North Platte girls rock West Platte in 1st meeting ahead of quick rematch

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo North Platte sophomore guard McKenna Fulton, right, guards West Platte sophomore guard Karen Knox as she brings the ball up the court on Friday, Jan. 8 at West Platte High School in Weston, Mo. WESTON, Mo. — North Platte’s balanced offensive output proved to be too much in the first meeting of the year with West Platte, which received a quick rematch opportunity.

Six different players scored for North Platte in the opening quarter of a KCI Conference matchup Friday, Jan. 9 at West Platte High School, and the Panthers cruised to a 56-32 win. North Platte’s second straight win came just ahead of a first-round matchup in the Lawson Invitational against … West Platte.

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo North Platte senior forward Kaycee Hodgson (11) takes a shot over West Platte senior Taylor Binkley on Friday, Jan. 8 at West Platte High School in Weston, Mo.

North Platte won the rematch 60-41.

“I hope we get a little confidence going,” North Platte coach Ryan Davis said. “January is a rough time of the year. We have 11 games in January in four weeks. The biggest thing I also want them to know is when we (played Tuesday), it’s zero-zero. West Platte is going to bring it. Our goal is to play as well as we did tonight, but that’s not a guarantee. We at least have to play as hard as we did tonight.”

North Platte ended up with nine different players helping build the double-digit advantage.

Emmie Lee, a senior guard, led the way with 13 points, while senior forward Kaycee Hodgson continued to provide production with 12. Erin Manville and Maddie Lee added eight apiece.

Maddie Lee hit back-to-back 3s to build an 18-5 lead with 2 minutes, 38 seconds left in the first quarter. The lead was 20-7 after the first quarter with six players contributing points in the first 8 minutes.

“We got off to a great start,” Davis said. “I thought that it kept the intensity going the whole night. It set the tone. It’s the game we’ve most played four quarters. We played well.”

West Platte trailed 30-15 at halftime and didn’t recover from the slow start, dropping to 1-1 in KCI play after opening its league slate in December with a win vs. Plattsburg.

Gretchen Hiatt, a senior guard, led the Bluejays with eight points while sophomore guard Karen Knox added seven. Taylor Binkley finished with five points.

With the big lead, Davis played most of the fourth quarter with reserves heavily in the lineup.

North Platte still matched the offensive output from West Platte with both teams scoring nine points in the final quarter. Gracie Roach scored three of her five in the fourth, and senior forward Kailey Pike added two of her four for the Panthers. Grace Rice, a freshman forward, also chipped in her lone bucket late in the frame to the delight of the visitor’s bench.

Janell Manville, a key freshman reserve, scored just two points but collected a team-high 10 rebounds.

“For us to be successful we’re going to have to share the ball,” Davis said. “We’re going to have everybody have success. There’s no one on our team who is going to average 20 points per game. We’re going to need balance from everybody.”

North Platte moved to 2-0 in KCI play with the next league matchup Friday, Jan. 22 against Hamilton. West Platte’s next chance at a conference win will be the same night against Lathrop. The Bluejays were 1-6 in the KCI a year ago.

North Platte 39, Maysville 26

Erin Manville hit a pair of 3s and scored a game-high 16 points in the Panthers’ win Tuesday, Jan. 5 in Dearborn, Mo.

North Platte didn’t allow Maysville more than 10 points in any quarter, and the Wolverines didn’t have a double-digit scorer. They also attempted just five free throws.

Hodgson added 10 points for North Platte.