The North Platte Community College (19-5) menís basketball team took down the Trinidad State Trojans (12-10) 78-68 Friday behind the strong performance of sophomore Ben Wilson who knocked down 22 points, grabbed five rebounds and handed out three assists.Wilson hit 7 of 11 shots from the field and 6-6 from the free throw line.
ďI came out with an aggressive mindset on the defensive end and carried that over to the offensive end by getting some easy baskets to get me going,Ē said Wilson.
The Knights jumped out to an early lead and were able to take a 10-point lead into the locker room at half time. From there the Trojans played the Knights even as both teams scored 40 points in the second half behind several late shots from the Trojans.
As has been the staple all year, the Knights had balanced scoring as Reath Jiech contributed 14 points, Damon Brown 12 and Ethan Montalvo 10 to go along with Wilsonís strong night.
The Knights attacked the rim and were aggressive all night resulting in 34 free throws. The Trojans were led by Tyrell Taylor with 18 points and Devonte Malcolm with 14 points. The Knights defense was again strong as they forced 22 turnovers and turned it into 20 points.
Assistant coach Nathan Wieseler said, ďThe strength of our team is our defense and we were able to turn that into some easy baskets that helped get us into a flow offensively early in the game.Ē
The Knights return to action tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. against defending Region IX Champion the Otero Rattlers (18-5). The Knights will look to avenge a 75-61 defeat to the Rattlers in La Junta, Colo. earlier this year. The game will be broadcast on ESPN radio. The Knights stay at home Wednesday Feb. 13 as the McCook Community College Indians travel to McDonald-Belton Gymnasium for a rematch of a game the Knights won 63-47 earlier this year.