|Plainsmen avenge losses; win SPVA crown|
By Pastor Vince Carrig
Michael York’s 18 points and daunting defense vaulted the Plainsmen to a 47-32 walloping of the Maxwell Wildcats and an SPVA tournament title at North Platte Community College Saturday night.
York swished an open three- pointer to give Perkins County a 17-9 lead as part of a two-and-a-half quarter, 24-8 run.
Defense keyed the offense, however, as the Plainsmen locked down the lane and left even explosive scorer Darin Williams few attractive options.
“We set a goal to hold them under 25 [for the game] at halftime,” Head Coach Shawn Cole said after the game. Maxwell got just 26 from its starters, anyway.
Perkins County center Kye Kurkowski basically forced Maxwell to pick its poison, snuffing four shots in the first quarter and eight in the game. With Kurkowski saying, “Get that outta here,” Maxwell had to try York’s post.
Like at his football “safety” position, York vacuumed in three first quarter interceptions and Perkins County’s low-post essentially detoured most of Maxwell’s offense outside of the painted area.
The Wildcats’ meager point output of 15 after three quarters does not overstate the dominance of Perkins County’s defense. Williams notched 15 points for the game, but over half of those came in a too-little, too-late fourth quarter effort, which Maxwell began behind at 33-15.
Third quarter three-pointers by Max Jones and Nick Turner, along with a breakneck speed layup and bank shot he didn’t “call” from Josh Sexson blew open the trophy case for Perkins County and allowed it to grasp another carved wood decoration.
Turner hooked in a put-back for the winners as well.
“I have always believed in these guys to make shots when they were open. They all stepped up. These were all shots that fell when we needed them to [fall],” Coach Cole said.
York painted the finishing touches on a masterpiece win over a 12-1 Maxwell team by nailing down seven consecutive fourth quarter free throws. He hit nine of 10 overall.
York finished what he started with four first quarter points, two of which came from a turnaround-in-the-air jumper which he glanced off the glass.
York victimized Williams for two steals and a snuff, and the rest of his Plainsmen teammates limited each Maxwell starter to no more than three points apiece.
Jeremy Hagan’s mid-range shooting accuracy chipped in eight points for the Plainsmen, although he did bank a half-court, cross-court missile from York for an easy score.
The younger Hagan sealed Williams out of the paint by hustling to the baseline, only to watch Williams land a rainbow fall-away in the net. More of that from Williams, who shot just two-for-seven in the first half, could have created a different outcome.
Wildcats Head Coach Travis Klein hailed three fourth-quarter timeouts, apparently believing that Maxwell had a four-minute, 16-point comeback in the pockets of their uniform trunks. Turns out their trunks have no pockets, and the extra delays sapped all of the energy out of my second laptop battery.
The Plainsmen avenged a Dec. 29, 46-40 Perkins County Booster Club Holiday Tournament final loss to Maxwell with the win.
Perkins Co. 8 9 16 14—47
Maxwell 4 7 4 17—32
The Plainsmen 9-6 savored the victory but their chuckling will end on their bus ride to an immediate rematch in Maxwell on Friday. Julesburg wants a piece of the Plainsmen on Saturday night, so Perkins County will travel again.