Northwest executed its game plan to pressure Schuyler’s guards and paired it with its best offensive game of the season Saturday at home.
The Vikings toppled Schuyler 52-37 by forcing 20 Warrior turnovers and scoring a season-high in points.
The film on Schuyler gave Vikings head coach Rico Burkett a glimpse at what would happen if they applied ball pressure, and it played out like he hoped.
“We told our girls that it might not result in a steal but if we can get them to make hurried decisions that we can come away with turnovers or an extra possession,” he said. “Early in the ballgame, we were able to convert some of those turnovers into points. “
With the Vikings guards meeting the Warriors defensively at midcourt, Schuyler couldn’t get anything going. The Warriors shot 50 percent from the field in the first quarter, but only attempted six shots and tallied nine turnovers.
Kylie Broich accounted for over half of the Vikings first-quarter points, hitting an early 3-pointer and hitting three free throws after being fouled while shooting behind the arc.
Schuyler cut the gap in the second quarter with back-to-back buckets from Maddy Wolfe and Lauren Kasik, but Northwest built the lead back up with an 8-2 run to finish the half, thanks in part to a couple of scores from Bailey Parr.
The Vikings had 16 made field goals on 12 team assists to help them score their season-high. Northwest made seven more free throws (15) than Schuyler attempted (8).
“We felt that if we had good ball movement and attacked at the right opportunities, we’d have some open looks,” Burkett said. “To our credit, our perimeter players did a good job with that ball reversal and finding the open person. I thought our post players did a decent job of getting us some nice opportunities with offensive rebounds and stick backs.”
Northwest was unable to completely put the Warriors away in the third quarter, as it gave away eight turnovers, more than the rest of the game combined.
“I felt like were what I call scoreboard watching,” Burkett said. “I thought we knew we had a 10-point lead and I thought we took some chances and we weren’t as tight or disciplined with the basketball.”
Sierra Holliday helped get the Vikings back on track, scoring all nine of her points in the second half, including six in the fourth where the Vikings pulled away. Holliday also had a game-high nine rebounds.
Broich finished with 16 points, three assists and three rebounds. Freshman Whitney Jensen scored nine points on 4-of-5 shooting.
Burkett said he would like to see better interior defense as Warrior post player Wolfe scored 18 points.
They’ll have their chance against Fairbury in the opening round of the Central Conference Monday, a team Burkett says plays similarly to Schuyler.
“Fairbury has two young post players,” he said. “They’ll post cross screen to try to get some high-low opportunities and their strength is down low. We’ll have to match their effort and intensity.”
Schuyler (1-13) ............................ 6 10 8 13—37
Northwest (5-9) ........................... 14 13 9 16—52
SCHUYLER — Reb. Folda 2-3 0-0 4, Marxsen 1-3 0-1 2, Korth 1-3 0-0 2, Adame 0-3 0-0 0, Wolfe 8-15 2-3 18, Rea. Folda 1-7 0-0 3, Kasik 3-4 2-4 8, Totals 17-387 4-18
NORTHWEST — Bahe 1-3 0-1 3, Holliday 3-5 3-3 9, Mayfield 0-3 2-5 2, Broich 4-13 7-9 16, Parr 2-6 1-2 6, Jensen 4-5 0-0 9, Cooper 1-4 2-2 4, Totals 16-41 15-22 52.
Boys: Northwest 57, Schuyler 34
The Vikings didn’t let a slow start stop them in a 57-34 victory over Schuyler Saturday in Grand Island.
Northwest committed a few wild passes in its half-court sets to give Schuyler a chance to hang around early, but once the Vikings found their flow, the Warriors couldn’t keep up
The Vikings were coming off a 33-22 loss to Hastings Friday, and head coach Ryan Rathke said he was pleased to see the rise in offensive production.
“Offensively, I thought we the shot the ball pretty well,” he said “We wanted to come out and get some confidence back. We have guys that I know can make shots, so it was key for us to bounce back right after the game last night.”
Christian Ellsworth hit a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter to help lead the Vikings with 10 first-half points.
Brook Brown pressured the Warriors by attacking the rim, sometimes scoring and sometimes kicking out to the open man.Northwest began to put the contest away in the third quarter, taking their largest lead of the game (26) on a basket from Will Mettenbrink.
Brown finished with 17 points six rebounds and three assists for the Vikings. Ellsworth added 14 points and six rebounds. Preston Hall scored 20 points for the Warriors.
“I thought Brook had one of his best games that he played,” Rathke said. “Christian also has been scoring for us the last few weeks and we need to continue to have that production with both those guys.”
Rathke was also pleased with the defensive side of the ball.
“We needed to be disruptive on defense. That was one of our keys to the game,” he said. “Our 1-3-1 zone defense was disruptive. In our man-to-man, we hoped to disrupt their offense and what they wanted to do.”
Northwest begins the Central Conference Tournament Monday.
Schuyler (2-12) ........................... 7 10 9 8—34
Northwest (7-8) ........................... 16 16 17 8—57
SCHUYLER — Brabek 0-1 0-0 0, Zrust 1-4 0-0 2, Flynn 0-3 0-0 0, Kovar 1-3 0 3, Mendoza 0-1 0-0 0, Beebe 1-5 0-0 2, A. Hall 1-3 0-2 2, Peterson 2-3 0-0 4, P. Hall 7-12 6-6 20, Westerbuhr 1-2 2, 14-37 7-10 34.
NORTHWEST — Daws 1-1 2-3 4, Brown 1-1 0-0 2, Bydalek 0-1 0-0 0, Fredricks 0-1 0-0 0, Lierman 1-2 2-5 4, Ellsworth 6-9 0-0 14, Schliep 1-1 0-0 2, Mettenbrink 2-6 2-2 8, Brown 6-12 1-2 17, R. Glause 2-4 0-0 5, B. Glause 0-0 2-2 2, Totals 20-38 9-14 57.