YORK—For the second consecutive game, the York Dukes squared off against the Fairbury Jeffs. For the second time in a row, the Dukes came out on the top side of the score with a 58-38 victory. With the important win over the Jeffs, the Dukes advance to a semifinal encounter against second-seeded Lakeview in the Central Conference Tournament.
York, led by a team high 17 points from sophomore Jonah Otte, mirrored its last effort against Fairbury by streamlining its way to a 31-9 lead at halftime. Just as it was four days earlier, the Dukes took advantage of turnover after turnover committed by the Jeffs. When Fairbury headed to the lockers at the half, 19 turnovers were noted in the books against only nine points.
That's a recipe for disaster.
Prior to the game, York coach Scott Lamberty said his squad had to apply a lot of defensive pressure and had to command the boards.
Mission accomplished in both areas.
Following the game, Lamberty was asked about his defense and if his Dukes followed the game plan.
“I really liked our intensity in the first half,” Lamberty said. “We were protecting the gaps which limited Fairbury's penetration.
Even though our intensity was better than it was last Friday when we played them, our intensity tonight was not as great in the second half as it was in the first. Part of that can be attributed to the fact that Leighton (Thomas) and Jonah (Otte) had three fouls by the half. As a result, we didn't play the gaps well and Fairbury was able to penetrate a lot easier.”
The first half was owned by the Duke offense.
In the first five minutes of the game, the Dukes held an 8-2 advantage following six Jeff turnovers. With 1:21 left in the quarter, York had a comfortable 15-2 lead. Key to the York effort were seven points by Ryan Dolan who finished the contest with 12 points.
While Fairbury only had three players scoring in the first half, seven different Dukes had tickled the twine.
Fairbury's Alec Cromer, the game's leading scorer who was scoreless in the first quarter, began to warm up just before the half, and he continued to find the range in the third stanza by notching points number 13 and 14 before the final eight minutes began. At that point, however, the Dukes had an insurmountable 47-24 lead.
In the third period, Otte added seven more points to his total and “steady-eddie” Ty Danielson added four more to take his count to double figures at 12. Colton Zumpfe and Jon Fletcher added depth off the bench as both knocked down a pair of goals good for four points.
Following the contest, Lamberty commented on the play of Otte who scored nine points above his average.
“Jonah played another smart game tonight,” the head coach said. “He was able to penetrate and move around near the basket to get layups out of tough situations and made a couple of more baskets on fast breaks.”
In closing, Lamberty indicated that he was very pleased with his team's effort once again.
“We played hard and smart,” Lamberty said following the Dukes' fourth straight win. “I would like to commend Fairbury, too, as they never let up and continued to take it to us.”
Thursday's scheduled tip time in Aurora against the Vikings is 8 p.m.
Score by Quarters
Fairbury (6-11).............................2 7 15 14 -- 38
York (10-4).............................15 16 18 9 -- 58
Fairbury (38) Specht 1, Amundson 6, Smith 7, Ahl 5, Griffin 1, Cromer 18
York (58) Thomas 2, Miller 6, Zumpfe 4, Suddarth 1, Dolan 12, Fletcher 4, Otte 17, Danielson 12