Norfolk girls and boys complete winning weekend
The Norfolk High girls and boys basketball teams completed a sweep of their weekend opponents Saturday evening when both Panthers squads earned wins over North Platte.
The girls team, behind a career-best 21 points by Anden Baumann, defeated a 3-3 Bulldogs squad 46-38 and, later, a blend of offense and defense helped the boys down 1-5 North Platte by the score of 62-46.
With the wins over the Bulldogs, following Friday’s victories over Columbus, both Norfolk teams improve to 2-3 on the season.
Baumann, a 5-foot 5 junior point guard, helped the Panthers get off to a good start by scoring six first-quarter points as Norfolk established a 14-11 lead, and accumulated her 21-point total in a variety of ways--making 4 of 5 free throws and 7 of 9 field goals, including 3 of 5 from the 3-point line.
Baumann’s performance helped Norfolk bounce back from a mediocre offensive night at Columbus, with the Panthers making 16 of 38 field goals against the Bulldogs for an improved 42 percent while also making a season high seven 3-point tries.
The Panthers not only got the three made 3s from Baumann, but also two from Gabby Ruth, who contributed eight points, and one 3 each from Nealy Brummond and Jalen Hoffman.
“I thought we had good shots last night, but we just didn’t make them,” Norfolk coach Jared Oswald said. “I think we’ve been rushed a little bit this season when we take 3-point shots, but tonight we were able to get some nice rhythm shots.”
A large part of the Panthers’ game plan was attacking the Bulldogs’ pressing defense, and Norfolk achieved that goal.
“We wanted to push the tempo and get a lot of opportunities because we knew they had a pretty good starting five but (their bench) was a little thin,” Oswald said. “I thought we were able to get the tempo we wanted and that in the second quarter they got a little tired, and their best scorer got in foul trouble.”
The Panthers attacked the North Platte full-court press effectively during the first three quarter especially, with Baumann and Brummond often passing the ball long and over the top of the Bulldogs’ guards to get good shot opportunities for teammates--several in the lane--while North Platte’s defense was in disarray.
As a result, Norfolk led 26-13 at halftime and 39-24 after three quarters.
“I was really proud of our guards--Anden and Nealy,” Oswald said. “They both did a good job of pushing the ball.”
“Anden had a really nice game; she can shoot the ball, and she’s a good scorer for us,” he said. “Nealy does such a good job of pushing the ball with passes up ahead, so when she comes in we’re able to get Anden running in transition off the ball, and that’s another way we thought we could get Anden going.”
Another part of the game plan, though, was a solid defensive effort, and the Panthers also accomplished that--limiting the Bulldogs to just two points during the second period and 15 of 46 shooting from the field in the game.
Norfolk was able to force several North Platte turnovers, gaining additional fastbreak opportunities with steals.
“I got the majority of my baskets from my teammates’ steals, so I felt like they helped me out a lot,” Baumann said. “It feels really nice; our shots haven’t been falling at all, but we’re getting a lot of good looks. And when Nealy is able to play point guard we can really run the floor.”
In the final period, the Bulldogs produced their best offensive effort, scoring 14 points while attempting a come-from-behind big. Meanwhile, Norfolk made just 3 of 7 free throws--missing the front end of three consecutive one-and-one chances--before closing out the 46-38 win.
In the boys game, the Panthers once again opened the game with a flurry of 3s--making 4 of 7--while also establishing an aggressive, switching man-to-man defense to establish a 22-14 first-quarter lead.
Luke Kluver’s 12 first-quarter points, along with Cameron Eisenhauer’s seven, helped spark the offense, and both players made defensive plays that produced points in transition for Norfolk as the Panthers created a 32-24 halftime advantage.
Although a strong start in the third quarter by North Platte, featuring five points by Caleb Horne, allowed the Bulldogs to close within 35-33 before the Panthers finished the period with a 9-0 run that consisted of three made free throws and consecutive 3s by Tyson Stelling and Eisenhauer that re-established a 44-33 Norfolk lead.
“They’re a team that always tries to take the paint away, and we got them spread out sometimes in the first half, but that didn’t happen as often in the second half, “Panthers coach Tony Siske said. “We settled for some shots in the second half that we probably didn’t have to take.”
Norfolk spent much of the fourth quarter at the free throw line, making 8 of 13 chances to keep the Bulldogs comeback attempt at bay, leading 58-38 when substitutes finished out the Panthers’ 62-46 win.
“We used a little more clock in the second half, which limited our scoring as well,” Siske said. “We’re still working on different ways of getting guys to the basket and getting the ball in the paint.”
Kluver’s 22 points led Norfolk in scoring. Eisenhauer (13), Connor Clayton (12), and Stelling (11) were also in double-figures for the Panthers.
North Platte 11 2 11 14 -- 38
Norfolk 14 12 13 7 -- 46
North Platte (3-3): Gracie Haneborg 7-15 0-0 16, Kamryn Hughes 3-5 0-0 7, Callie Haneborg 1-7 0-2 2, Abbie Hedgecock 1-7 0-0 3, Peyton Negley 1-5 1-2 3, Abby Orr 3-7 1-3 7. Totals: 15-46 2-7 38.
Norfolk (2-3): Nealy Brummond 1-2 0-1 3, Gabby Ruth 3-11 0-1 8, Anden Baumann 7-8 4-5 21, Karly Kalin 0-1 0-0 0, Chelsea Strom 1-5 0-0 2, Jalen Hoffman 2-4 0-0 5, Jordyn Schommer 1-1 2-2 4, Alex Ruth 0-2 1-2 1, Hailey Kleinschmit 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 16-38 7-11 46.
North Platte 14 10 9 13 -- 46
Norfolk 22 10 12 18 -- 62
North Platte (1-5): Aidan Arensdorf 1-3 0-0 2, Steven Garcia 3-8 4-4 12, Jack Mohr 2-4 2-2 5, Mason Lee 2-3 1-2 5, Aiden Mann 0-1 0-1 0, Derrek Ramos 1-1 1-2 3, Caleb Horne 6-10 5-5 17, Kiya Kramer 1-6 0-0 2. Totals: 15-37 13-16 46.
Norfolk (2-3): Gage Dohren 1-1 0-0 2, Tyler Wilson 0-0 1-2 1, Connor Clayton 4-7 2-3 12, Terron Nelson 0-0 1-2 1, Tyson Stelling 4-6 1-2 11, Cameron Eisenhauer 4-10 3-4 13, Luke Kluver 5-12 9-12 22, Cooper Caskey 0-2 0-0 0, Cale Strong 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 18-39 17-25 62.