Published Friday, January 17, 2014 at 12:01 am / Updated at 1:10 am
BASKETBALL
Islanders run past North Platte

Grand Island Senior High came out running against North Platte on Friday.

And the Islanders didn’t stop until they had secured a 55-40 victory.

Allie Richardson came off the bench to score 16 points and help set the fast-paced tone for the Islanders.

Richardson was 7-for-8 from the floor with her points coming off of transition plays.

"When she is in attack mode, we’re a very good team," Grand Island coach Alex Michel said. "One of our strengths of our team is our bench, and she would start for a lot of teams.

"I look at us as we have seven, eight starters, and they all contribute in their way."

The Islanders’ half-court trap started generating turnovers from the start, helping them shoot 10-for-13 in the first quarter to take a 22-13 lead.

Richardson had six points while Leigh Uhing scored eight of her 14 points in the opening period.

"Every one of our games, we’re trying to get better and better at transition," Michel said. "Our girls did a great job tonight of sprinting the court and getting out and running.

"We work on 2-on-1 all the time in practice, and it really showed today. Our girls made great decisions on 2-on-1 situations."

The Bulldogs (8-4) defeated the Islanders 66-61 in the season opener, but they couldn’t keep pace this time around.

"We didn’t match their intensity, and we talked to the girls about that," North Platte coach Mark Woodhead said. "What do they have to lose? We beat them the first time.

"From a shooting standpoint, we took good shots. But that game is played between the ears. Mentally we weren’t even there."

The Islanders (6-6) led 31-22 at the half before all but putting the game away in the third. More transition points led to 7-for-8 shooting and a 47-27 advantage going into the final period.

"In the second half, some of their transition points, I couldn’t believe they were going in," Woodhead said. "But when you’re riding a wave, everything goes good."

Grand Island made six more baskets than North Platte despite attempting 28 fewer shots. The Islanders finished 21-for-36 (58.3 percent) from the floor while the Bulldogs went 15-for-64 (23.4 percent).

"Defensively we had a ton of deflections in our half-court trap," Michel said. "That turned out to be the difference. It got us out running. It was fun."

Woodhead said North Platte’s mistakes that helped set up Grand Island’s transition attack.

"Transition was a result of turnovers," he said. "It was just a matter that we made bad decisions. ...I don’t want to play down Grand Island’s half-court press, but we’re struggling right now. Our last three games, we just haven’t played very well."

Kaitlynn Harvey and Sally Hengen each scored 12 points to lead the Bulldogs.

NORTH PLATTE (8-4): Doughty 0-7 2-2 2, Sawyer 2-11 1-2 7, Harvey 5-17 0-0 12, Hengen 5-10 0-0 12, Hunt 2-4 1-2 5, Martinez 0-5 0-0 0, Hays 0-2 0-0 0, Kosmacek 1-3 0-0 2, Wilke 0-2 0-0 0, Johnson 0-3 0-2 0. Totals 15-64 4-8 40.

GRAND ISLAND (6-6): Splattstoesser 2-3 0-0 6, Harvey 1-4 1-2 3, Lib. Norvell 1-3 4-5 6, Armstrong 1-2 4-4 6, Uhing 7-12 0-0 14, A. Richardson 7-8 2-2 16, Lin. Norvell 1-3 0-0 2, Jacobson 0-0 0-1 0, Wells 0-0 0-0 0, Wooden 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-36 11-14 55.

North Platte ........................... 13 9 5 13—40
Grand Island ......................... 22 9 16 8—55

3-point field goals—NP 6-26 (Doughty 0-3, Sawyer 2-4, Martinez 0-3, Kosmacek 0-2, Harvey 2-9, Hengen 2-5), GI 2-4 (Splattstoesser 2-2, Lib. Norvell 0-1, Uhing 0-1). Fouled out—none. Rebounds—NP 34 (Sawyer 9), GI 36 (Harvey, Lib. Norvell 7). Assists—NP 12 (Doughty, Hunt 3), GI 8 (Harvey, Armstrong 2). Turnovers—NP 21, GI 28. Total fouls—NP 15, GI 11. Technicals—none.

