SHERIDAN, Wyo. – Sheridan College ended the season for the North Platte men Friday with a 95-88 win in the semi-finals of the Region IX Division I tournament.
The Generals, ranked 11th in the nation, improve to 31-2 and advance to face the nation’s sixth-ranked team in Casper, also 31-2, in the finals at 7 p.m. (MT) Saturday.
Casper beat Western Nebraska 102-97 in the first semi-final of the day.
Sheridan, a team that survived a two-point win over Northeastern Junior College Thursday (74-72) came out early and established offensive momentum taking leads of 9-3, 16-9, and 32-22 at the 7:11 mark of the first period.
The Generals led at the half 56-38, and made 18 of 30 shots from the field (60 percent) including eight of 14 shots from the 3-point line (57.1 percent) and 12 of 15 free throws (80 percent).
North Platte battled back and cut the gap to six points several times in the final eight minutes of the game but couldn’t get the score any closer.
The Knights had five players in double-figures led by Edgars Kaufmanis (Valmiera, Latvia) with 17 points. Courtney Murrell (Plano, Texas) scored 14 points. Ilya Tyrtyshnik, (Kiev, Ukraine) had 13 points. Jakub Karwowski (Warsaw, Poland) scored 11 points and Tim Johnson (Arlington, Texas) scored 10 points.
North Platte was out-rebounded 36-31. Karwowski led the Knights with eight boards. Da’May Jones (Houston, Texas) had seven rebounds.
For the game, the Knights shot 47.7% from the field, made 9 of 19 3-pointers (47.4%) and 17 of 24 free throws (75 percent).
Adham Eleeda led a trio of Generals topping the 20-point mark. He scored 26, Sean Sutherlin and AJ Bramah both scored 20.
Sheridan ended up shooting 55.9% from the field for the game, made 12 of 27 shots from the 3-point line (44.4%) and 17 of 24 free throws (68%).
Sheridan and Casper split the season series with each team winning at home. Saturday’s winner advances to the NJCCA national tournament in Hutchinson Sports Arena, in Hutchinson, Kan. March 18-23
North Platte ends the season at 24-5.