The North Platte St. Pat’s Irish fizzled out after a great start to their game against Cambridge Saturday and they fell 54-43 at the McGahan Activities Center.
Nick Niesen began the game with a three-pointer for St. Pat’s (9-12). Then Alex Davies and Dolan Branch scored baskets from up close to make it 7-0.
But Cambridge (10-9) came back in a hurry. They pulled to within 13-12 when Deryk Huxoll hit a three with a little over two minutes left in the first quarter. Then the Trojans took the lead when Preston Carbaugh made a pair of free throws. Kyle Borland then scored inside to finish the scoring and make it 16-13 at the end of the first.
In the second quarter, St. Pat’s went on a 7-0 run and took a 22-20 lead on a basket by James Roberts with 2:19 left in the half. But Cambridge had the upper hand at the break, 26-24, after Kyle Eubanks knocked down a pair of free throws with 20 seconds left.
The Trojans pulled away coming out of the locker room. Huxoll nailed another three and then Carbaugh got a layup after recovering a loose ball. Carbaugh then scored again when he put in a missed Eubanks layup and it was 33-24.
After that, the Irish couldn’t get back into it when they couldn’t string buckets together and get any momentum as Cambridge held on.
“We were able to transition early and that got us going as we scored several transition baskets,” St. Pat’s coach Bill O’Malley said. “Then the transition game dried up and they did a good job of getting back on defense. We had a hard time finding any offensive rhythm. We had a hard time getting back to back made shots and putting pressure on them.”
Next, the Irish host Hershey (12-6) on Thursday.