AP NEWS

Norfolk High boys win, girls lose against South Sioux City

January 6, 2019

The Norfolk High boys and girls basketball teams found themselves on opposite ends of lopsided scores against South Sioux City Saturday evening.

The Panthers boys squad more than doubled the score on the Cardinals by halftime before providing extensive playing time to reserves in the second half and settling for a 79-39 win to improve to 4-6 on the season.

Earlier, the Norfolk girls trailed 29-17 at the half while trying to cope with South Sioux’s pressing defense, before losing 62-42 and slipping to 2-8.

Boys coach Tony Siske maintained that, despite the one-sided final score, there were positives for his Panthers to take away from the game.

“We played 15 guys, and as I told the guys afterwards, this is good for us,” Siske said. “We’ve got 15 guys who deserve their opportunity to be on the court that got that opportunity.”

But Siske also said that although his team controlled the game from start to finish--Norfolk led 22-8 after the first quarter and maintained 30-plus point leads from the middle of the third period to the end of the 40-point victory--there will be areas that his team can improve on.

“We did some good things; I think our offense continues to evolve, and we’re still finding ways to get good shots out of it,” he said. “We did some good things defensively, but there are going to be some things that we’re going to show them on film that we’ve got to get better at.”

Four of the Panthers five starters ended up in double-figures, led by Luke Kluver’s 18 points and Tate Brudigan’s 17. Brudigan’s total included five made 3s in 11 attempts. Cameron Eisenhauer and Connor Clayton finished the game with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

South Sioux (5-4), which made just 15 of 53 field goal attempts and 5 of 26 3-point tries, was led by Brad Hartnett’s 11 points.

In the girls contest, the Cardinals opened the game with a half-court zone trapping defense which caused problems for Norfolk from the outset--resulting in 15 Panthers turnovers during the first half.

In the second half, South Sioux extended the press beyond half court and, although Norfolk had chances to convert several of the Cardinals’ own turnovers into points, had difficulty getting shots to fall. The Panthers made only 10 of 41 shots from the field, and got most of their points from the free throw line, converting 18 of 29 chances.

“Watching on film, we noticed that (Norfolk) had some younger girls that may not have much varsity experience, so we tried to extend the pressure a little bit to see if we could spark our offense,” South Sioux girls coach Molly Hornbeck said. “I thought the girls did a nice job executing.”

The 5-4 Cardinals, on the other hand, made 24 of 59 shots with three players reaching double-figures--MartyBeth Rasmussen (17), Trista Harsma (13), and Tiffany Tinker (12). Ten of the South Sioux’s players took at least two shot attempts, although Hornbeck pointed out that the Cardinals’ McKenna Sims--who is usually the team’s leading scorer--finished the game without scoring.

“We always like to give the girls the green light; we’re a better team when we have everyone engaged and have everyone as a scoring threat,” she said. “Obviously, our leading scorer McKenna Sims doesn’t go many games without scoring, but the rest of the girls did a nice job of making themselves scoring threats. In the long run, that’s going to make us a better team.”

Norfolk’s leading scorer was Gabby Ruth scored 14 points, with none of the other Panthers totaling more than six points, an area coach Jared Oswald said needs to be addressed.

“The first three possessions we get point-blank looks, a chance for two free throws, but don’t score for the first four minutes of the game,” Oswald said. “Those kind of things change the complexion of the game; all of a sudden they’re up 7-0. We’ve got to find a way to put the ball in the basket.”

After scoring seven first-quarter points, which included two field goals, Norfolk made just one shot from the field in the second period--although Ruth made 7 of 12 free throws to keep the Panthers in the game, trailing 29-17 at halftime.

But, with the help of a 17-2 run, the Cardinals outscored Norfolk 19-9 in the third to lead 48-26, and the Panthers were unable to produce a threat the remainder of the game as South Sioux closed out its 62-42 win.

“To me, a big difference was that we weren’t able to convert their turnovers (into points), and they were,” Oswald said. “Defensively, we did what we wanted to; Sims, who usually scores 20 points a game, didn’t score. And Rasmussen scored 15 in the first half, and only got two free throws in the second half. If you’d have told me those numbers, I’d have thought we were really competitive.”

“We’ve got to look at what we’re doing, whatever it is that needs to change,” he said. “It’s obvious we’ve got to do some things differently.”

Boys game

South Sioux City 8 12 9 10 -- 39

Norfolk 22 23 16 18 -- 79

South Sioux City (4-5): Drew Parker 2-5 0-2 5, Jake Aitken 3-9 1-3 8, Jared Tramp 0-2 0-0 0, Kaden Sailors 3-7 0-0 6, Elijah Strom 2-7 0-0 6, Alex Zephier 0-3 0-0 0, Kevin Candia 1-12 0-0 3, Brad Hartnett 4-7 3-4 11. Totals: 15-53 4-9 39.

Norfolk (4-6): Gage Dohren 0-1 0-0 0, Tate Brudigan 6-13 0-0 17,

Connor Clayton 6-11 0-0 12, Terron Nelson 1-1 0-0 3, Tyson Stelling 2-4 0-0 4, Jake Kluver 0-3 0-0 0, Isaac Heimes 0-1 2-2 2, Cameron Eisenhauer 5-9 1-2 13, Luke Kluver 6-8 4-5 18, Cooper Caskey 0-2 0-0 0, Berkly Brummond 1-2 0-1 2, Nick Samano 3-3 0-0 6, Cale Strong 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 30-59 7-10 79.

Girls game

South Sioux City 16 13 19 14 -- 62

Norfolk 7 10 9 16 -- 42

South Sioux City (5-4): Tori Harsma 1-3 0-0 3, Selene Guzman 2-3 2-5 6, McKenna Sims 0-4 0-0 0, Hannah Strom 1-4 0-0 2, MartyBeth Rasmussen 6-14 3-3 17, Jalen Galvin 3-5 0-0 6, Tiffany Tinker 5-9 2-4 12, McKenna Comstock 1-3 1-2 3, Trista Harsma 5-12 0-0 13, Natasha Freiberg 0-0 0-2 0, Khaia Herron 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 24-59 8-16 62.

Norfolk (2-8): Nealy Brummond 1-2 0-1 2, Gabby Ruth 3-11 7-11 14, Anden Baumann 1-6 0-0 2, Leah Petty 0-1 2-2 2, Karly Kalin 2-2 2-3 6, Chelsea Strom 0-5 5-6 5, Jalen Hoffman 1-4 0-0 2, Hailey Kleinschmit 1-5 1-1 3, Jordyn Schommer 1-4 1-4 3, Alex Ruth 0-1 0-0 0, MaKenna Skiff 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 10-41 18-29 42.