North Platte St. Pat’s couldn’t put away Perkins County with a big start on Friday.
But the Irish turned on the jets in the second half to win, 68-45, at the McGahan Activities Center on Friday.
“(When) they tightened their zone, we needed some perimeter shooting and we weren’t getting that,” St. Pat’s coach O’Malley said. “Fortunately, we continued to defend well and that kept us in a pretty good spot.”
The game began with Jack Heiss making a three-pointer from NBA range for St. Pat’s (9-2). Heiss then made it 5-0 when he drove in for a layup.
That began a 12-0 run as post players Caleb Munson and Brecken Erickson each scored two points. The Irish led 16-6 at the end of the first quarter and they led as much as 24-8 in the second.
But as the first half came to a close, Perkins County (6-3) went on a 10-0 run to pull within six after Nolan Foster banked in a jump shot from just inside the three-point arc. The two teams traded baskets to end the half and it was 26-20 at the break.
“I thought we were really sharp to start the second half,” O’Malley said. “They had their zone well extended and we were able to get underneath it and get some good shots. Then they collapsed a little bit and we scuffled a little bit shooting the ball. That made it tough for a stretch.”
Hayden Foster scored inside to open the second half for the Plainsmen and make it a four-point game. But Heiss hit a three and Munson scored on an inbound pass to put St. Pat’s up nine.
That didn’t put Perkins County away though and they came back to pull within four two more times. But the Irish started to roll toward the end of the third quarter. The margin went back to double figures, 44-34, when Erickson made a free throw with nine seconds left that followed buckets by Will Moats and Heiss.
The fourth quarter began with Heiss knocking down another deep three and then he followed with a layup. Erickson then laid one in off an inbound pass before Heiss buried another one from downtown. Moats then hit a mid-range jumper and then Erickson added two more foul shots and all of a sudden the lead was 58-34.
“Jack got us going there and he put together a string of shots,” O’Malley said. “We got some other shots in semi-transition and executed a little better in the half-court to get some separation.”
Next, the Irish will host Cozad (6-4) on Saturday.
Score by quarters:
Perkins County: 6-14-14-11 – 45
St. Pat’s: 16-10-18-24 – 68
Perkins County (45)-Hunter Garner 11, Jeb Kohl 3, Triston Hite 7, Nolan Foster 6, Blake Garner 3, Hayden Foster 9, Will Long 2, Casey Hanson 4
St. Pat’s (68)-Jack Heiss 31, Will Moats 10, Jackson Roberts 2, Seth Engler 2, Brecken Erickson 16, Caleb Munson 7
Free throws: PC 9-14, SP 14-20; Three-point goals: PC 4 (H. Garner 2, Hite, B. Garner), SP 6 (Heiss 6)
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