|York sets the pace as Plainsmen thump Sedgwick Co. Cougars 64-49|
By Pastor Vince Carrig
Michael York looked like a flying, shooting field goal machine in scoring 22 points as his Plainsmen tore away from Sedgwick County, ran away and hid in their 64-49 win Saturday night in Julesburg.
York dribbled three-quarters of the court for an open layup that put Perkins County ahead 4-2; the visitors in red never looked back.
York registered only field goals (11 of them) on attempts as varied as hanging in the air and using the glass, a 16-foot jumper, dribbling through the entire lane, and taking contact at the basket to get points.
“Michael played great. A lot of [his great play] was some of the stuff Kye [Kurkowski] was doing—helping to open the lane, and a lot of it Michael gets off his defense; he can dribble the floor and get a shot off,” Head Coach Shawn Cole said of York’s performance.
Kye Kurkowski worked in tandem with York to post 16 points himself, boldly dunking out of the offensive set for the first time. Kurkowski accepted a pass at the left block, spun two steps to shed his defender and crammed the ball into the cylinder for an 18-9 Plainsmen advantage.
“I guess I’ve been wishing we were seeing more of it all season. It’s just one of those things where I don’t think I feel it as much as the rest of the team does, but it just fires guys up and slows the other team down—their momentum and anything they have going for them—it gets to them,” Kurkowski said of the dunk after the game.
Keeping the Cougars on life support and providing an interesting sub-plot worth following, guard Richie Rochlitz spun up six—not a misprint—six three pointers. At least two of those shots hit net with hard rotation after falling from a perfect arc.
Forward Trevor Kantor began to take the same shortcut to a Sedgwick County comeback, hitting a three to help cut the Plainsmen lead to six at 42-36 with 6:36 left.
Michael York quickly quelled the uprising with a long jumper, and Kantor and teammate Johnny Ornelas later hit three pointers either because that worked better than plays in the paint or for their own amusement.
The Plainsmen reinforcement brigade finished what the first five started, with five reserves scoring. Chief among them, Chase Lampmann drained a mid-lane putback and another just left of the lane along with two free throws for six points. Lampmann also penetrated deep before dishing Kurkowski a basket and served York on a platter after dribbling the ball behind his back.
Erik Hagan played big under the rim and put in two close-range shots for Perkins County, and cousin Jeremy fed the hoop from short and long range; both finished with four points.
Quinton Hite and Mitch Cornelius both hit the two free throws they earned late in the fourth quarter.
Both Kurkowski and York brought intimidation to the court, with each snuffing two shots. They took turns on Ornelas, with one stuffing him then the other on the same play.
“Having that second person down there to alter shots is a pretty big deal with the pressure defense that we play if we get beat to the basket—it helps our perimeter guys play defense,” Coach Cole said of Kurkowski and York’s shot-blocking capabilities.
Perkins Co. vs. Sedgwick Co.
Perkins County 18 12 12 22—64
Sedgwick Co. 12 9 7 21—49
The 2009-10 Plainsmen play their last home game in Grant against the 5-11 Cozad Haymakers. Perkins County seeks its 11th win (seven losses) against a team that has suffered double-digit defeats at the hands of common opponents Hershey, North Platte St. Pat’s and Gothenburg.