Winter Sports Preview: North Platte Boy’s Basketball

North Platte High School
News 2 at Ten
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 10:44 PM CST
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - In the 2021-22 basketball season, the North Platte Boys finished with a 13-9 record after falling to Millard South 58-42 in the District Tournament. This season the team is back and ready to top their record from last year as well as host another District Tournament. The Dawgs certainly have the pieces to make those goals happen as they welcome back their two top scorers from last season, seniors River Johnston and Carter Kelley.

Last season Johnston averaged 19.2 points a game and right behind him was Kelley averaging 13.4 points a game. Across all statistical categories from last season, you will likely find those two names close to the top if not at the top every time, so as explained by Head Coach Matt Kaminski, much of the success of this year’s team will be contingent on the play of both Johnston and Kelley.

“Those two guys have to be our rocks for us this year and I think they’re more than ready and willing to do that,” says Kaminski.

However, it takes a complete team to formulate a successful season. There are quite a few other players that Kaminski is excited to see their potential and what they bring to the court this season. Something that this year’s team will also have that they haven’t had much in the past is length, which is one thing that will help them in their tough stretch of schedule to start the season.

“We play a Class A schedule and we’ve had a little bit more length than we’ve had in previous years. We were always a pretty small team and I think just having some length and some physicality will help. And we’ve got kids that have just played a lot of basketball in the summer and just gained that confidence. So I think, just our overall length and experience should provide us with a lot of positive things this year,” explains Kaminski.

A common theme for this year’s team is grit and resilience, which is also exactly how Kaminski and Johnston described the identity of this team.

“We have some young guys, but everyone is pushing them at practice and we’ve had a good couple weeks here and it’s gonna be a good team,” says Johnston.

The Dawgs will open up the 2022-23 schedule at home on December 9th against Skutt Catholic.