Lincoln North Star seniors shine in win against Millard North

On senior night, the Lincoln North Star Navigators were led by — yes, their seniors — on the way to a 77-68 win against the Millard North Mustangs.

It seemed as though it would be a low-scoring affair after a 13-8 first period, but the floor opened up and both teams were able to get points down the stretch.

“I love playing in the open court, I’m an open court player,” North Star senior guard Triston Simpson.

Simpson finished his night with 15 points to go along with three assists. Simpson’s backcourt counterpart Logan Cale had nice senior night as well, dropping 24 points and hitting four threes on the night.

“We’ve been doing that for the last 10 years,” Simpson said. “Me driving and kicking it to him, and him splashing some threes.”

Both teams cashed in from beyond the arch Thursday with 14 threes being hit between the two teams — seven for North Star and seven for the Mustangs.

After a sluggish first quarter, the teams got back on track offensively in the second. They combined for 40 points in the period. The Mustangs pulled within five at one point in the quarter, but two Simpson buckets in the last 10 seconds of the half gave the Gators a 35-26 lead headed into the break.

The North Star lead would hover right around eight for the first four minutes of the third quarter, but the Gators would extend the lead late late in the quarter. Cale had two threes in the period and his second of the quarter gave the Gators a 50-36 lead forcing a Millard North timeout.

Mustang coach Tim Cannon said the floor opened up a little more in the second half and both teams were able to score more. the Mustangs did struggle protecting the ball in the half though, which opened up the floor even more for the Gators.

The fourth quarter was much of the same with the Gators holding on to a 10 point lead for much of the period. Millard North got as close as eight after a Nick Ferrarini hit a three with 1:39 to play. The Gators were able to play keep away and hit their free throws on their way to a 77-68 win.

North Star improved to 11-11 with the win and is at North Platte for its final game of the season. Millard North (7-14) returns home on Friday for senior night against Benson.

“We’ve struggled a little bit at home this year,” Simpson said. “So it was nice to come out and get my last final win here.”

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