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01/13/2012 - BOYS BASKETBALL: Grand Island Survives Northeast Rally

By Jeff Motz

Nick Wenz saved the day for the Grand Island boys basketball team.  The 6-8 senior center didn't have much luck in the first half, but scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half to help the Islanders to a 55-51 victory Friday night over Lincoln Northeast at the Ed Johnson Gym.

The Islanders (7-5) had problems controlling the tempo in the third quarter.  Northeast regained their first lead since early in the first quarter, after Jordan Brown scored for a 29-28 lead.  Grand Island quickly regained the lead and added another basket from Bamesberger for a 32-29 lead.

A basket from Connor Deines pulled Northeast to within one with 3:38 left, then Springman pulled the Rockets to 36-34, after back to back baskets from the Islanders.

Northeast guard Connor Bool scored on a transition layup to tie the game at 36.  The Islanders went ahead off a basket from Wenz, then Bool hit a three-pointer on the next Northeast possession to give the Rockets a 39-38 with 1:22 left.  Wenz scored again for Grand Island and Schroer hit two free throws that gave Northeast a 41-40 advantage heading to the fourth quarter.

Grand Island took a 44-43 early in the final quarter.  Northeast regained the lead after David Dep hit both free throws of a one-and-one attempt with 6:30 remaining.  Skyler Sullivan scored off a missed back to give the Islanders a one point lead, then Deines scored to give Northeast a 47-46 lead with 5:51 left.

Wenz hit a pair of free-throws for a 48-47 Grand Island lead with 5:23 left and added another free-throw for a 49-47 lead.  Deines hit a three for a 50-49 Northeast lead with 2:52 left.  Then Sam Foltz hit a three to secure the Islander lead at 52-50 with 1:05 to play.

David Dep hit one of two free-throws for Northeast to trim the deficit to 52-51 with 42 second left.  Wenz hit the final three free throws to help Grand Island earn the win.

Northeast turned their game around in the second quarter.  Connor Springman hit a three for Northeast with 6:24 left in the second to close the deficit to 20-12.  Jordan Schroer hit a free throw to pull the Rockets within seven, then Spencer Wichert hit a three pointer to extend the Islander lead to 23-13.   

Springman hit another tray and Schroer connected on another free throw to narrow the Northeast deficit to 23-17 with 3:36 left.

Bamesberger extended the Grand Island lead to 25-17 off an offensive rebound and putback.  Northeast got two free-throws off a one-and-one from Jordan Brown, then Dep scored on the next Rocket possession and Schroer scored off a fastbreak off a turnover for a 6-0 rally and trailed 25-23 with 2:07 left.

Foltz, who had a game-high 15 points, hit his fourth three to extend the Grand Island lead before Springman narrowed the margin to 28-27 at halftime.

Northeast started the game with a 4-0 start, before Grand Island sprinted to an 18-1 run sparked by three 3-pointers from Foltz that gave the Islanders an 18-7 first quarter lead.

Deines led the Rockets (3-9) with 11 points and Dep added 10 points in the loss. 

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