The North Platte Lady Knights overcame a slow start Saturday to knock off the Central Community College Lady Raiders 76-70 and claim the Region IX Division II regular season championship.It was the last game for sophomores Lacey Houston, Naudia Crisp and Paige Hasty.
With the win, the Lady Knights will be the No. 1 seed and host the Region IX Division II championship game on March 4 at McDonald-Belton Gymnasium.
The Lady Knights came out of the gates slow and trailed 38-34 at half time.
The Knights got down by 10 points before battling back to win the game. The game was back and forth down the stretch until DaVontaye Merritt got the last of her 22 points on a lay-up to put the Lady Knights up 4 with 40 seconds to play.
Lacey Houston played tough defense at mid-court to get an over-and-back call and give the ball back to the Knights. Jordan Dickerson then got fouled and hit both free throws to put the Knights up six and seal the game.
In the second half, North Platte outscored the Lady Raiders 42-32.
The Knights also got big contributions from Paige Hasty with 19 points and 14 rebounds, Jordan Dickerson with 15 points and Candice Shelton with 12 points. Merritt finished the game with a double-double with 12 rebounds.
The Lady Raiders were led by Sophia Yarger with 18 points.
North Platte improves to 3-3 in the Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference while Central drops to 1-4.
North Platte is 13-13 overall and 3-1 in Region IX Division II. Central is 9-13, and 1-3 in Region IX Division II.
The Lady Knights finish out the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 23 on the road as they travel to Torrington, Wyo. to take on the Eastern Wyoming College Lady Lancers on at 4 p.m. CST.
The Lady Knights will be looking to avenge a 62-67 home loss earlier this season.