YORK - The Duke girls trailed big early, fought back to within three of Beatrice in the third period, but faded Friday night at home and lost 41-32.
It was win number 16 for the Lady Orange against just two losses. The Dukes of Coach Matt Kern slipped to 12-9 going into this afternoon's regular season-ending road trip to always-tough Holdrege.
Beatrice opened scoring with a 3-pointer that served notice of Lady Orange intentions in this one. Before the Dukes knew it they were down by double-digits, 10-zip.
Hannah Riley hit two free throws that finally took the goose eggs off York's side of the board with 3:18 left in the first period. A driving layup by Erin Malleck at 1:05 was, like most Duke baskets on this night, answered by the Lady Orange, who led 13-6 after one.
Aleah Rosenau hit for two a minute into the second, but Beatrice was still ahead by double, 16-8. A three from Riley a minute before halftime, followed by a single Duke free throw made it 21-13 when the teams left the floor for intermission.
The Dukes found a spark in the third, starting at 6:58 when Liz Harlow hit a driving basket. Riley added a pair of twos and when freshman Emma Grenfell canned a two at 2:30 the York girls were just three back, 25-22.
Yet once again the Lady Orange answered on the ensuing possession, put the lead back to 27-22 and York was never as close again the rest of the way.
The game was 30-22 after three full periods.
Rosenau took a nice feed from Malleck at 7:50 and turned it into two points, 30-24, near the 7:50 mark and, with 4:40 to go, Grenfell stole the ball, went coast-to-coast on the bounce and laid it in, 35-28. York couldn't close the gap and Riley got the final Duke bucket with 40 ticks left.
Riley led all scorers with 14 points in the losing cause on three 2-pointers, a trey and 5-6 at the line. Trouble was no other Duke contributed more than Grenfell's five.
It was a different story for the Lady Orange who enjoyed more balance with 13 and 12 points, respectively, from Chantel Adams and Jill Faxon.
Beatrice made hay at the line shooting 13-19 to go with 11 twos and a pair of 3-pointers. York countered with 10 2-pointers, Riley's three and 9-15 free throws.
The Duster girls who await today took a 14-6 mark on the road to Aurora last night. Beatrice hosts Waverly tonight, then will meet the winner between Plattsmouth and Platteview in their district tournament next Thursday.
Beatrice (16-2) ..................... 13 8 9 11 - 41
York (12-9) ......................... 6 7 9 10 - 32
Beatrice (41) - T. Osborne 2 (1) 0-0 5, H. Barnard 2 3-3 7, J. Faxon 3 5-7 11, J. Pethoud 0 2-2 2, K. Higgins 1 0-2 2, C. Adams 5 (1) 2-3 13, T. Sutter 0 1-2 1. Totals 13 (2) 13-19 41.
York (32) - V. Botts 1 0-0 2, H. Riley 4 (1) 5-6 14, E. Grenfell 2 1-3 5, D.Stuhr 0 1-4 1, L. Harlow 1 0-0 2, E. Malleck 1 2-2 4, A. Rosenau 2 0-0 4. Totals - 11 (1) 9-15 32.