YORK — Coming into the B-5 district final Monday night at York High School, the Platteview Trojans were hot, winning their previous eight games. But with a trip to the Class B state tournament on the line, the Trojans were stopped cold in their tracks and instead subjected to a 32-minute nightmare they couldn’t wake up from.
That nightmare came in the form of York’s aggressive and long man-to-man defense that didn’t let anything come easy. The result? A dominating 54-19 win for York, which send the Dukes to the state tournament March 7 where they’ll look to defend their Class B state championship from last year.
After the game, York head coach Scott Lamberty said his team did everything that was asked of it Monday night in a win-or-go-home situation.
“Our kids really locked in,” he said of the defensive performance. “Everything we wanted to do, whether it be a ball screen or a dribble hand-off, coming under the screen, coming over the screen — they were locked in. We were constantly contesting every shot.”
York held Platteview to just four points in the first quarter and three in the second, which came off a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from junior Trey Brotzki. The Dukes led 12-4 after the opening stanza and 33-7 at halftime.
The Trojans didn’t score more than nine points in any of the four quarters, and the reason for that was the man-to-man defense on Platteview’s top scoring options in Brotzki, a 6-foot-4 guard, and 6-foot senior guard Evan Kingston.
Kingston came into the game as the Trojans’ leading scorer. York senior and Northern State University basketball commit, Brady Danielson, checked Kingston all night. Kingston scored just five points and was held scoreless in the first half. Kingston’s first score of the game came at the 3:22 mark in the third quarter.
“Kingston is really good off the dribble with the pull-up, so we wanted length on that pull-up,” Lamberty said of why he put the 6-3 Danielson on Kingston. “He’s (Danielson) the best defender I think I’ve had in 20-plus years. He’s so good at guarding the dribble even though he’s not the quickest kid out there. But he’s good at anticipating and good at using his body, then he’s so strong and long that he contests a smaller guard, yet he’s physical enough to keep a bigger guard from getting to the basket.
“He’s just a complete defender.”
As for Brotzki, Platteview’s second-leading scorer, that job went to Wyatt Cast, a light-on-his-feet 6-4 forward, for most of the night. Cast, a Concordia University football commit, held Brotzki to seven points.
“Wyatt’s long enough and athletic enough,” Lamberty said. “Brotzki’s good coming off screens, so we just went under the screens to try to stay in front of him and let Wyatt use his length. So length-wise, we were matched up on their two scorers.”
Offensively, Danielson led everyone with a game-high 19 points, 10 of which came in the second quarter alone. Garrett Snodgrass, a 6-3 senior forward, chipped in with 14 points while both senior Jeb Lucas and Cast had six. Senior Reid Hoffmann added five and Jake Erwin four off the bench.
York, which beat Platteview 71-53 back on Dec. 29 in its holiday tournament, improves its record to 21-4 heading into the state tournament. Platteview has its season end at 17-9.
Platteview (17-9) 4 3 9 3 — 19
AT York (21-4) 12 21 9 12 — 54
Platteview scoring: Trey Brotzki 7, Joshua Fryar 5, Evan Kingston 5, Braxton Karnik 2.
York scoring: Brady Danielson 19, Garrett Snodgrass 14, Wyatt Cast 6, Jeb Lucas 6, Reid Hoffmann 5, Jake Erwin 4.