Local teams advance

Chelsi Sams darts between two Gallatin defenders on a drive to the basket. The quest to get to the Final Four continues for the North Platte girls and West Platte boys. Both teams have advanced to the Class 2 quarterfinals this Saturday at the Independence Events Center.

The Lady Panthers, winners of 24 in a row, tip off against 24-5 Skyline at noon. West Platte’s 27-1 Blue Jays will then take the Events Center court versus the No. 1-ranked 28-0 Sacred Heart (Sedalia) Grelims in game scheduled for 1:45 p.m.

“Skyline got third in the state last year, with a team that had no seniors. They’ve got everybody back,” said North Platte coach Karl Matt, after his team dispatched Gallatin 68-40 in Wednesday’s Sectional contest at Staley High School and improved to 27-1. “We’re going to be playing  the cream of the crop.”

Matt hopes the Lady Panthers picked up Saturday afternoon where they left off Wednesday night. After leading only 22-21 at the break, North Platte steamrolled the Lady Bulldogs 46-19 during the second half. Junior Chelsi Sams led all Lady Panther scorers with 16 points, netting all 16 in the second half.

East Buchanan can’t stop West Platte center Bryce Cashman, even when they have the 6-foot-10 senior surrounded.

West Platte boys coach Zane Tanner will be looking against Sacred Heart to get the same kind of production out of 6-foot-10 Bryce Cashman and 6-6 Adam Roe as he did in Wednesday 64-48 Sectional triumph over East Buchanan. Roe scored 22 and Cashman 21 in the 16-point win.

“We’ll need that, 20 points out of each of  them,” said Tanner. “We’ve seen Sacred Heart on tape, and they’re the best team we’ll have played all year. We have more size. They have more quickness. They’ll play a man-to-man press, try to trap us at half-court and get up and down the floor.

“If we can make it a half-court game, get the ball inside, that would be to our advantage.”

Sacred Heart last lost in last year’s quarterfinal round, 76-66 to West Platte.