YORK – After turning an ankle then returning to Friday night’s win over Holdrege, there was no way that York senior Natalia Dick wasn’t going to be ready to play on Senior Night in York.
Dick, a 5-foot-11 post, dominated in the paint with a game-high 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field as the Dukes improved to 15-6 with a 48-39 win over the Columbus Lakeview Vikings in girls’ Central Conference action.
“She stepped on a foot last night and it rolled up. I was actually shocked to see her come back last night, and when she came back that was awesome,” York head coach Matt Kern said. “We talked to her about it today and we talked to the trainer, and she was good to go and we knew she didn’t want to miss tonight. But if it would have been best for her we would have sat her out tonight. She’s a tough kid.”
York junior Maddie Portwine was right behind the senior as she added 19 points, which included 3 of 4 from behind the 3-point arc. Over her last six games, Portwine’s shooting from behind the 3-point arc has come around as she’s 12 of 29 for 41 percent.
After York jumped to a 4-0 lead, the Vikings answered with a 4-0 run to tie the game.
The Dukes then went on a 13-3 run to close out the first quarter and they never looked back.
York led by 12 points at the half, 27-15, and extended its lead well into the teens several times in the third.
Lakeview kept battling, but could never get the lead to less than 10 points until the final seconds of the game.
The Dukes were 19 of 51 from the field for 37 percent and just 4 of 17 on 3-point attempts.
At the free-throw line, York converted 6 of 12 chances.
The Vikings were led in scoring by Reese Janssen with 17 points while Madison Vogt chipped in with nine.
Kern said the team played much better than they did on Friday night against Holdrege, and the early scoring burst was a key to the win.
“I thought we played better tonight. We played a lot more loose and relaxed. I feel that we are back on track and we will keep trying to get better,” Kern said. “It was a very emotional night and I was pretty proud of the way we played. We were a very unselfish team tonight as they worked the ball into Natalia and they (Lakeview) were trying to take Maddie away. I thought both of the girls did a great job of scoring. When you set the tone early and can score that way it is pretty hard to battle back.”
York has two games remaining before the regular season comes to an end. The Dukes will host the undefeated Class B No. 1 Crete Cardinals on Tuesday night and travel to Seward on Friday, where it will close out the regular season.
“We will try to mix it up some, but there is only so much you can do. We have some ideas that we can try and see how those work,” Kern said of Tuesday’s matchup with Crete. “Hopefully we can be competitive and hang in there with them.”
Columbus Lakeview (8-12) 7 8 12 12 – 39
York (15-6) 17 10 13 8 – 48
Lakeview scoring: Rowe 5, Janssen 17, Eberhart 2, Vogt 9, Korte 6.
York scoring: Scheierman 4, Shepherd 2, Portwine 19, Pohl 3, Dick 20.