North Platte falls to Santa Fe girls in district semifinals

WELLINGTON, Mo. — For the third straight year, Santa Fe found a way to end the season for the North Platte squad.

The Indians used a strong showing Sadie Limback helped the No. 9-ranked team in the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Poll pick up a 69-46 victory on Friday, Feb. 23, in the Class 2 District 15 Tournament at Wellington-Napoleon High School.

Limback, a Nebraska-Omaha volleyball signee, scored a game-high 22 points, while Carrigan Smith added 21 and Josey Burton had 15 to account for all but 11 of the points the Chiefs (24-4) scored on their way to a district title.

 Cody Thorn/Citizen photo North Platte’s Grace Rice, left, prepares to shoot while being guarded by Santa Fe’s Sadie Limback during a Class 2 District 15 semifinal game held Friday, Feb. 23, at Wellington-Napoleon High School in Wellington, Mo.

Cody Thorn/Citizen photo
North Platte’s Grace Rice, left, prepares to shoot while being guarded by Santa Fe’s Sadie Limback during a Class 2 District 15 semifinal game held Friday, Feb. 23, at Wellington-Napoleon High School in Wellington, Mo.

North Platte (11-16) jumped out to a 7-0 lead and held a 12-10 advantage after the opening eight minutes. Burton made a basket 16 seconds into the quarter to helped Santa Fe tie the contest, but a 3-pointer by Alley Rickel — who had a team-high 14 — helped North Platte nudge ahead again.

Two free throws from Burton pulled the Chiefs closer and a basket by Limback, who entered averaging 21 points and 16 rebounds per game, gave Santa Fe the lead at 16-15 and they never trailed again.

“She is a fantastic player,” North Platte coach Ryan Davis said. “She has knocked us out the last three years. All the credit goes to her.”

Santa Fe went on a 10-0 run at that point, but North Platte hung tight, down 22-19 with 4 minutes to play in the first half. But, Santa Fe scored 16 of the next 23 points to take a 38-26 lead into the break. Limback had 10 of her 22 in the second.

Rickel matched that scoring output thanks to a trio of 3s in the second for the Panthers, which lost to the Chiefs the past two years in a district and in the 2016 playoffs in sectionals.

North Platte faced a 19-point deficit entering the final quarter and a 10-0 run midway through the quarter iced the win for Santa Fe.

“I thought we fought hard and gave a lot of effort,” Davis said. “Just give them all the credit, they were just the better team.”

Along with Rickel’s 14, Gracie Roach added 10 points, while McKenna Fulton had eight for North Platte.

North Platte 56,
Wellington-Napoleon 46

Meeting for the second time in four days, the Panthers flipped the results of the first meeting with a win in the district opener on Monday, Feb. 19.

Wellington-Napoleon, the No. 4 seed, beat North Platte, 64-53, on the same court on Feb. 15 behind a strong showing from Carleigh Jenkins, who had 25 in the win.

This time around, Jenkins was held in check for the most part – she had 10 points and only three through the first three quarters.

North Platte jumped out to a 17-3 lead after the first quarter behind a balanced attack of McKenna Fulton, Alley Rickel and McKenzie Brockhoff, who had 13 of those points.

A 14-point second quarter followed to give the fifth-seeded Panthers a 30-12 advantage.

The Tigers (15-11) came back over the next two quarters behind Kiera Paige, who had 16 of her game-high 19 points. Her eight in the second helped Well-Nap pull within 40-26.

North Platte was outscored in the final frame, but did the job at the free throw line. Janell Manville hit 8 of 10 attempts in the final 8 minutes. Overall, North Platte hit 21 of 31 free throws in the contest.

Manville had a team-high 16, followed by 14 from Brockhoff and 10 from Gracie Rice.

Northland Christian 61, West Platte 34

Down by four points after the first quarter, the Bluejays couldn’t keep pace in the second frame and didn’t recover in an opening round game on Monday, Feb. 19.

Northland led 13-9 after 8 minutes of play but blew the game open by scoring 20 points in the second. Rebekah Rotacher outscored the Bluejays by one with a 3-pointers and two other buckets. Two other players had four points to help the Blazers take a 33-15 lead at the break.

Lea Moose had 11 of West Platte’s 19 second half points. The junior guard scored 19, hitting four 3-pointers.

Rothacher had 18 for the Blazers, one of three in double figures.