Area hoops squads roar into action

The North Platte boys basketball team was hungry for a win Monday night. The Panthers took the floor against Hamilton in the consolation bracket of the KCI Conference Tournament, looking to break a three-game, season-opening skid. North Platte accomplished their goal, but it wasn’t easy. The Panthers outscored Hamilton 9-4 in overtime for a 61-56 victory. “We felt like a lot of things came together finally in this game,” North Platte coach Brendan Cary said. “We got good shots and didn’t get in foul trouble. They are a good shooting team, so we focused on playing solid defense and getting a hand in their face. To be successful, we’ve got to play with that poise and confidence every night.” Senior forward Levi Stilwell led the Panthers with 21 points and dominated the boards with 16 rebounds, while junior guard Austin Shanks hit four three-pointers en route to 13 points. North Platte, 1-3, will face Lathrop in the fifth-place game Thursday night. In the first round of the tourney, North Platte lost to Mid-Buchanan 71-58. Stilwell scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while Andrew Roberts and Kyle Bledsoe scored eight points apiece. In other action last week, North Platte lost 41-39 at Lone Jack. Stilwell scored 20 points, while Shanks netted seven.