4 3; Bailey Barnes 3-6 0-2 8; Alex Anderson 4-9 3-3 11; Kristin Maguire 1-2 0-0 2; Molly Knake 2-2 0-0 4; Courtney Schindler 4-8 3-4 11; Geena Piper 6-8 0-0 12. Totals: 27-52 10-17 66.

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