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The Orrick Bearcats spent much of their Thursday night battling from behind in the semifinals of the Bill Burns Classic at Lathrop. Orrick was never quite able to make up a double-digit deficit in the first half and dropped a 62-43 decision to North Platte.
The Bearcats, now 3-4, will take on St. Mary’s for third place Saturday at 5 p.m.
“We played very flat in the first half,” Orrick Coach Morgan Dickson said. “We had too much standing around and not enough playing. Our defense gave us a spark late in the third quarter, but mental errors, turnovers and just not hitting shots killed us in the fourth.”
Brandt Sanders hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first period to get the Panthers started as they grabbed a 12-8 lead.
North Platte stretched its advantage to 28-19 by halftime. Clayton Jones, who ended the night with 17 points to lead the Bearcats, hit for 7 of his night’s total in the second quarter.
North Platte continued to extend its lead throughout the third period, but the Bearcats were able to rally and get to within 3 points late in the quarter. The Panthers held off the Orrick charge and took a 45-37 lead into the game’s final 8 minutes.
North Platte pulled away in the fourth frame behind the effort of Tanner Catlett, who hit for 7 of his 10 points as the Panthers outscored Orrick 17-6. In addition to Catlett’s total, North Platte had two more players reach double digits. Cody Hays scored a game-high 18 points, while Sanders hit three buckets outside the 3-point arc to help him reach 16 points.
“North Platte is a solid team that shoots well,” Dickson said. “They hit some big shots in the fourth to put us away.”
Cameron McGlothlin hit for 9 points and Kalija Rogers added 8 points for Orrick in the second half. Also scoring for the Bearcats were Luke Searcy with 5, while Ty Griffin, Aaron Blyth and Justin Dickson chipped in 2 each.