Hunter Hendricks put up a career-high 24 points and helped North Platte overcome a late deficit in a Tuesday, Nov. 21 season-opener.
Kansas City Lutheran led by four going into the fourth quarter at North Platte High School but scored just five the rest of the way. North Platte held on for a 53-47 win with Hendricks, a junior, leading a new-look offense.
North Platte senior Bart Owens added 10 points, and sophomore Andrew Hernandez finished with nine points. The Panthers hit just three 3-pointers — two for Hendricks — but made 18 of 24 free throw attempts.
With a 1-0 start, North Platte was scheduled to play again Thursday, Nov. 30 at Southwest Livingston before starting KCI Conference Tournament play this weekend. The Panthers drew the No. 7 seed and open play against Mid-Buchanan at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2 in Plattsburg, Mo.
North Platte went 0-2 in the tournament a year ago and did not place.
Bishop LeBlond 66, West Platte 50
The Bluejays couldn’t overcome a slow start in their season opener Monday, Nov. 20 in St. Joseph, Mo.
LeBlond held West Platte to just six points in the first quarter, and the Golden Eagles were up 38-21 at halftime in the nonconference matchup. The Bluejays hit seven 3s in the final three quarters — four for junior Noah Johnson — to stay close.
Johnson finished with a team-high 17 points, while sophomores Brayden Cogan (14) and Phillip Pattison (12) also ended up in double figures.
West Platte was within eight going into the fourth quarter but managed just two 3s — one each for Johnson and Cogan — and five free throws in the final eight minutes. The Bluejays were 15 of 24 overall at the line.
Starting at 0-1, West Platte was scheduled to return to action Tuesday, Nov. 28 against Orrick ahead of the KCI tournament. The Bluejays will be the No. 8 seed, opening with No. 1 Hamilton at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2 in Plattsburg, Mo.
West Platte went 0-2 a year ago in the bracket and did not place.