North Platte St. Pat’s took control in the second quarter on Saturday as they defeated Cozad, 63-41, at the McGahan Activities Center.
The game was tightly contested for the first 12 minutes. Down 24-21 in the second, Will Moats made a three-pointer to tie the game for the Irish (10-2). Jack Heiss then gave St. Pat’s the lead with a free throw. Then Brecken Erickson and Heiss got layups to make it 29-24 all of a sudden.
The Irish continued to pick up steam in the last two minutes of the first half and they led 38-28 at halftime after another Heiss layup in the last seconds.
“Two things were key in that, we were able to get the ball inside and finish around the basket,” St. Pat’s coach Bill O’Malley said. “Also, in that stretch where we went from a really tight game to close to double figures, we were able to turn them over and get points. It happened pretty quickly and that really gave us a boost of confidence.”
Nolan Wetovick scored the first basket of the second half for Cozad (6-5). But Heiss answered with a basket of his own. After Erickson made a free throw, Caleb Munson got a putback to make it a 15-point game. Heiss scored on a putback of his own and then Erickson scored inside to make it 49-30 nearly halfway through the third quarter.
The Irish only allowed the Haymakers to score 13 points in the second half and they won going away to finish their three-game homestand 3-0.
“In the second half, two things really allowed us to be successful,” O’Malley said. “We did a better job of taking care of the ball and we did a better job of keeping them out of the lane. They really hurt us getting into the lane. They dribble penetrated right down the middle and they were able to drop it down to guys to finish uncontested. We knew we couldn’t win if that continued to happen and our kids did a nice job.”
Next, St. Pat’s will play at Mullen (8-4) on Tuesday.
Score by quarters:
Cozad: 16-12-5-8 – 41
St. Pat’s: 15-23-18-7 – 63
Cozad (41)-Monty Brooks-Follmer 2, Jacob Weatherly 7, Cash Chytka 12, Tag Sassali 5, Nolan Wetovick 9, Noah Shoemaker 2, Nathan Engel 2, Paul Cole 2
St. Pat’s (63)-Andrew Brosius 3, Jack Heiss 26, Connor Hasenauer 4, Will Moats 6, Jackson Roberts 2, Brecken Erickson 18, Caleb Munson 4
Free throws: C 3-6. SP 7-10; Three-point goals: C 2 (Weatherly, Sassali), SP 4 (Moats 2, Brosius, Heiss)
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