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Defense Leads Grand Island Girls Past Wilson

It took the Grand Island High School girls basketball team about a quarter to shake off the opening night jitters. But once the Vikings settled in, Grand Island was able to shine – especially on the defensive end – in an impressive non-league win.

The Vikings used a dominant defensive performance and opened with a 49-33 win at Niagara Orleans League power Wilson in the non-league opener for both teams.

“After the first quarter, we saw a change in the intensity on defense and that started upping our offense,” GI coach Kristin Wegrzyn said. “It wasn’t pretty but I’m proud that we got it done and we can move on from here.”

The Vikings took control of the game with a 13-1 run in the second quarter. Although Wilson continued to battle, GI’s lead never dipped below eight in the second half.

“We changed some things up on defense,” Wegrzyn said. “The main thing was getting out on them and grabbing some boards. In the first quarter it took us a little while to get our offense going but once that was going then we just had to get some defensive stops and then we started shooting ahead.”

Wilson standout Skylar Munnikhysen hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left in the first quarter to give the Lakemen a 13-12 lead after one. But Wilson didn’t hit another field goal until 1:41 left in the second quarter. By that time, the Vikings had built a double digit lead.

“I think there were some easy put backs but credit to them,” Wilson coach Brian Baker said. “They forced us into some tough shots. It’s our first game, we had some early jitters, we have some young kids coming in so those things are going to happen.”

Lydia Sweeney scored 18 points to lead the Vikings; Grace Carey added 13 and Julia Eichel 11. Grand Island travels to CSAT on Friday before its home opener against Lewiston-Porter on Wednesday.

Munnikhysen scored 16 for Wilson, which travels to Medina on Wednesday for its N-O opener.

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