North Platte – The No. 8 North Platte Community College men’s basketball team (12-0, 4-0 South Sub-Region) knocked off the No. 17 Northeastern Junior College Plainsmen (12-2, 1-2 South Sub-Region) by a score of 69-60 Wednesday night.
“It’s a great way to head to break with a win,” said head coach Kevin O’Connor. “Give NJC a ton of credit, they are a very talented basketball team and we had to find a way to win tonight.”
The first half was back and forth as neither team could gain a foothold offensive as it was a well-played half defensively. At the end of the half the Knights were able to gain a five point lead as Marco Pascolo would hit a 3-point shot right before the buzzer to give the Knights a 28-23 half time lead.
In the second half, both teams started to find more of a rhythm offensively with North Platte finding it quicker. After shooting 1 of 11 from the 3-point line in the first half the Knights were able to knock down 4 of 8 in the second half. The Knights were able to extend their lead to 16 points before a late flurry made the final margin nine.
The Knights were led by Ethan Montalvo who finished with 16 points. Tim Simmons and Marco Pascolo were also in double figures with 14 apiece with Simmons pulling down eight rebounds. Cameron Williams and Aireon Porter each finished with nine points while Porter added eight rebounds including four offensive. Jake Maslo led the way on the boards with nine. Joe Uke was the only player in double figures for the Plainsmen finishing with 13 points.
“I think of every shot as a miss,” said Porter “and try to go get it. It was a really good team win for us.”
North Platte will travel to Sterling on Feb. 4 to face Northeastern in a rematch of tonight’s game.
The Knights return to action in 2014 on Jan. 10 as they travel to Scottsbluff to take on Western Nebraska Community College (7-6, 0-1 South Sub-Region) at 8:30 p.m. CST. North Platte remains on the road as they face Eastern Wyoming in Torrington, Wyo. on Jan. 11 at 5 p.m. CST. The Knights first seven games of 2014 are on the road.