North Platte got ahead of Scottsbluff in the first half and with a consistent offensive attack, the Bulldogs stayed ahead on Friday for a 64-59 victory at the Dawg House.

“We’re moving, we’re cutting and we’re screening hard,” NPHS Head Coach Jimmie Pack said. “That’s what’s getting us outside shots. We’re getting our outside shots from the inside. We’re attacking the paint and we’re being patient offensively.”

The game began with Lance Gifford getting a three-point play for the Bulldogs (6-9). The Bearcats (15-6) got on the board with a pair of Carter Reisig free throws. The lead grew for North Platte after Eli Broman made back-to-back three-pointers from the left corner.

“Eli Broman hit two big threes early on and that came from guys driving and kicking it out to him,” Pack said.

Scottsbluff came back quickly to tie at 11 after Keon Delgado made two free throws to follow five straight points scored by Nate Kelley. They Bearcats took the lead shortly thereafter when Kelley got a layup off a steal.

But NPHS led 17-15 at the end of the first quarter after Ian Caudy’s basket closed the opening period. Jesse Mauch hit a three to open the second quarter to make it a five-point game. The lead grew to double figures after Gifford went coast-to-coast for a layup after getting a defensive rebound and Landon O’Brien knocked down a three off a handoff from Gifford.

The Bulldogs remained ahead at halftime, 34-27. Scottsbluff came within striking distance, down 44-42, at the end of the third quarter after Rylee Meininger scored five straight points on a three and a jump shot from 19 feet.

But the Dawgs couldn’t be stopped. Caden Joneson connected on a runner to begin the fourth. Mauch drained a three and Joneson drove for another layup to push the lead back to nine.

The Bearcats continued to push. They pulled to within two again at 55-53 just inside two minutes when Kelley got a three-point play to follow a Reisig three.

But Gifford made a pair of free throws to end the run and that helped North Platte hold on. Kelley made two foul shots on the other end to make it a two-point game again. Joneson got an uncontested layup with a minute left after receiving a pass from O’Brien, who just won a scramble for a loose ball.

Scottsbluff was back at the free throw line again. But Meininger only made one of his two shots and Mauch scored the next four points with two free throws and a layup in transition, making it a seven-point game with 16 seconds left.

“Basketball is a game of runs,” Pack said. “I told them at half, ‘They’re going to make a run’ and they did at the end of the third quarter. We came out and switched some things, defensively, and we made a run. You can’t put your head down when a team makes a run because our run’s coming too. It was a back and forth game, which most of our games are but I was proud of how our guys stepped up to the challenge and met that run head on.”

Next, the Bulldogs will host Scottsbluff’s neighboring rival, Gering, on Saturday.

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