BOYS

GRAND ISLAND — All North Platte needed to pull away from Grand Island Senior High on Friday was a desperation heave travel three-quarters of the court and swish through the net.

Kade Erickson delivered the long-distance momentum-changer at the end of the third quarter to give the Bulldogs a seven-point lead, and they went on to pull away for a 68-52 victory.

Erickson’s 3-pointer was an even bigger boost that many of those types of baskets.

North Platte (7-5) had started holding onto the ball with 55 seconds left in the third and a 38-32 lead, trying to run down the clock for one shot.

But the Islanders (3-9) stole the ball, and Tanner Shuck’s layup cut the lead to four with four seconds left.

A quick inbounds pass to Erickson and one long throw later, the momentum swung sharply back in the Bulldogs’ favor.

"Quite honestly, I was so upset about the turnover that happened before that I didn’t get too excited about it," North Platte coach Matt Kaminski said. "But it was amazing that we came out one point ahead in that situation.

"You’ll take momentum any time you can get that, and that was a big shot. It was pretty cool, and I’m glad it went our way. I’m glad it propelled us to good things."

Grand Island coach Jeff Hofeldt said that shot added to a frustrating night for the Islanders.

"That three was huge, but at the same time we didn’t execute offensively all night what we wanted to do," he said. "We talked at halftime, and again we failed to execute (in the second half).

"It’s not everybody, but at the same time it takes five guys out there on the floor to be able to do things well. That’s why it’s called a team sport. If it was called an individual sport, sometimes it’d be easy."

Erickson, who had two points before his buzzer-beater, finished with a game-high 19 points. He connected on a much more traditional trey 28 seconds into the fourth quarter and later added seven points in a 15-0 run that sealed the game after the Islanders had clawed back to within four.

Shane Mauch added 17 points to help make up for the limited playing time of Drew Callaghan. The 6-foot-7 senior was limited to four points — 13 below his season average — while battling foul trouble throughout the game.

"With Drew on the bench most of the game, we needed our next two scorers to step up, and I thought they did that along with our bench players," Kaminski said.

"I told the team how much we’ve come along as a team, and they had an opportunity tonight where we needed some guys to step up, and they did that."

Hofeldt said the Islanders didn’t take advantage of Callaghan’s foul problems.

"We get Callaghan with four fouls, and we can’t get the ball inside or we can’t convert inside," he said. "I’m really frustrated on that end.

"These guys can play really well, and then they can come out and lay an egg like they did tonight."

Tanner Shuck led Grand Island with 17 points. Pierce Almond chipped in 11.

NORTH PLATTE (7-5): Mauch 4-7 8-8 17, Anderson 3-8 2-2 8, Erickson 4-8 9-10 19, Allberry 2-5 1-2 5, Callaghan 1-3 2-2 4, Mason 3-5 0-0 7, Wesslund 0-0 0-0 0, Wilkinson 0-0 0-2 0, Foote 3-4 2-3 8. Totals 20-40 24-29 68.

GRAND ISLAND (3-9): Almond 4-15 0-0 11, Shuck 6-10 1-2 17, J. Morrow 1-3 1-2 3, Chol 0-7 3-4 3, Wojtalewicz 2-4 0-2 4, Stuhr 0-2 0-0 0, Roberg 0-1 0-0 0, Root 0-0 0-0 0, Biel 1-2 1-2 3, Jeffries 1-1 0-0 2, Huston 0-0 0-0 0, Uhing 3-6 1-1 7, B. Morrow 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 18-52 9-15 52.

North Platte ............................... 10 16 15 27—68
Grand Island ............................. 10 17 7 18—52

3-point field goals—NP 4-12 (Mason 1-3, Mauch 1-4, Erickson 2-5), GI 7-20 (Almond 3-10, Shuck 4-6, J. Morrow 0-2, Roberg 0-1, Uhing 0-1). Fouled out—none. Rebounds—NP 29 (Mauch, Allberry, Callaghan 7), GI 31 (Chol, Wojtalewicz 6). Assists—NP 7 (Anderson 3), GIC 12 (Huston 5). Turnovers—NP 13, GI 17. Total fouls—NP 17, GI 25. Technicals—none.

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