The North Platte Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs each played their second game of the year on Saturday, hosting Hastings in the Dawg House. It took overtime for the Bulldogs, as they outscored the Tigers 9-4 in the extra frame, winning 54-49, while the Lady Bulldogs outscored the Lady Tigers 42-17 in the second half to capture a 71-37 win.
Tied at 45 at the end of regulation, it was a sophomore that got the Bulldogs off to the start they needed in the extra period. Shane Mauch took a skip pass from Drew Callaghan to nail down his second 3 of the game from the right baseline to put the Bulldogs up 48-45. Mauch was 2-of-4 on both his two-point and three-point attempts, and 6-of 7 from the line for 16 points.
“We’re going to need guys to step up every night,” said North Platte coach Matt Kaminski. “Today [Shane] was a spark for us and made some plays.
“That’s what we’re going to continue to need to do. Not just from him, but from everybody.”
On North Platte’s next possession, Kade Erickson missed the first of a 1-and-1 attempt, but followed his miss and kept the rebound alive for the Bulldogs. Callaghan gave North Platte a 51-45 lead, hitting on a 5-foot turnaround in the lane and making a bonus throw with 2 minutes, 42 seconds to go.
Hastings’ Will Reimer hit for one of his five 3s in the game to cut the lead to three, but Luke Wright nailed two free throws on the Bulldogs next trip down the floor for a 53-48 lead. When Tyler Ripperger hit one of two free throws on the Tigers next possession, it would be their final points of the game.
North Platte would add another free throw for the 54-49 final.
Although the Tigers suffered their first loss of the season after an opening win over Seward, coach Scott Rosno had encouraging words for his team.
“I talked to kids [after the game] and we addressed real simple, I have heard from many coaches before that effort and attitude are the only things you can control. “You can’t control that your shot may or may not fall, or that your legs start to become a little weary, or that you’re not very tall.
“But what you can control is the fact that you’re going to give every effort you can because the team needs that and then secondly — the attitude.
“We addressed that when we leave that locker room, no one needs to be able to tell if you won or lost the game because you played hard.”
Both teams struggled early, with North Platte holding an 8-6 first-quarter lead. But each team warmed up in the second quarter as the Bulldogs held a 25-22 lead heading into half.
“I thought we played a little tight the first half,” said Kaminski. “They shot a pretty good percentage and hit some 3s, and we weren’t getting the ball to fall in the hoop — that happens some times.
“I thought we got a little bit carried away and didn’t keep our composure for a little while — kind of a little panicky. But we settled down and understood that we still had control of the game despite what was happening, and found a way to get it done.”
Callaghan scored 10 of his game-high 24 points in the second quarter and took the Bulldogs to the locker room on a lob dunk off an Erickson assist — their second hook-up of the first half.
“When he’s active he does good for us,” Kaminski said of Callaghan. “He was active there and made some plays in a couple stretches that were big. When he is making plays, a lot of things are going well for us.”
Hastings took their first lead of the game in quarter four when with :52 remaining in regulation, Mark Goodin scored on a Reimer assist to lead 45-44. But Callaghan hit one of two free throws with 33.8 to go, forcing overtime.
Hastings (1-1)..............................6 16 10 13 4 — 49
North Platte (2-0)..............................8 17 10 10 9 — 54
North Platte statistics: (2 pt fg, 3 pt fg, ft, pts, reb) Shane Mauch 2/4, 2/4, 6/7, 16, 4; Bradey Anderson 0/2, 0/0, 0/2, 0, 1; Kade Erickson 0/4, 1/6, 0/3, 3, 4; Jack Kenny 1/3, 0/2, 0/3, 2, 4; Drew Callaghan 10/16, 0/0, 4/5, 24, 6; Luke Wright 2/2, 0/0, 5/6, 9, 8.
Lady Bulldogs win in blowout
North Platte’s Madalynn Doughty scored 11 of her career high 20 points in the opening quarter to help the Lady Bulldogs to their first win of the season. Doughty ended the game hitting five 2s and three 3s, while adding 1-of-2 free throws.
“Madalynn can shoot the 3,” Woodhead said. “She did that today. If we can get it cleared out she does a great job going to the hole too.”
The Lady Bulldogs opened with an 8-0 run. Ashten Hernandez scored on a Sally Hengen assist and followed that with two free throws. Kaitlynn Harvey assisted Doughty for two and then Harvey drove to the basket for another score.
North Platte’s pressure defense continued to cause problems for the Lady Tigers as the Lady Bulldogs carried a 21-8 lead into quarter two.
Hastings closed the lead to 22-18 in the second quarter on a 2 from the left wing by Mattie Stokes, but a 3 from Doughty, two free throws from Harvey and a pull-up 2 from Doughty pushed the lead back to 29-18. The Lady Bulldogs led 29-20 at half.
“That was really the difference in the first quarter,” Woodhead said of the press. “It got us a 21-5 lead.
“The second quarter we call it off, but then in the half court we would lose a girl and they started knocking down deep 2s and 3s. That was really frustrating — we let them right back in the game.
“At half we kind of got on them. We work on closing out every day in practice and we’re losing girls.”
Woodhead said he wanted the team to work on some different offensive strategy during the game.
“We probably could have lobbed [to Hernandez] the entire night,” the coach said, “but we wanted to try something different.
“If they’re going to front and back Ashten, and if we have good ball reversal, she is still going to get a layup.
“You would have thought we never had worked on that. That’s something we’re going to have to effectively do because Ashten will be fronted a lot.”
North Platte had just an 18-15 scoring advantage in the third quarter but outscored the Lady Tigers 24-2 in the final frame in gaining the win.
Hernandez scored 13 second-half points on her way to 19 points and Sally Hengen hit for all 11 of her points in the second half.
“Ashten has been pretty steady,” Woodhead said. “She’s gone 22, 20 and 19 points in our three games [including the Sidney jamboree]. If we can get doubles out of her, she’s a tough cover if she plays tough and gets her hands on it.
“Last night Sally didn’t shoot the ball very much. She’s a girl that sticks around and shoots after practice.
“We told her if she’s open she has to shoot the ball. She knocked down three 3s and a deep 2 — that was huge.”
As the game progressed, Maggie Bianco was on the assisting end of many of the Lady Bulldogs scores.
“For Maggie, it’s not all about herself,” said Woodhead. “She’s a senior and comes off the bench, but probably plays as much as anybody.
“She plays so hard. When you play hard good things happen.
“We’re really trying to stress team. Put your own personal agenda off to the side and play together.”
Hastings was led by Mel Gnagy with 13 points.
Both the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs host Lincoln Southeast at home on Friday and travel to Millard West on Saturday.
Hastings (0-2)..........................8 12 15 2 — 37
North Platte (1-1)............................21 8 18 24 — 71
North Platte statistics: (2 pt fg, 3 pt fg, ft, pts) Madalynn Doughty 5, 3, 1/2, 20; Maggie Bianco 0, 0, 0/1, 0; Marisa Martinez 0, 0, 2/2, 2; Kaitlyn Harvey 4, 0, 3/5, 11; Hannah Wilke 0, 0, 0/2, 0; Sally Hengen 1, 3, 0/0, 11; Taylor Johnson 3, 0, 0/0, 6; Kylie Wroot 0, 0, 2/2, 2; Ashten Hernandez 8, 0, 3/5, 19.