St. Mary’s boys basketball coach Carlos Paige started crafting the game plan two weeks ago. Tuesday, his squad executed it to near perfection as the Trojans upset North Platte 57-50 in the teams’ Class 2 District 15 opener at North Platte High School.

St. Mary’s boys basketball coach Carlos Paige started crafting the game plan two weeks ago. Tuesday, his squad executed it to near perfection as the Trojans upset North Platte 57-50 in the teams’ Class 2 District 15 opener at North Platte High School.

St. Mary’s (6-18) dropped two regular-season contests to the Panthers, but in both those games Paige said he thought his team’s half-court offense was out of whack. The Trojans focused on fine-tuning their sets over the previous two weeks with Tuesday’s final encounter in mind.

“Everything I did was geared toward improving that and getting us onto the next round of districts,” Paige said.

Wade Johnson registered a game-high 19 points to lead St. Mary’s and Scott Lehane provided 18 as the Trojans seized command by outscoring North Platte (12-13) 17-5 in the second period. That left them with a 27-16 halftime lead.

The Panthers drew within 46-36 at the end of three and continue to chip away in the fourth, but never could catch up.

St. Mary’s will meet West Platte (15-7) in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Thursday at North Platte High School.