Gracie Haneborg came within a basket of reaching the 1,000-point milestone for her prep career on Thursday on a memorable night for both North Platte High School basketball teams at the Dawg House.
Haneborg finished with 16 points as the Lady Bulldogs (16-4) beat Class B No. 8 (Omaha World-Herald) Scottsbluff (12-10) 69-58.
Then senior Steven Garcia posted a game-high 23 points as the North Platte boys (7-13) downed the Class B No. 3-rated Bearcats (19-3) 67-53.
"We’ve kind of had a hard season I guess so far," Garcia said, "This week in practice we were just trying to push ourselves and not give up on the season. That showed (against Scottsbluff)."
Garcia had nine points in the fourth quarter and his three-point play with 1 minute, 21 seconds left gave the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the game at 64-47.
"(Garcia) has been a focal point for other teams we have played (this year)," Bulldogs coach Matt Kaminski said. "Everybody knows he has the ability to score. He is consistent in how he approaches the game but tonight was pretty special for him."
River Johnston added 19 points for North Platte and eight players had at least three points for the Bulldogs.
Garcia had five of the nine 3-pointers North Platte hit in the win.
"The big thing for us the last week-and-a-half is playing with desire," Kaminski said. "I thought we got some good aggressive-type actions for our 3-pointers in the first half, got a lead and just kept plugging away.
"Our defense has kept us in games all year and we have been up-and-down when it comes to shooting the basketball," Kaminski said. "I’m just super proud of the kids stepping up and we kind of hit on all cylinders tonight and it came against a great team. This is probably the biggest win we’ve had in about the last 12 years."
Jasiyah DeOllos had 21 points to lead Scottsbluff and Dawson Mohr added 14 points.
The Bearcats cut a 12-point North Platte lead in half during the final minute of the third quarter, but Kade Mohr answered for the Bulldogs.
The sophomore hit a 3-pointer from the left corner as time expired in the quarter to give the Bulldogs a 46-36 lead.
Scottsbluff never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.
"It was huge," Kaminski said. "If you are going to win, you have to hit timely shots. We haven’t really done that all year but tonight every time we answered the bell, it seems like it was someone different knocking a shot down."
Scottsbluff 12 9 15 17 — 53
North Platte 14 13 19 21 — 67
Carly Purdy and Abby Orr combined for 16 of North Platte’s 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs closed out the game.
"We knew that when it mattered we were going to have to get touches with those two," Bulldogs coach Tyson Hammond said. "In the first half we didn’t get to do it as much as we probably wanted to because Abby was in a little bit of foul trouble."
Orr had 10 of her 12 points in the final eight minutes for the Bulldogs, who trailed 48-47 after the third quarter.
Her performance was part of a balanced-scoring night for the Bulldogs with five players in double figures.
Purdy had six of her 12 points in the fourth quarter and Callie Haneborg and Rylee Kurth both chipped in with 10 points.
Gracie Haneborg, with her right hand wrapped in athletic tape after sustaining an injury earlier this season, had 12 points in the first half.
The senior returned to the North Platte lineup on Tuesday and had 998 career points headed into Friday’s home matchup with Gering.
"Just getting Gracie back on the court — the points are great but its the other things she does that makes the biggest difference," Hammond said. "She has great basketball instincts and is a great defender. There is just a lot of things she does that makes everyone else (on the team) relaxed and understanding that everything is going to be alright."
Scottsbluff senior Yara Garcia finished with a game-high 29 points — 20 of which came in the second half.
"She is really hard to guard and does a good job when she gets to the paint," Hammond said of Garcia. "She knows how to move and finish at different angles. She’s a good player."
Scottsbluff 2 0 7 21 10 — 58
North Platte 18 18 9 22 — 69