North Platte girls carry 21-game win streak into districts

21 and counting. That’s the winning streak the North Platte girls basketball team carried into this week as it prepared to defend its No. 1 seed at the Class 2 District 15 Tournament at Mid-Buchanan High School. The Lady Panthers’ last loss came way back in December, before the holidays, when Lawson eked out a victory over them in the final of the KCI Conference Tournament. North Platte, 24-1 entering this week, avenged that loss and then some by blowing out Lawson in a Feb. 11 rematch. The Lady Panthers then completed an undefeated KCI Conference championship slate by rolling over Mid-Buchanan last week 75-24. Kaycee Hodgson, Emmie Lee and Brittney Gerling all scored 13 points each. North Platte concluded its regular season last Friday with a 41-34 victory at Wellington-Napoleon in a game that North Platte coach Karl Matt said was a good primer for the postseason. “We had to work hard against a very big Wellington team who was able to cause us problems offensively,” Matt said. “Fortunately our defense was able to hold them down for much of the game until we started going offensively in the fourth quarter.” Chelsi Sams led the Lady Panthers in the win with 13 points. North Platte was set to play cross-county rival West Platte in the district semifinals tonight (Feb. 26). The district championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. this Saturday. Should North Platte win the district title, it will advance to a sectional playoff game at 6 p.m. March 5 at Staley High School versus the District 16 champion. A win there and North Platte will play in a quarterfinal playoff game at Noon March 8 at the Independence Events Center with a final four berth on the line.