Lady Cougars move into semifinals

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. --- Lile Havili poured in 25 points and Shalisa Moffit buried six 3-pointers as the Western Nebraska Community College women's basketball team moved into the semifinals of the Region IX tournament with an 83-65 win over Northwest College Monday afternoon in Rock Springs, Wyo.

The Cougars, who have won 11 straight, will face Eastern Wyoming College on Tuesday at 5 p.m. The winner advances to the championship game on Wednesday. EWC was a 63-61 winner over Casper College.

Havili said they played great as a team, with a good, balanced inside and outside game.

"It was a big win for us because we really this tournament," the freshman from Salt Lake City, Utah, said. "I think we wanted it more than they did."

Havili said they executed the game plan perfectly.

"Coach told us to prepare for their shooters because they are tall and strong," she said. "Their bigs aren't as big as us, but they have big shooting guards. So we had to make sure we were out on their shooters at all times."

Another factor was the Cougars mental readiness and started with the morning shoot-around.

"We had a shoot around this morning and we came focused more than we usually have," Havili said. "And because of that, our shots have been better."

The shooting was definitely on for the Cougars and it wasn't just the outside, but also the inside.

The Cougars buried seven 3-pointers, led by Moffit's six treys. Moffit finished with 19 points.

The inside game was also going well, as Havili and Stevens combined for 37 points. Havili went 9 of 12 from the field and was a perfect 7 of 7 from the free throw line. Stevens finished with 12 points and pulled down nine rebounds.

"We had a lot of intensity and we did well as a team," Havili said. I am proud of them."

WNCC scored the first six points of the game as Stevens hit two buckets and Havili had a bucket. Northwest cut the lead to 6-5, but Moffit drained the first of her six 3-pointers. WNCC kept excelling as they went up by double digits 18-7. WNCC led 40-30 at halftime.

The second half saw the Cougars continue to extend the lead, leading 48-36 at one time to then 61-43. WNCC went up by 18 on an Abi Lujan 3-pointer as they coasted to the win.

WNCC outrebounded the Trappers 32-24 and had 12 steals. Laurin Rivera finished with four steals and also dished out four assists.

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