The North Platte High School boys' basketball team grinded out a 54-49 overtime victory over Hastings on Saturday at the Dawg House.NPHS coach Matt Kaminski said it wasn't pretty, but his team did what it had to do in a tight game similar to several the Bulldogs lost last year.
"It was physical and rough but it was nice to see the kids step up and make plays when we needed them to," said Kaminski
After holding a narrow 8-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Dawgs (2-0) took a 15-8 lead early in the second on a Shane Mauch three-pointer that followed a basket by Luke Wright.
But Hastings (1-1), who made nine threes on Saturday, started to get hot from the outside and tied the game at 19 on a three by Will Reimer.
The Tigers briefly led 22-21 before Drew Callaghan scored the last two baskets of the half for a 25-22 lead at halftime.
Kade Erickson began the second half with a three and then Jack Kenny scored a transition layup that was triggered by a Callaghan blocked shot.
Callaghan then scored the next two baskets to make it 34-22 and close out the 13-0 run.
"I liked how we seized control at the beginning of the second half to extend the lead," Kaminski said.
It didn't take Hastings long to come back. Tyler Ripperger knocked down a three to make it 34-29 and it was a battle the rest of the way.
It was 35-32 going into the fourth quarter and Callaghan scored the first four points of the fourth on a pair of free throws and an alley-oop layup.
But Reimer drilled two straight from downtown to make it a one-point game with four minutes left.
Mauch got a three-point play on the next possession to make it a four-point game and then both teams traded a pair of free throws over the next two minutes.
Reimer made another trey with 1:25 to go to bring the Tigers to within 44-43. Then 30 seconds later, Hastings took the lead when Mark Goodin got a layup off of a steal.
On the other side of the floor, Callaghan was fouled by Tanner Johnson with 34 seconds left and the 6-foot-7 center made one of two free throws to tie the game.
Hastings held the ball for the last shot and with about five seconds left, Reimer missed an 18-foot fadeaway under pressure. The rebound came to Goodin, who put it up before time expired but the ball rolled out of the rim to force overtime.
Mauch made a three 30 seconds into overtime and then Callaghan got a three-point play to make it a six-point lead with 2:42 left in the extra period.
Reimer hit another three on the following possession but that was the closest the Tigers got.
Wright made two straight free throws to put the margin back to five. Ripperger and Mauch traded made free throws in the final minute to round out the scoring.
"I thought we lost their shooters and you can't do that," said Kaminski. "But in the overtime we really stepped up. Drew made some plays in the overtime and so did Shane. We need someone to step up every night and tonight it was Shane."
Hastings 6 16 10 13 4 - 49
North Platte 8 17 10 10 9 - 54
Hastings (49)-Will Reimer 15, Grahm Schneider 5, Mark Goodin 4, Chris Gerard 2, Matt Karloff 5, Tyler Ripperger 18
North Platte (54)-Shane Mauch 16, Kade Erickson 3, Jack Kenny 2, Drew Callaghan 24, Luke Wright 9
Free Throws: H 6-8, NP 15-23; Three Point Goals: H 9 (Reimer 5, Ripperger 3, Schneider), NP 3 (Mauch 2, Erickson)