YORK – The York girls nearly shut out No. 5 (MaxPreps.com) Gretna in the first period Friday in the Duke Dome. Trouble was they couldn't score either.
The eventual result, once the Dragons found some rhythm with their high-intensity defensive pressure, was a 39-24 Gretna win.
The Dragons improved to 10-1 and will host Nebraska City next Thursday. York, now 6-3, must regroup in a hurry with a trip to Grand Island Northwest looming tonight. The Vikings, 8-1 going into their home game last night against Lakeview, are always a handful.
Against the Dragons on Friday, York senior Aleah Rosenau yanked down the first two rebounds of the game, both Gretna misses.
Junior Erin Malleck spotted up and popped a three through the string with 4:15 showing on the first-quarter clock, but that would end up being it for York in the period.
Gretna finally erased the goose egg on their side of the board with a free throw at 1:15 of the opening period.
Audra Keehn hit a deuce at 1:05 for the Dragons and that was all it took to tie the Dukes 3-3 at the first horn.
The second period began with a Rosenau bucket off a Malleck assist at 7:45, but after a string of transition baskets for Gretna off steals it got to 11-5 Dragons.
Gretna inbounded the ball at midcourt in the final ticks of the half and came up with a layup to make it 13-7 at intermission.
The Dukes were very much in it, but the damage from Gretna's pressure was mounting.
Hannah Riley, who led all scorers with 12 points, hit a jumper to make it 13-9, but a 7-0 Dragon run had York down 20-9 until Riley scored again on a baseline drive.
A Riley three at 1:25 of the fourth was pretty, but too late.
“Their pressure was intense!” So said York coach Matt Kern. “We had looks in the first half that would have changed the game,” but the ball refused to fall. “We knew we had to win 39-35 or something,” he said of a score that would have worked in his team's favor.
York's own pressure “gave them (Gretna) some fits late, but you gotta score 40,” he said.
Game times tonight at Northwest are 6 p.m. (girls) and 7:45 (boys).
Score by quarters:
Gretna (10-1)...........................3 10 7 19 – 39
York (6-3)........................3 4 4 13 – 24
Gretna (39) – Schuetz 4 0-0 8, Kruse 2 1-2 5, Janovich 4 0-3 8, Miller 4 0-0 8, Ross 2 (1) 0-0 5, Keehn 2 1-1 5. Totals – 18 (1) 2-6 39.
York (24) – Riley 4 (1) 3-4 12, Grenfell 0 1-2 1, Peterson 1 0-0 2, Malleck 1 (1) 2-2 5, Rosenau 1 2-2 4. Totals – 7 (2) 8-10 24.