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NORTH PLATTE — Columbus High held off a late charge from host North Platte on Thursday to open the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference Tournament with a win.

The fifth-seeded Discoverers made just 6 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter, but held on for a 48-43 victory over the No. 4 Bulldogs, led by former Lakeview head coach Curt Softley.

“I’m very pleased to come off a five-day layoff and get a win,” Columbus head coach Dave Licari said.

Regi Zakrzewski scored 15 points to lead the Discoverers to their second win of the season. Bailey Keller added nine and Kennedy Jones had seven points, five rebounds and three assists for Columbus.

The defense kept the Discoverers in the game in the first half, when CHS shot just 1 of 12 from behind the 3-point line.

Columbus trailed 10-9 after the first quarter, then led 19-17 at halftime.

In the second half, the Discoverers knocked down 5 of 8 shots from distance.

“The looks were pretty much the same,” Licari said, adding that the holiday layoff could’ve led to the cold start.

Columbus (2-5) extended its lead to 32-23 after three quarters. The Discoverers eventually pushed it to double digits, leading 47-37 late in the game before North Platte (3-4) tried to make a last-minute comeback.

The Discoverers continue play in the GNAC Tournament through Saturday.

Clarkson/Leigh 45,

Shelby-Rising City 34

SHELBY — Clarkson/Leigh pulled away from Shelby-Rising City down the stretch Thursday for a 45-34 victory in the Shelby Holiday Tournament.

The Patriots outscored the Huskies 12-3 in the final eight minutes after entering the fourth quarter with a 33-31 advantage.

Ashlynn Novotny scored 14 points to lead Clarkson/Leigh (7-3).

S-RC (2-6) did not submit stats for the game.

High Plains 32,

Palmyra 18

CRETE — High Plains picked up its first win of the season Thursday with a 32-18 victory over Palmyra in the Doane Holiday Tournament.

The Storm (1-6) relied on their defense to get into the win column. Palmyra (0-9) shot just 6 for 28 from the field while turning the ball over 31 times.

Madie Young scored a game-high 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Storm. Cara Demers added eight points.

Niobrara/Verdigre 49,

St. Edward 32

VERDIGRE — A poor first quarter cost St. Edward in a 49-32 loss Thursday to Niobrara/Verdigre (3-7) in the Verdigre Holiday Tournament.

The Beavers trailed 20-9 after the first quarter, but were outscored by just six points the rest of the way.

Shonda Shanle scored 18 points on 8-for-22 shooting for St. Edward (1-6).

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