YORK – The Dukes broke open a close game at halftime and beat Lexington soundly in the second half Saturday night in York.
The Lex girls were only two behind at intermission, 16-14, but a 17-7 Duke edge in the third period turned the tide.
Hannah Riley scored off the opening tip for York, but the rest of the night wasn't so easy for the high-scoring York junior. Riley drew the glue-like defense of athletic Minutemaid senior Casey Seberger and was held to nine points.
The bad news for Lex was that Erin Malleck, also a Duke junior, lit it up for 20 points to lead all scorers. Malleck went hard to the iron and worked in a pair of threes for good measure. The first 3-pointer from Malleck came with 20 seconds left in the first period, the second opened scoring in the second.
Veronica Botts hit a three from deep in the right corner in the final minute of the third period to put the Dukes up by 10 at 31-21.
Turnabout is fair play and Botts drew a “well done” from her coach, Matt Kern, for choking Seberger's offense and holding the veteran Minutemaid to zero field goals and just two free throws.
Five of Riley's points came within 32 seconds of each other when she drained a three at 5:54 of the fourth, then leaped high, tapped a Lex pass to herself, took the ball the length of the court and canned an uncontested layup to make it 40-23 with 5:22 left.
Hayley Nienhueser hit a smooth shot at the buzzer for York to forge the final score.
Kern said his team had 33 rebounds (11 offensive) to 27 (seven offensive) for the Maids.
Malleck led with nine boards and Riley had eight to which she added four of the Dukes' eight steals. York had 12 turnovers to 20 for Lex.
The Maids were 9-31 from two, 3-13 on threes and 2-5 at the line. York was 9-43 on twos, 4-11 from three and a blistering 14-15 on free throws.
Kern said his defense “did a heck of a job. Credit the whole defense, especially No. 15 (Botts). She was on her (Seberger) all night. We held a very good player to two points.”
Offensively, he said Malleck was “in attack mode tonight and the girls found her when she was open.”
He credited the bench with “great work” and said “we hit the glass well tonight, too.”
York improved to 2-1 and will host Aurora Friday night. Lexington (1-3) is at Grand Island Northwest on Saturday.
Score by quarters
Lexington (1-3)................................8 6 7 8 – 29
York (2-1).............................9 7 17 11 – 44
Lexington (29) – Seberger 0 2-2 2, Woockman 2 (2) 0-2 6, McKeone 3 (1) 0-0 7, Gydesen 4 0-0 8, Dolezal 3 0-1 6. Totals – 12 (3) 2-5 29.
York (44) – Riley 4 (1) 0-0 9, Belfiore 1 0-0 2, Botts 1 (1) 4-4 7, Harlow 0 2-2 2, Malleck 5 (2) 8-9 20, Nienhueser 1 0-0 2, Rosenau 1 0-0 2. Totals – 13 (4) 14-15 44.