The 24th-ranked Western Nebraska Community College women's basketball team put five players in double figures and rolled to a convincing 94-69 win over Laramie County Community College in a Region IX South sub-region contest Friday evening at Cougar Palace.
The win moves the Cougars to 3-0 in sub-region play and 14-2 overall, while Laramie County drops to 10-8 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
WNCC head coach Chad Gibney was pleased with how his team played.
"We played a good game tonight," Gibney said. "I think we had a lot of people have really good performances. I was pleased with our effort."
The Cougars scored the first five points of the game and watched LCCC cut the lead to 5-4 early. After that, the Cougars put the after-burners on and raced to a 12-4 lead and went up by double digits, 18-8, on a Giovanna Silva bucket. The Cougars led 29-16 after the first quarter on a Melisa Kadic 3-pointer.
WNCC kept the pressure on defensively and the afterburners were lightning fast as the Cougars led by 20, 38-18 on a Kadic trey and a Merle Wiehl bucket. The Cougars led 49-20 with under two minutes to play before LCCC ran off eight straight. WNCC led 49-28 at halftime.
The third quarter saw the Cougars start a little slow, watching LCCC cut the lead to 53-40. After a timeout, the Cougars responded, going on a 9-0 run to lead 62-40 on five points from Kadic. WNCC would go on to lead 69-49 after three periods and never looked back after that.
Gibney said his team responded after LCCC made that run in the third period.
"We have a tendency at times to play the scoreboard," he said. "If we can eliminate that, we will be pretty tough because we get out there and really pressure the ball and get those motors flying around, we are tough."
WNCC had five players finish with double-figure scoring. Wiehl led all scorers with 24 points, including pulling down eight rebounds. Kadic finished with 22, while Johnson had 11 points. Silva and Sophie Agorakis each had 10 points.
Karli Seay finished with just six points, but dished out 11 assists.
A big difference in the final score was free throw shooting. WNCC ws just 14 of 20 from the charity stripe, while LCCC was 30-of-37.
WNCC, 14-2, will be back in action Saturday afternoon as they host Trinidad State Junior College at 2 p.m. in another conference contest. The Trojans, who are 2-1 in conference play and 8-6 overall, topped Eastern Wyoming College Friday night 81-71 in overtime.
Gibney said his team will have to be ready for a battle.
"They [Trinidad] are really good defensively and they rebound it like crazy," he said. "We will have to supersede their effort, get out in transition, and make it tough on them."
LCCC (10-8) 16 12 21 20 – 69
WNCC (14-2) 29 20 20 25 – 94
Courtney Walker 8, Karli O'Brien 15, Skylar Backstrom 11, Sarah Kruthaupt 14, Darian Hale 6, Ashleigh Ellis 2, Madison Hamm 2, Caylin Arnold 11.