6th ranked Cougars remain unbeaten

The sixth-ranked Western Nebraska Community College women's basketball put five players in double figures and remained undefeated with a 90-41 win over Hastings College junior varsity in the second day of the Holiday Classic on Friday at Cougar Palace.

The Cougars controlled the game from the get-go with a strong start. Laurin Rivera, a freshman from Colorado Springs, Colo., said this team has a knack to start strong.

"We are all ready to play in every game so that is good," she said. "We just come out strong and don't focus on what the other team is; we just come out strong in every game and that is what gets us the lead."

The Cougars scored the first 21 points of the contest with a tenacious defense that had three steals and two 3-pointers from Shalisa Moffit and Jess Samorodova. Hastings' first bucket didn't come until six minutes was gone as Abby Jackson picked the pocket of Gritt Ryder for the easy score.

WNCC came right back and scored 14 straight points, including back-to-back buckets by Rivera to go up 35-2 before leading 43-8 at halftime.

The big reason for the Cougars strong their ability to take the ball to the hole and that is what they did a night after they connected on 12 3-pointers against Colby on Thursday. The Cougars connected on just 6 of 11 treys in Friday's contest as Shalisa Moffit had three.

Rivera said this team can score from anywhere on the court.

"This game was definitely a driving to the basket game," she said. "We can definitely do both like shoot from outside and drive inside. Tonight, we just played really well together and I am excited that we have a victory."

Hastings started the second half by connecting on two 3-pointers by Rachel Walton and Jackson, but the Cougars depth was too much for Hastings as WNCC went up 57-15 and then used a late run15-6 run to open up an 80-32 lead that was aided by 3-pointers by Rivera and Kelsey Doddridge and four points from Katie Kerkhoff.

The Cougars blistered the nets for 62 percent shooting compared to 25 percent for Hastings. Once again, the Cougars shared the ball on the court, dishing out 29 assists and getting 24 steals. Rivera paced the team with eight assists while getting four steals. Mikayla Brower, Gritt Ryder, and Moffit all had four assists. Ryder and Maurissa Ortega led the team with five steals each.

The Cougars offensive output was enormous with five players in double figures while the Cougar bench outscored Hastings 43-9.

Samorodova and Ryder paced the team with 14 points each followed by Rivera's 11 points, and Ortega and Jessica Aratani each with 10 points.

WNCC, 13-0, will wrap up the Holiday Classic as they face Air Force Prep at 3 p.m. at Cougar Palace. Air Force Prep came back from a 12-point second-half deficit to sting Colby Community College 61-58 on a last-second shot. The first game on Saturday has Colby facing Hastings at 1 p.m.



Hastings JV 8 33 – 41

WNCC (13-0) 43 47 – 90

HASTINGS JV

Jesi Markvicka 4, Abby Jackson 8, Katie Hofer 5, Rachel Walton 9, Haley Gebers 7, Chelsie White 4, Kyle Gee 2, Makenzie Mudloff 2.

WNCC

Laurin Rivera 11, Kelsey Doddridge 6, Gritt Ryder 14, Shalisa Moffit 9, Katie Kerkhoff 8, Maurissa Ortega 10, Michelle Brassard 2, Ashley Stevens 4, Jessica Aratani 10, Jenna Lindquist 2, Jess Samorodova 14.

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