YORK — With its senior leader Brady Danielson sidelined with an injury in the first couple minutes of action, the Class B No. 4-rated York Dukes boys basketball team needed a full team effort Tuesday night on the road against the stingy Central Catholic Crusaders in Grand Island.
It got just that.
Four Dukes scored in double figures as York defeated Central Catholic 60-52 to improve to 11-1 on the year. The win is the Dukes’ eighth straight while the Crusaders, No. 9 in the Omaha World-Herald’s Class C-1 ratings, drop to 9-3.
Senior Garrett Snodgrass led the team with 15 points — 10 of which came in the first quarter — while classmate Reid Hoffmann poured in 14. Senior Wyatt Cast added 13 points with senior point guard Jeb Lucas chipping in with 12.
“Those guys really stepped up,” York head coach Scott Lamberty said after the game. “They moved the basketball, they found the open man, they attacked the basket. We still have to shoot free throws a little bit better in the fourth quarter, and it’s kind of a combination of relaxing, focusing and probably legs.”
After finding a rhythm early in the game, the Dukes outscored the Crusaders 21-7 after the first eight minutes. Snodgrass’ 10 points were the highlight while others, like Cast, had moments, too. The 6-foot-5 Cast usually does his damage under the hoop, but Tuesday night he showed his range with a corner 3-pointer.
But Central Catholic eventually settled into the game and cut the Dukes’ halftime lead to just 11 points, 33-22.
After gaining a 46-30 advantage at the end of the third, it seemed like York would cruise to the win in the fourth. But coach Tino Martinez’s Crusaders had other plans.
Central Catholic rattled off 22 points in the final eight minutes and held York to just 14. The Crusaders cut their deficit to 48-42 with 4:50 left in the fourth and 56-50 with 1:19 remaining, but that was as close as they got to the Dukes.
York sealed the win at the free-throw line, making 12 of 18 in the fourth to keep its distance from the hosts.
With Danielson out, other Dukes showed they’re capable on the defensive end of the court.
“But the biggest thing for us was, Jake Erwin guarded his fanny off. It was the same thing that Brady would have done,” Lamberty said. “That allowed us to play our normal defense. I thought Sam Kohmetscher came in and did a good job defensively. Morgan Conner came in, Tyler Wright came in and gave Jeb a quick break. I thought all those guys did a good job to help us stay the course.”
Central Catholic’s ability didn’t surprise Lamberty at all. He saw the talent on film.
“They can shoot the heck out of it and are athletic,” he said of the Crusaders. “They really take care of the basketball well. They have two good guys in the post, shooters that come off screens well.”
York (11-1)................21 12 13 14 — 60
AT GICC (9-3)..............7 15 8 22 — 52
York scoring: Garrett Snodgrass 15, Reid Hoffmann 14, Wyatt Cast 13, Jeb Lucas 12, Jake Erwin 4, Brady Danielson 2.
GICC scoring: Jack Goering 19, Jacob Herbek 15, Peyton Kort 6, Isaac Herbek 6, Koby Bales 4, Brayden Wenzel 2.
Dukes drop to 6-7 with road loss to Central Catholic
YORK — The York Dukes girls basketball team is in the midst of a tough stretch of the schedule.
After losing on the road to Class B No. 3 Grand Island Northwest Saturday night, the Dukes made a return trip to Grand Island on Tuesday to face another rated opponent, the one-loss Central Catholic Crusaders, who entered the game C-1 No. 6 in the Omaha World-Herald.
Like they have recently, the York girls made things interesting in the last minute against tough competition, but on Tuesday they came up just short against the Crusaders, losing 46-38 to drop to 6-7 on the season.
What’s next? A third consecutive road game against a rated opponent on Friday in Class B No. 6 Crete (7-4).
“It’s tough because you don’t see the win, but the reality is we’re playing teams we need to play to get us to the level we need to get to. We can get a win against a two-win opponent, and it may feel good because it’s a win, but the reality is you’re not getting better playing that competition.”
Central Catholic has talented pieces to its team. The Crusaders have two Division I volleyball recruits in 5-foot-10 senior Megan Woods and 5-8 junior Katie Maser. Woods signed with Nebraska-Omaha in November while Maser verbally pledged in April to play at Creighton.
Woods wound up scoring a game-high 19 points and was a big part to Central Catholic taking a 27-22 halftime lead by scoring 12 points.
After starting the second half down by seven, the Dukes cut that deficit to just two points, 34-32, when junior Natalia Dick received an entry pass to the post but fired a quick pass back out to freshman Maddie Portwine, who drained her third 3-pointer of the game with around six minutes left in regulation.
After a corner 3 from Central Catholic’s Rylie Rice gave the Crusaders a 38-33 advantage, another York freshman, Destiny Shepherd, came up big with a triple of her own with 1:55 left to put the Dukes’ deficit at just 38-36.
But York struggled to rebound the ball off missed Crusader free throws in the final minute. Central Catholic outscored York 12-10 in the fourth, and all but three points came from free throws.
“Sometimes it’s hard to see your improvement when you’re playing tough teams like this and you’re not getting the win,” Kern said. “But the reality is this team is getting better and playing real hard.”
York (6-7).................7 15 6 10 — 38
At GICC (11-1).........12 15 7 12 — 46
York scoring: Maddie Portwine 17, Masa Scheierman 10, Destiny Shepherd 6, Natalia Dick 5.
GICC scoring: Megan Woods 19, Rylie Rice 9, Jenna Heidelk 7, Katie Maser 5, Jenna Lowry 4, Elli Steenson 2.