Columbus – The No. 3 North Platte Community College men’s basketball team’s (16-1, 6-1 South Sub-Region, 2-0 NCCAC) knocked off the Central Community College Raiders (14-4, 1-1 NCCAC) 78-71 in a Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference game behind four players in double figures.
“A great way for our team to respond after dropping our first game,” said assistant coach Nathan Wieseler. “Going on the road and getting a win is never easy. We are happy to be heading home with two more wins.”
For the second straight game, the Knights got out of the gate hot to jump on the home team. In this game, the Knights opened up 26-14 lead over the Raiders. The Raiders would not go quietly as they battled back to trail only 36-33. Ethan Montalvo continued his scoring spree as he was the only player in double-figures at half with 12 points.
“We knew they were a good team and were going to battle back after our good start,” said Marco Pascolo. “We were able to respond and earn the victory. It was a good win for team morale.”
In the second half, the Knights would score a couple baskets in the row, only to see Central go on a mini run of their own. The Raiders were able to tie the game three times in the second half, but were never able to take a lead. During the last five minutes North Platte stretched the lead to 10 points and held off the Raiders for the victory.
Montalvo again led the Knights with 21 points and seven rebounds. Marco Pascolo chipped in 19 points while Cameron Williams also scored 19 points and dished out six assists. Tim Simmons was the fourth Knight in double-figures as he finished with 14 points. Aireon Porter tied Montalvo for the team lead in rebounds with seven.
The Raiders were well balanced as all five starters scored in double-figures. Tra-Deon Hollins led the way with 16 points. Tyron Criswell (14 points), John Ruffin (12 points), David Plain (11 points) and Riak Bol (10 points) were the other Raiders to score double-figures.
North Platte Community, Southeast Community College, Central Community College and McCook Community College make up the Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference (NCCAC). The four schools play home and home this season, so today and tomorrow’s games count towards the conference championship for the Knights. Southeast fell at home to McCook 94-84 while Central defended their home court by knocking off McCook 96-92. North Platte defeated Southeast 83-68 last night.
The Knights have two more road games next week before returning home Wednesday January 29 to face the McCook Community College Indians (12-4, 3-2 South Sub-Region, 1-1 NCCAC) at 7:30 p.m. The Knights travel to face the Trinidad State Junior College Trojans (8-10, 1-5 South Sub-Region) on Friday January 24 at 8:30 p.m. CST and stay on the road to take on the Otero Junior College Rattlers (14-5, 4-3 South Sub-Region) in La Junta, Colo. on Saturday January 25 at 2 p.m. CST.