North Platte girls balanced in season-opening blowout of Lutheran

A balanced offense led to a blowout win in the season-opener.

Alley Rickel, Janell Manville and McKenna Fulton all finished in double-figuring scoring for North Platte, leading the Panthers to a 58-27 running-clock win over Kansas City Lutheran on Tuesday, Nov. 21 in Dearborn, Mo. The Panthers pulled away with a strong second half, finishing with 24 total field goals — just two of them 3-pointers.

A senior, Rickel scored a team-high 13 points, while Manville added 11 and Fulton finished with 10. Grace Rice tallied eight and Jordyn Smith seven for North Platte, coming off of a three-win season.

Lutheran trailed 23-20 at halftime, but North Platte scored 21 in the third quarter and then held the Knights to two points in the final 8 minutes. Last year, the Panthers opened with two wins before struggling to the finish.

North Platte scored 58 or more just once last year, during a 66-45 win over Lutheran in the opener.

After a Thursday, Nov. 30 trip to Southwest Livingston, North Platte opens play in the KCI Conference Tournament as the No. 6 seed, set to play Plattsburg at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2 in Plattsburg, Mo.

North Platte went 0-2 a year ago and did not place.

West Platte, scheduled to start the season Tuesday, Oct. 28 against Orrick, will be the No. 8 seed — one year after going 2-1 and placing third at KCI. The Bluejays start off with No. 1 seed Mid-Buchanan at noon on Saturday, Dec. 2 in Plattsburg, Mo.