Height overwhelms Gothenburg boys
Plainsmen shut down Swedes.
With the long reach of a 6-foot-10 senior and the stifling defense of a 6-4 junior, Perkins County was able to shut down Gothenburg’s offense Saturday night and take home a 49-36 win over the Swedes.
Perkins County’s big men played a major roll in the Plainsmen’s success, said Swede coach Kent Koehn.
“They were trapping us on the wing with a 6-4 guy and that took us completely out of our offense,” Koehn said. “Then we were scrambling.”Plainsman Michael York stuck to Gothenburg leading scorer Landen Haake like glue.
“You put 6-4 on 5-11 and it makes it a little tough for Landen to shoot,” Koehn said.
Haake finished with just seven points when his season average so far this winter is 21.
The Swedes started strong in the first quarter, out scoring the Plainsmen 11-7.
Then Perkins County’s patience with Gothenburg’s zone defense lulled the Swedes to sleep in the second period, Koehn said.
“We started watching the ball as they passed it around and forgot our defensive responsibilities,” the coach said.
The Swedes trailed 19-18 at the half.
“We were definitely still in the game at halftime,” Koehn said. “Then in the third quarter we couldn’t get much of anything to fall.”
The Swedes were 23% shooting overall making only 1-of-16 from behind the three-point line.
“I figured we have to chuck threes up all night but we did manage to penetrate the lane a few times,” Koehn said. “I’m happy they’re taking the ball to the hole. We just couldn’t finish.”
At the same time, several off-balance shots went through the hoop for Perkins County as the Plainsmen made more than 50% of their field goals.
Senior Joel Teahon led Gothenburg in scoring with 10 points.
“I still believe we have several guys who could score, I just haven’t seen it happen yet,” Koehn said.
The Swedes, Koehn concedes, are consistently inconsistent.
“Some of that comes with lack of experience,” he said. “Our defense is solid but we need to create more offense for ourselves with it.”
Kurkowski led the Plainsmen with 18 points.
This week the Gothenburg boys host North Platte St. Pat’s (2-1) on Thursday and travel to Holdrege (0-3) Friday.
“It’s a little difficult to know what to expect from St. Pat’s,” Koehn said, “but don’t let Holdrege’s winless record fool you. They’re going to be a very good team.”
Koehn plans to add a few offensive looks to the scheme this week to try and get more Swedes in the scoring column.