North Platte girls fall in 5th-place contest

DEARBORN, Mo. — A slow start proved to be too much to overcome for North Platte in the Consolation Final of the North Platte Invitational on Friday, Jan. 26 at North Platte High School.

Plattsburg’s Parker Straight outscored the Panthers by herself in the first quarter and the Tigers took the game 57-50.

Straight finished with a game-high 21 points, including 12 in the first quarter.

North Platte scored nine as a team in the frame and trailed 18-9 overall. By halftime the lead had buoyed to double digits and a late fourth-quarter run proved too little too late.

 BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo North Platte coach Ryan Davis, left, signals his team including Janell Manville (31) and McKenna Fulton, right, on defense in North Platte’s 48-17 win vs. Polo in the consolation semifinals of the North Platte Invitational on Wednesday, Jan. 24. 

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo
North Platte coach Ryan Davis, left, signals his team including Janell Manville (31) and McKenna Fulton, right, on defense in North Platte’s 48-17 win vs. Polo in the consolation semifinals of the North Platte Invitational on Wednesday, Jan. 24. 

Gracie Roach led the Panthers in scoring with 14, while Alley Rickel chipped in with 12 points.

North Platte 48, Polo 17

North Platte raced to the finals of the consolation bracket with an easy win on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at North Platte High School.

North Platte allowed just two points in the first quarter and kept the shutout for over 6 minutes. The home side didn’t take full advantage of the defensive effort, scoring just 10 points in the first quarter.

“I thought we came out and executed the gameplan,” North Platte coach Ryan Davis said. “We knew they were going to want to slow the game down and pound the ball inside. We had to play our game. We had to get out and run. I thought the girls made a conscious effort to go as hard as they could for as long as they could, knowing there was someone on the bench to give them a break.”

The second quarter proved to be more of the same with the first Polo field goal coming more than halfway through the eight-minute stanza. North Platte continued its defensive dominance, allowing just seven points after halftime.

“We’re maturing,” Davis said. “The team is maturing. We’re getting excited when someone off of the bench scores or has a game that is better than usual. This is the game all year where we played well for four quarters.”

Gracie Roach provided the biggest offensive spark with a game-high 11 points. McKenzie Brockhoff also reached double-digits for North Platte with 10 points. Alley Rickel added nine points to round out the biggest contributors to the final score. Five other Panthers — McKenna Fulton, two, Jordyn Smith, two, Ryann Smith, four, Janell Manville, four, and Grace Rice, six — combined for the final 18 points.

Plattsburg 61, West Platte 43

The Tigers outscored the Bluejays in all four quarters to eliminate West Platte from the North Platte Invitational on Wednesday, Jan. 24.

Lea Moose provided the offensive spark for West Platte with a game-high 18 points including five 3-pointers while running the point for West Platte with usual point guard Karen Knox nursing an injury.

“The outside shooting I think will continue,” Bluejays coach Jennifer Lawson said. “We need to not hesitate to shoot it when we are open. We also need to look to drive more to open up the outside. We were missing Karen Knox tonight. It helps to have a point guard. Lea did well tonight; she just isn’t as used to it.”

Freshman Lexie Smither added three more 3s for West Platte and also reached the double-digit threshold with 11 points. Overall the Bluejays hit nine 3s with Gretchen Raney hitting the final triple. Rachel Heili finished with eight points, Sydney Sweeden, two and Emily Norman, one, to round out the scoring.

Mid-Buchanan 57, West Platte 20

Mid-Buchanan jumped out to a big lead early and enjoyed a running clock to send West Platte to the consolation side of the North Platte Invitational on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at North Platte High School.

The Dragons scored 20-first quarter points and led 35-13 at the break before triggering the running clock at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Smither had a team-high six points for the Bluejays.

Mid-Buchanan would win the team championship.