It comes down to just one game between Western Nebraska Community College and North Platte Community College men’s basketball teams Tuesday night at Cougar Palace.
The importance of the Region IX South Sub-region contest is simple, the winner of the game wins the South sub-region and will get a bye into the Region IX tournament March 7-9 in Sheridan, Wyoming, while the loser will get second place and host McCook Community College on Saturday in a Region IX first-round contest to advance into the Final Eight of the Region IX tournament.
Tip-off for the key sub-region contest is set for 7:30 p.m. at Cougar Palace. It will also be sophomore recognition night at The Palace. Admission to the game is just $1 and all Scottsbluff and Gering elementary students will be admitted free.
WNCC and North Platte are deadlocked at 9-2 in the South. North Platte is 22-3 on the season while WNCC is 22-7. The Cougars are coming off a 96-74 setback to Trinidad State Junior College on Saturday. North Platte enters Tuesday’s key contest on a 6-game win streak.
The two squads met earlier in the season in North Platte with the Knights topping the Cougars 81-74. North Platte’s two losses came to McCook 84-78 and Northeastern Junior College 80-70.
It should be an interesting contest come Tuesday. WNCC is averaging 93.7 points a game and shooting 41 percent from the field. WNCC is 13-2 at home this season.
North Platte is averaging 82 points a game and shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc.
The Knights are coming off an 88-59 win against Lamar on Saturday.
The Cougars are led by four players in double figures. Jervay Green, the University of Nebraska recruit, is averaging 23.3 points a game followed by Dru Kuxhausen at 19 points. Martin Roub, who had 28 points in the contest on Saturday against Trinidad, is averaging 16.9 points a contest. Bryce Sanchious is scoring at a clip of 14.3 points.
North Platte has three players averaging in double digits. Tim Johnson is averaging 15.6 points followed by Courtney Murrell at 14.9 points. Jakub Karwowski is next at 10.2 points a contest.
The North sub-region is finished and Sheridan and Casper tied for first place in the North after the T-birds beat Sheridan 97-78 on Saturday. Sheridan then won the coin toss to earn the right to host the Region IX tournament March 7-9.