Winter Sports 2019





Derek Noehren / The North Platte Telegrap

The North Platte girls basketball team poses for a team photo during the NPHS winter sports media day on Dec. 3 at North Platte High School. North Platte girls basketball program on the rise After winning record, district runner-up finish last year, Lady Bulldogs have expectations — and they welcome the challenge

a lot more wins and I think everyone is a lot more com- fortable this year,” Haneborg said. “Having the same coach for a second straight year is big in terms of us being confi- dent and comfortable with our plays and defense.” Another key cog for the Bull- dogs is junior forward Abby Orr. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball com- mit averaged just over five points and just under six re- bounds, but is just scratching the surface of her hoops poten- tial according to Hammond. “Abby is just figuring out how good of a basketball play- er she can be,” Hammond said of his 6-foot-1 post presence. “She’s committed to play Di- vision I softball, but if she set her mind to it she’d have a pretty good opportunity to play basketball at the next lev- el too. I think she’s a lot more confident and comfortable this year and I think she’ll make a big jump.” Along with Orr, 6-foot fresh- man Carly Purdy will give North Platte some much need- ed size in the paint.

“Having (Orr and Purdy) i going to help a lot, because out side of those two, we’re kind o the 5-9 and under crew,” Ham mond said. “Having those two especially when we get the on the court in key times whe we need to rebound is going t a big deal for us.” With experience on her side Orr has been a willing teache to Purdy on what to expect a the varsity level. “We’ve both worked togeth er on being more aggressive, Orr said. “In Class A, especial ly the Omaha teams, they’r really aggressive.” With the move back to Clas A Hammond knows for hi team to be successful, it wil take everybody working a one. “‘We not me’ is our motto We want everybody to be excit ed for everyone else’s success, he said. “If you’re only worrie about yourself, that only get you so far. We have a grea group of kids that work reall hard together and love play ing together, so we’re going t keep working and keep build ing and see where things go.”

play hard and see what hap- pens and we ended up 12-10 and district runner-up to Crete, which ended up in the state final. This year we have ex- pectations, which is a little dif- ferent, because we haven’t had expectations in a while. Last year, we got kind of got it start- ed going in the right direction and now we feel like we have a pretty good chance to be suc- cessful.” One player who’s seen the full spectrum is senior guard Callie Haneborg. The multi-sport standout played as a freshman when the Bulldogs won just one game and has had three coaches in four years. Last season, Hane- borg averaged just under 7 points per game, 3.3 rebounds, two assists and just under three steals. Her quickness and anticipation makes her a catalyst for the Bulldog de- fense. “Callie’s a great player. I wish she wasn’t a senior and

we had her another year,” Hammond said. “She makes what we do on defense work. She finds a way to guard who- ever we put her on. She frus- trates the heck out of people.” Now, as a senior Haneborg has the same coach as she did the year before and is primed to go out with a productive fi- nal season. “I think the big thing is that this group has really came together over these past few years. We’re all on the same page in terms of what we want. Everyone knows each other’s strengths and we’re playing well as a group.” North Platte also returns one of the best players in the state in junior guard Gracie Haneborg, who is getting Divi- sion I interest. Last year as a sophomore, she averaged just shy of 18 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 4.6 steals. She too is anticipating big things this season. “I feel like we’re expecting

By DEREK NOEHREN Expectations. It’s a good problem to have. With a talented roster and second-year head coach Tyson Hammond roaming the side- lines, the arrow is pointing up for North Platte girls basket- ball. In 2015-16, the Bulldogs went 6-19, followed by a 1-24 cam- paign and a 9-14 season — all in Class A. Last season in Ham- mond’s first year, North Platte went 12-10, falling to Crete in a district final, posting its first winning record since a 14-12 campaign in 2014-15 under Mark Woodhead. After a sea- son in Class B, the Bulldogs re- turn to Class A, and Hammond welcomes the challenge. “I think the girls are really looking forward to this sea- son,” Hammond said. “Last year, everything was new and we didn’t really have any real expectations other than just

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