AURORA - The Dukes started fast at the beginning of the game, did it again after halftime and crunched Lakeview 72-53 in Central Conference Tournament semifinal action Friday in Aurora.
In this one 'Crunch!' was the operative word. The game not only looked rough and rugged, it sounded that way as teenage bones cracked into the slats of the Aurora Husky gym.
York jumped out at the start and led 11-4 after threes from Ty Danielson and Leighton Thomas, then a two from Danielson who led all scorers with 28 points on four twos, four 3-pointers and 8-9 at the line.
When Thomas ran the first-quarter clock down with his dribble, then flashed by the Lakeview defense for a bunny layup in the final two seconds, the Dukes were on top 21-13.
Early in the second period the Dukes got a bucket from Jared Miller with an assist from Ryan Dolan, then another that Dolan put in thanks to an assist from Danielson. Dolan hit again and when Grant Suddarth scored two on an assist from Danielson the score went to 31-17 and Lakeview called a halt with 3:12 on the first half clock.
It was the second timeout of the quarter by the Vikings, trying desperately to stall York's momentum. The tactic didn't work as Thomas proved by banking in a leaner with a minute left until intermission. His bucket made the halftime score 35-21.
The second half began like the first as the Dukes came up on the good side of a 12-4 run to start the third.
The Vikings fought back to within 10 in the final minute of the third, but another Danielson trey 50 seconds into the fourth removed all doubt. Colton Zumpfe hit for two, then fed Jonah Otte for a bucket and the Dukes were rolling smooth on cruise control, 62-43.
"I'm just really proud of the kids," said York coach Scott Lamberty. "They extended their lead to start the first quarter, then Ty had those big shots in the third quarter. We didn't rebound very well," he said, but his smile was proof positive that this was a pleasing victory. "Lakeview is a very talented team," he complimented.
With the win the Dukes earn a berth in the league championship game tonight, 8 p.m., in the Aurora gym vs. Crete. The Cardinals were an upset winner over Grand Island Northwest in the other semifinal.
Score by quarters
York.......................21 14 17 20 - 72
Lakeview..............................13 8 18 14 - 53
York - Taylor 2, Thomas 8, Miller 4, Zumpfe 2, Suddarth 4, Dolan 7, Neville 4, Otte 11, Schulz 2, Danielson 28.
Lakeview - Shadley 8, Thege 9, Weimer 2, Holmberg 2, Condreay 2, Scheffler 17, Purcell 10, Roth 3.