|Plainsmen cruise by SW, lose in Hershey|
By Pastor Vince Carrig
The Plainsmen started their season with a balanced scoring attack and a 25-1 run as they vanquished the Southwest Roughriders by a staggering 60 points, 73-13, Friday night on Larry Pritchett Court in Grant.
Senior Plainsmen center Kye Kurkowski ran the Roughriders out of town with a hot shooting hand, swishing three first quarter jumpers. He later added a dunk, a sky hook, and a rainmaker free throw before calling it a good night with 15 points.
Perkins County swingman Michael York added insult to injury by creating a pair of three-point plays for himself in the first quarter, on his way to nine in the frame and 11 for the game.
On an unusual call, York got the opportunity for a world-record five-point play. York accepted stolen goods from guard Josh Sexson, and laid it through the hoop while absorbing a foul from Southwest’s Michael Brodd. The referees believed that Brodd slapped the backboard in an attempt to disrupt York’s shot, and slapped Brodd with a technical foul.
York got to shoot two technical foul shots plus the “and one” on the layup; the junior stroked two of the three through and thanked Southwest for the memories and the points.
Southwest scored on just four field goals—three of the three-point variety—and two free throws. The Roughriders scored just a three pointer in the whole second half, leaving score sheet box for the third quarter completely blank.
Two of the Roughriders’ three pointers went off with only air and a prayer: Brodd threw his up from between the circles as the first quarter’s time ran out, and forward Bradley Hoffman had run out of options before spinning and heaving. To his credit, forward Dylan McConville looked like a pro in launching a three pointer destined for the net at release.
Perkins County juniors Austin Gaston and Jeremy Hagan reached double figures as well with 12 points and 10 points respectively.
Hagan got the three-ball working for him, dialing up two in the second quarter.
Gaston went berserk in the fourth quarter, piling on nine points with at least one layup, jumper and free throw figuring in the total.
Chase Lampmann provided great secondary scoring for his Plainsmen, dropping in eight—including both free throws he took. Lampmann both gave out and received nifty passes, and downed a jumpshot from 15 feet away.
Freshmen Quinton Hite and Alex Johnston both scored their first varsity points in their first game, with Johnston’s shot glancing the glass and Hite hitting from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter.
4 6 0 3—13
Perkins County Plainsmen
25 20 12 16—73
Perkins County vs. Hershey
Hershey guards Jimmy Moore and Keegan Kuroki created and shot through windows of opportunity and the Panthers hit 93 percent of their free throws in defeating the Plainsmen 57-47 Saturday evening in Hershey.
Neither Moore nor Kuroki led Hershey in scoring, but both scored at critical times to keep the Panthers a safe distance ahead.
After connecting on a three pointer, Kuroki stole a pass and dropped it down for a quick five points and a 15-9 first quarter Hershey lead.
Moore struck hard and fast as well, jumping loudly into the lane to hit a 10-footer, and then banking a shot on the Panthers’ next possession. Hershey’s lead went from 36-29 to 40-29 very quickly thanks to him.
Moore also hit two free throws with 45 seconds remaining to make sure the Plainsmen approached no closer than five points.
Despite a 17-point game from Michael York, the Plainsmen never really got close enough to the Panthers to haul them down after Kuroki’s quick five points.
York stuck in a three pointer on the run after taking a turnover to try to start a Perkins County rally, but Hershey hit all of its nine fourth quarter free throws to emerge with the win.
Jordan Blomstedt scored 12 for Hershey, with most of his damage done close to the basket.
Hershey used effective ball movement to get the ball to the post when not scoring from the wing or in transition.
Hershey played physical defense and decided to handle guarding 6-foot-10 Plainsmen center Kye Kurkowski by committee. Blomstedt himself fouled out, and his accomplice, Jordan Hiatt, walked the line with four fouls.
But the Plainsmen shot just 13-for-29 (45 percent) from the free throw line, including a devastating one-for-nine in the second half.
York only got significant scoring support from Kurkowski, whose five points in the third quarter pushed him toward eight for the game. Kurkowski’s turnaround jumper and later foul shot cut Hershey’s third quarter lead to five points at 34-29, but the Plainsmen never really mounted a rally to make Hershey panic.
Perkins County Plainsmen 11 9 9 18—47
Hershey Panthers 19 13 8 17—5
The 1-1 Plainsmen welcome the 0-3 Kimball Longhorns to Grant on Friday night. Kimball lost to Sidney and Gering by an average of nine points.
Perkins County heads east to Gothenburg on Saturday for a showdown with the 1-1 Swedes. Gothenburg took down Hershey but lost by a basket in overtime to Lexington.