DEARBORN, Mo. — A 3-pointer for Anthony Hernandez cut North Platte’s deficit to five points to open the second quarter. Not much else went right from there for the Panthers in a KCI Conference matchup with Hamilton on Friday, Jan. 22 at North Platte High School. The Hornets pulled away for a 66-42 win, dropping North Platte to 1-2 in league play.
Hamilton went on a 22-4 run in the 6 minutes after Hernandez’s 3 gave North Platte a brief spark of hope.
“We’re trying to encourage and teach at the same time,” North Platte coach Tim Sutton said. “We’re at a point where we’re trying to figure out in a game like that when we’re not playing well and the other team is playing extremely well, it comes down to a thought that we have to get better.”
Hamilton moved to 2-0 this season against North Platte, previously winning 52-51 in the consolation final of the KCI Conference Tournament in December. The Hornets since added the help of football players unavailable for that early-season matchup, and Sutton noticed the difference.
Hamilton led 14-6 after the first quarter and extended that lead going into halftime despite four 3-pointers in the second quarter for North Platte.
“It takes five guys doing the right thing at all times to compete with good teams,” Sutton said. “That is Hamilton. They are an extremely good team. I think they are playing better than anyone in the conference right now. With them being in the state football playoffs probably took them a little while to convert and get their mindset here. They have, and they’re playing well.”
Hernandez added a 3 at the second quarter buzzer to bring North Platte within 40-22 at the break on his way to 10 points. However, Hamilton’s Korby Ford hit three treys and scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the second quarter, part of the Hornets 26-16 advantage in the frame.
North Platte senior forward Kyle Ewing scored a team-high 11 points while senior guard Andrew Roberts ended up with nine while saddled with foul trouble for much of the game. He committed two personals in the first and third quarters but did not foul out.
North Platte has now lost two straight and four of its last five with the middle game a win against Carrollton in the consolation semifinals of the Lawson Invitational.
Lathrop 71, West Platte 34
With only seven players in uniform, the Bluejays dropped to 2-1 in KCI Conference play Friday, Jan. 22 in Lathrop, Mo.
Luke Horseman hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter on his way to a team-high 19 points, but Lathrop made five 3s in the frame total and led 27-9 entering the second quarter. The lead expanded to 44-17 at the break.
Horseman hit four of West Platte’s five 3-pointers, which accounted for nearly half of the Bluejays’ 11 made shots. McKaulley Stephenson added nine points — all in the third quarter.
Sophomore guard Shayne Kleinsorge and senior forwards Brett Shepardson, Kaleb Baber, and Daniel Cicha were inactive for the game.