North Platte girls roll into district semis on heels of clinching KCI crown

North Platte coasted into the Class 2 District 16 semifinals with a 58-22 win Monday, Feb. 22 in Maysville, Mo.

The top seed in the eight-team bracket, the Panthers limited Albany to just 10 points in the first three quarters, expanding a 31-6 halftime lead to 46-10 after three quarters. Brittney Gerling, Kaycee Hodgson and Erin Manville — all three seniors — scored 10 points apiece for giving way to the reserves late in the game.

North Platte (21-4) advanced to play fourth-seeded Gallatin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24. The winner advances to the championship game, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26.
After losing out in last year’s district final to Hamilton, North Platte will be seeking a seventh trip to the Class 2 playoffs in the past eight seasons.

West Platte bowed out of the Class 2 District 15 tournament in Alma, Mo. with a 45-38 loss to fifth-seeded Orrick on Monday, Feb. 22. The Bluejays lost their final eight games of the season, a stretch that came after an upset of KCI Conference Tournament champion Mid-Buchanan in the North Platte Invitational.

The losing streak included KCI losses to East Buchanan, Mid-Buchanan and Lawson, which dropped West Platte to 1-6 in league play. The Bluejays matched last year’s KCI record and ended up 7-16, one game down from the previous year. 

North Platte 72, Mid-Buchanan 43

The Panthers finished off an unbeaten run through the KCI Conference on Tuesday, Feb. 16, avenging a prior loss in blowout fashion.

Having lost to Mid-Buchanan in the finals of December’s KCI Conference Tournament, North Platte scored 24 points in the first quarter and bolted to a 35-16 halftime lead. Gerling (22 points) and Hodgson (17 points) were dominant in the post for the Panthers, both recording career highs for scoring.

North Platte made 31 shots from the floor.

In their final home game, North Platte’s seven seniors accounted for 61 of the 72 points with Erin Manville adding nine. She didn’t play in the first matchup with the Dragons, still recovering from her second ACL surgery.

North Platte finished up its third straight unbeaten run through the KCI, and the senior class exits having won 23 straight in league play.

North Platte 51, Wellington-Napoleon 31

In the regular season finale for the Panthers, Emmie Lee scored 12 of her 16 points in the first half to lead a win Thursday, Feb. 18 in Wellington, Mo.

North Platte led 31-13 at halftime and cruised to the victory with no other players in double figures. Manville (eight points, six steals), Maddie Lee (eight points, five assists) and Gerling (eight points, five rebounds) were the other big contributors.