The North Platte St. Pat's boys' basketball team dominated the second half against Mullen on Tuesday night for a 64-41 win at the McGahan Activities Center."(Mullen) played great defense and they were physical, which bothered us and caused us to miss shots in the first half," said St. Pat's coach Bill O'Malley. "But in the second half, we were a little more deliberate and determined with the basketball. We were more efficient and able to convert at a higher rate."
Neither team had much of an advantage in the first half but at halftime, Mullen had a 24-20 lead.
But Sean Keenan started the second half by scoring the first five points on a basket and a three-point play to give the Irish the lead.
Then a little under two minutes into the third quarter, Joseph Clinch got a three-point play after a putback of a miss by Keenan to make it a four-point lead for St. Pat's (9-2).
Josh Vinton got a bucket for Mullen (8-4) to end the eight-point run. But Mark Mayfield stepped out and hit a three-pointer and then the 6-foot-1 guard Keenan got a breakaway dunk after stealing the ball.
From there, it was all Irish. The lead was 42-32 at the end of the third quarter and it kept growing in the fourth.
O'Malley said that his team was more solid on defense in the second half. St. Pat's didn't give up as many open looks. Those stops translated to points on the offensive end as the Broncos had a hard time keeping up with the Irish in the open court.
"In the first half, we were overly aggressive and trying to trap," said O'Malley. "Mullen got some layups. But in the second half, we played more to contain."
Mullen 9 15 8 9 - 41
St. Pat's 6 14 22 22 - 64
Mullen (41)-Logan Ginkens 12, Tye Spies 4, Riley Rice 18, Matt Furrow 3, Josh Vinton 4
St. Pat's (64)-Sean Keenan 13, Joe O'Malley 5, Cory Clinch 1, Joseph Clinch 13, Alex Harms 8, Mark Mayfield 20
Free Throws: M 7-10, SP 10-15; Three Point Goals: M 4 (Ginkens 2, Rice 2), SP 2 (Mayfield 2)