|Plainsmen capsize the Sutherland Sailors|
By Pastor Vince Carrig
Plainsmen forward Michael York snuffed Sutherland center Alex Harkness’ shot, sidearm-hurled an outlet pass to Kye Kurkowski, and watched Kurkowski dunk it to help Perkins County clobber the Sailors 37-21 Saturday night in Grant.
The incredible pass and dunk put the finishing touches on a 14-2, third quarter rout in which five Plainsmen scored and Kurkowski did the most damage with six points.
Statistically their best quarter, the Plainsmen have outscored their opponents 115-83 in 10 third quarters this season.
Harkness crammed in a put-back and Travis Chandler dropped in a pass along the baseline as Sutherland actually enjoyed an early 5-2 lead.
But Kurkowski (14 points) and the Plainsmen submerged the Sailors in some choppy waters with a 14-3 first quarter run as the Perkins County center swished two jumpers and rolled a hook shot down the hatch.
Perkins County guard Josh Sexson’s speed and hustle bothered Sutherland, as he constantly presented himself as the open man in their offensive sets, and helped hold the Sailors’ entire guard corps to six points all night. Sexson (six points) stuck in a foul line jumper off a kick-out from Kurkowski and smacked down a breakaway layup on the defensive side of the court.
Kurkowski and York can take plenty of credit for making sure no Sailors player collected more than six points, changing some shots and snuffing out six others.
York injected himself between a couple of Sutherland passes and ran them to the other end, as well as scoring a ball off the backboard while hanging in the air and spinning at the same time. York finished with seven points.
n an unusually quick game, the teams only received 10 foul shots combined, with each team capitalizing on two apiece.
Only Perkins County forward Max Jones and Sailors guard Ryan McConnell reached from beyond the arc, and each only did it once.
ones actually shot his three pointer from the top of his jump, and later flipped a soft shot straight through the net.
Shane O’Connor’s alley-oop raced his Irish to a 13-2 lead and St. Pat’s kept the Plainsmen in their rear-view mirror all of Friday night in their 43-34 win in North Platte.
O’Connor’s excellent body control allowed him to wedge into both open and tight spaces and make sure his shot went down the hole.
O’Connor guided in 10 field goals for 20 points. The rest of his entire team combined for only five field goals, although two of guard Sean O’Malley’s three tallies counted for three points apiece.
Perkins County gained traction on the Irish late in the second quarter and early in the third quarter, only to watch St. Pat’s pull away on the scoreboard.
Plainsmen guards Nick Turner and Josh Sexson laced together a three-point play and a full-lane drive, respectively, to close the gap to two points at 15-13, and punctuate an 11-2 counterattack.
Guard Sean O’Malley, however, throttled that comeback with a three-pointer.
Perkins County swingman Michael York crossed O’Connor over and Plainsmen center Kye Kurkowski swirled in a shot from the foul line to nearly catch the Irish at 22-21.
But O’Connor scooped in a layup and tipped a Plainsmen pass to himself before running it most of the court and Perkins County tailgated no closer than 26-21 in the third quarter.
Kurkowski hammered down a hook shot and a turnaround jumper from the first right hash mark to give the Plainsmen hope against hope at 39-34, but 1:13 gave North Platte enough time to make the foul shots it needed.
Kurkowski snuffed O’Connor in the closing minutes, but O’Connor grabbed the blocked shot and banged it off the backboard to seal the win.
Plainsmen games follow Lady Plainsmen games this week, as 5-5 Perkins County looks forward to 2-7 Chase County’s visit today (Thursday) before heading to play an always-tough 8-2 Wauneta-Palisade Broncos team.