The North Platte Community College mens' basketball team held off a furious rally by Central Community College on Saturday for a 75-66 victory at McDonald-Belton Gymnasium.The win clinched the NCCAC title for the Knights (22-5), who finished undefeated in the conference.
NPCC got its transition game going in the first half. With a little over seven minutes left in the first half, the Knights took a 24-13 lead closing out a 9-0 run.
The Knights led by as much as 38-16. But toward the end of the first half, Central scored eight unanswered before Booba Casse ended the half with a bucket that gave NPCC a 40-24 halftime lead.
But in the second half, Central took charge. The Raiders cut the lead to 45-38 within the first five minutes after the half.
The team from Columbus didn't stop there though. They cut the lead to 52-51 after Tyron Criswell and David Plain made three-pointers on consecutive possessions with just under 10 minutes left.
Both teams battled for the rest of the game. Central eventually tied the game but the Raiders could never take the lead.
With two and a half minutes remaining, NPCC got some breathing room when Tim Simmons buried a three to make it 68-61.
The Raiders didn't get much closer after that as the Knights made enough free throws to keep Central at a distance the rest of the way. NPCC won its final game at the McDonald-Belton to finish undefeated at home.
Central CC 66
North Platte CC 75
Halftime: North Platte CC 40, Central CC 24
Central CC (66)-Tim Bennett 2, David Plain 15, James Spencer 24, Riak Bol 8, Shannon Moon 3, Tyron Criswell 14
North Platte CC (75)-Damon Brown 10, Ethan Montalvo 10, Ben Wilson 20, Booba Casse 8, Jake Maslo 6, Reath Jiech 7, Eric Richardson 5, Tim Simmons 9
Free Throws: C 8-15, NPCC 17-27; Three Point Goals: C 8 (Plain 3, Spencer 3, Criswell 2), NPCC 3 (Montalvo 3, Wilson 3, Simmons 2)