North Platte Community College women’s basketball team finishes off a perfect weekend defeating Iowa Lakes Community College on Saturday, 70-59. “I am proud of our fight and resiliency, said head coach Jeff Thurman. “Iowa Lakes is a tough team that put a lot of pressure on our defense, but I am proud of how we responded.” Iowa Lakes opened the scoring as the first bucket of the game came in the opening twenty seconds of the first quarter. The Knights responded quickly as Jada Ballard found Diamond Moore-Heath in the lane after drawing two defenders on her drive to the basket for the open layup, 2-2.
Lakers answered on their next offensive possession to retake the lead, but Jordyn Moon knotted the game up again after receiving an inbound pass from Kayla Pope in the paint for the uncontested layup, 4-4. Over the next three minutes, Iowa Lakes went on an 8-1 run to stretch their lead to seven, 5-12. A drive from Pope pulled multiple defenders away from Moore-Heath in the paint, who received the pass and answered with an uncontested layup. North Platte kept their momentum going as a three pointer by Pope narrowed the Lakers lead down to one as the clock moved inside five minutes, 11-12. Iowa Lakes extended their lead to seven inside two minutes to play, but the Knights cut the deficit to five by the end of the first quarter, 20-15.
The Lakers lead extended back to seven in the opening minutes of the second quarter, before Janay Brauer started to warm up from the perimeter. A deep three from the left wing cut the deficit to four with 6:13 remaining, 20-24. Iowa Lakes extended their lead back to seven by the midway point of the quarter, but North Platte responded with an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to three at the halftime break, 28-31. Knights opened the third quarter with some strong offensive possessions to swing the momentum in their favor. An offensive rebound by Moon turned into a successful second chance opportunity to cut the Lakers lead to one, 30-31.
North Platte kept their momentum going and took their first lead of the game with 6:50 to play in the third quarter on a basket by Jada Ballard. Lakers recaptured the lead as the clock moved inside six minutes, before a 7-0 run capped off by a Pope mid-range jumper gave the Knights a six-point lead with 4:41 to play, 41-35. Iowa Lakes cut the Knights lead back to one after capitalizing on an old fashion three-point play with 3:17 remaining in the third quarter. Brauer responded again by connecting on a three to push the Knights lead back to four, 44-40. Iowa Lakes wouldn’t let the Knights build upon their lead over the closing minutes and narrowed the deficit to one by the end of the third quarter, 47-46.
Needing to respond early in the fourth quarter, the Knights answered with a Brauer three on their opening possession to extend their lead to four. The North Platte lead stretched to six on a Moore-Heath jumper with 9:11 to play in regulation, 52-46. Iowa Lakes answered the Knights short run and cut the deficit down to two inside the final seven minutes. North Platte began to apply the pressure to the Lakers defensively, which forced Iowa Lakes into some tough looks at the basket. Knights used that to their advantage launching a 12-3 run over the next 5:20 to build an eleven-point lead inside the closing minutes.
The Knights defensive pressure limited the opportunities for any heroics at the end of the game and closed out the Lakers for their sixth win of the season. Knights will continue with their seven-game road trip by travelling to Scottsbluff for a single game against Western Nebraska Community College on Wednesday, November 24. Tip is set for 7pm CST inside the Cougar Palace.