Story by NPCC Athletic Communications
North Platte Community College women's basketball managed to build a comfortable double-digit lead in the third quarter, but the Broncos of Hastings College surged back to steal the 53-48 win inside the McDonald-Belton Gymnasium on Monday night.
Noel Warrior tallied a career high 13 points, while teammate Samantha Riggles accounted for 10 points and five rebounds in forty minutes of action. Mariah Gardner led the Knights on the glass, accounting for 11 rebounds to accompany her eight points.
Warrior propelled the Knights to an early 4-2 lead in the opening minutes of the first quarter, as she connected on a mid-range jumper. The Broncos answered and charged ahead, utilizing an 8-0 run to build their largest lead of the opening half.
North Platte responded with a quick 12-0 run, featuring back-to-back three pointers from Gardner and Warrior to recapture the momentum. The Knights defense limited the Broncos to just two more points throughout the remaining 5:18, as they held the 18-12 advantage after the opening ten minutes.
Hastings quickly cut into the deficit in the second quarter to recapture the lead on a three by Alexis Folkers. Warrior once again showed off her range by connecting on an open shot from the perimeter to ignite a short 5-0 burst. North Platte and Hastings exchanged baskets to close the quarter, but the Knights clung to a 30-27 lead at the break.
In the third quarter, the Knights extended their lead to seven after back-to-back three pointers from Gardner and Riggles. The margin only continued to grow as an 11-0 run helped the Knights push their lead to 41-29 with 3:20 to play in the quarter. The Broncos trimmed the deficit inside ten, but North Platte closed the quarter on a brief 4-0 run to extend their lead to thirteen headed into the final ten minutes.
The Broncos slowly erased the margin, while limiting the Knights to just three points in the final quarter. Hastings broke the nearly three minutes of silence in the fourth, as a three pointer by Whitney Bauer sparked the Broncos offense. Hastings never looked back down the stretch as they put the finishing touches on their come from behind victory.
North Platte (3-12) will continue their three-game homestead on Thursday with a rescheduled game against the Panthers of York College. Tip is set for 5 p.m. inside the McDonald-Belton Gymnasium.