Dukes down Lady Warriors

December 27, 2018

The Schuyler Central High School Lady Warriors basketball team found points hard to come by last Friday night as they dropped a home encounter to the York Lady Dukes by the score of 54-12.

York firepower from inside and outside in the first half dictated much of the action. Maddie Portwine and Natalia Dick each scored 13 points in the first two quarters. Portwine sank four 3-point bombs while Dick did all her damage in the paint allowing York to build an early 14-1 advantage through the first eight minutes.

Schuyler’s only first-quarter point came on a free throw by Yessica Rodriguez with 1:48 left in the period prompting SCHS head coach Dan Wolken to say, “I knew coming in that York was going to be pretty confident. They have played really well over the years and have done well as a program, so I knew they were going to come in and cause us a lot of problems.

“We learned tonight that we have a lot of growing to do to improve overall as a team.”

Schuyler was outscored 16-7 in the second frame though Rachel Shonka recorded seven of her team-high nine points in the period.

Her inside presence once again was a highlight for Schuyler.

“I think Rachel and Yessica will eventually be tough for people to handle inside. Obviously, our offense is still our struggling point,” Wolken said. “We need to do a better job when teams put pressure on us. We need to set up in our offense and look for things that we want to shoot and when we want to shoot. I think that will come with all of our athletes. We are getting some shots but we aren’t getting them to fall.”

Playing a combination of starters and reserves in the second half, the Lady Dukes outscored the Lady Warriors 24-4 and held SCHS scoreless in the fourth quarter outscoring the host squad 11-0.

“We have had a lot of difficult seasons in the past, so our confidence isn’t really there yet,” Wolken said. “We have a tough time convincing ourselves that we are fine if the opponent goes on a little run. Good teams chip away at a deficit and come back, and that is something that we have to build towards.”

Even though the Lady Warriors struggled in the scoring department, and faced a running clock late in the game, Wolken saw good things with his ladies on the defensive end of the court. “I thought our defense did a great job of making steals and creating turnovers. We force York to make some poor decisions, too, when they were on offense.

“We just need to be in the right place when they do and take advantage of more of those mistakes.”

For the game, Shonka paced the Lady Warriors with nine points while Tasha Wolken hit a jumper for two points and Rodriguez connected on the charity toss for one point.

The loss left Schuyler Central with a 1-5 season mark while York improved to 5-3 heading into the Christmas break.

The Schuyler girls tip it off against the Columbus Scotus Shamrocks at Lakeview High School in the Holiday Tournament on Thursday, Dec. 27 at 1 p.m.

Doug Phillips is a freelance writer for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at SCHsports@lee.net

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