McCook – The No. 13 North Platte Community College men’s basketball team (21-4, 9-4 South Sub-Region, 4-1 NCCAC) lost in overtime to the McCook Community College Indians (17-9, 7-6 South Sub-Region, 3-2 NCCAC) in a Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference (NCCAC) and Region IX Sub-Region contest 98-106.
The Knights started off the game with great defensive intensity as the Indians were only able to score 36 points in the half to the Knights 41. Cameron Williams dominated in the early going as he scored 16 points in the opening half by repeatedly getting to the basket. After being held to only three points through much of the first half, Knight’s leading scorer Ethan Montalvo hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Knights the five point lead at intermission.
In the second half, both teams found their offensive stride as the teams would battle back and forth with five ties and 15 lead changes in the second half. Late in regulation, the Indians were ahead by five points before a drive by Montalvo and dump to Aireon Porter for the basket and foul cut the Indians lead to two.
After a stop on the defensive end, Montalvo drove to the hoop and was fouled. With seven seconds remaining, he calmly sank both free throws to tie the game. McCook was unable to get a shot off and the game headed to overtime.
In the first two minutes of overtime, the two teams continued to battle back and forth before fast break opportunities allowed the Indians to earn their largest lead of the game at 91-102. The Knights would then out-score the Indians 7-4 but it was not enough.
Montalvo and Williams both scored 29 points in the game while Porter finished with a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Tim Simmons was the fourth Knight in double-figures with 10 points.
Dominic Williams led the way for McCook with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Tony Dobbinson (17), Demetrius Woodley (13), D’Andre Downey and LaMont Pruitt (10) were also in double-figures for the Indians. The Indians bench outscored the Knights bench 29-8.
The Knights sit atop the NCCAC standings with a 4-1 record and earn sole possession of the title with a victory over Southeast Community College in the final game of the season. McCook sits in second place with a 3-2 record, with Central Community College third at 2-3 and Southeast in fourth with a 0-3 record.
North Platte kicks off their four game home stand to end the season by hosting Eastern Wyoming Lancers (10-13, 2-9 South Sub-Region) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday Feb 14. The Knights defeated the Lancers on Jan. 11 79-69.
The Knights finish out the week when they host Western Nebraska Community College Cougars (15-10, 6-5 South Sub-Region on Saturday Feb. 15 at 3 p.m. North Platte defeated the Cougars on Jan. 10 75-68.
Both home games will be live streamed by Coaches Aid. A link to the broadcast can be found by going to www.npccknights.com and clicking on the “Live Video” link.
Next week marks the end of the regular season as the Knights host Laramie County Community College (15-10, 6-6 South Sub-Region) on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. and Southeast Community College (19-8, 0-3 NCCAC) on Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. The Knights fell at Laramie County 78-82 and defeated Southeast 83-68.