CASPER, WYO-The North Platte Community College men’s basketball team defeated Gillette Community College Monday, 81-67, continuing a run toward a berth in the national junior college tournament. The Knights (27-5) have won 10 of their last 11 games and played evenly Monday throughout the ballgame, building a seven-point lead at halftime and outscoring Gillette by another seven points in the second half.
Reath Jiech had an outstanding offensive game, knocking down 25 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Jiech hit 66 percent of his shots from the field and was 8-8 at the free throw line.
Teammate Damon Brown scored 19 points with six rebounds and seven assists. Ethan Montalvo had 16 points, five rebounds and four assists and was perfect (4-4) from the line.
The Knights also won the battle of turnovers. They committed eight turnovers but made up for them with seven steals. Gillette (17-13) was a minus-5 in turnovers, with 10 turnovers and five steals.
The Knights also fought to a 35-30 edge in rebounds.
The Knights advance to the semifinals Tuesday to face Northeastern Junior College (13-20). Tip off is at 6 p.m.
If the Knights win Tuesday they will play for the regional championship. That game is scheduled at 7 p.m. Wednesday.