6th ranked Cougars win opener
The Western Nebraska Community College women's basketball team blistered the nets for 12 2-pointers and the No. 6-ranked Cougars ran past Colby Community College 94-47 in the first day of the Holiday Classic at Cougar Palace on Thursday.
The win pushed the Cougars to 12-0. It was also the third straight game where the Cougars scored 90 or more points.
Jessica Aratani, who led the Cougars with 14 points along with Jess Samorodova, said they played well offensively.
"Our offense was really on and we came out in the second half and played tough defense, holding them under 50 points, so we are really happy with that," the sophomore from Morrill said. "We are always happy when our offense is working right. I think our defense creates our offense and we are really known for our defense and that is what helps us winning all these games."
WNCC had the hot hand shooting in the first half especially from beyond the arc. The Cougars were 9 of 15 from the 3-point line for 60 percent and shot 52 percent from the field. Mikayla Brower and Kelsey Doddridge each buried three 3-pointers in the opening half, while Shalisa Moffit had two treys.
A big key for the Cougars' hot shooting was ball movement. The Cougars finished with 31 assists in the contest and the quick passing opened up shooters from the outside.
"Coach Harnish always preaches to us to not be selfish and play as a team," Aratani said. "That is what we have on the team is good team chemistry and that is what is going to take us far in the season."
The way the team is playing right know both offensively and defensively is definitely giving the players some momentum. Aratani said while it is hard to stay up while winning by 30 points, the key is to keep playing hard as they enter the second semester with key sub-region games.
"Coach Harnish keeps telling it is hard to stay motivated when we are winning big, but with all the success we are having, it will keep motivating us," she said. "We are going to start coming into the more difficult part of our season next semester and we should be ready."
The Cougars were definitely ready on Thursday. WNCC trailed just once in the contest as Colby's Linda Pagrode scored the opening bucket. After that, it was all Cougars as WNCC jumped out to a 22-4 lead behind nine points from Samorodova, two treys from Moffit and a 3-pointer by Brower.
WNCC pushed the lead to 30-7 before both teams started to trade buckets left and right. The Cougars led 53-32 at halftime.
The Cougars picked up their defense in the second half, outscoring the Trojans 25-2 in the first nine minutes of the game to lead 78-34 for the victory.
WNCC had four players in double figures. Besides Samorodova and Aratani's 14 points, Moffit and Doddridge each finished with 11 points. Brower and Gritt Ryder each finished with nine points each.
Moffit dished out seven assists, while Ryder had six and Brower four. The Cougars also generated 26 Colby turnovers, while the Cougars turned the ball over just eight times.
WNCC will be back in action Friday in the second day of the Holiday Classic, facing the Hastings College junior varsity at 5 p.m. The opening game at 3 p.m. will have Colby against the Air Force Prep, while the nightcap will have the WNCC Cougar men taking on Northwest Kansas Technical College at 7 p.m.
Colby 32 15 Â– 47
WNCC (12-0) 53 41 Â– 94
Liene Liepina 9, Agnese Aramina 10, Shantydra Arnold 7, Kytiana Seals 4, Ashlon Gaines 4, Linda Pagrode 10, Desiree Jones 1, Haley Dinkel 2.
Mikayla Brower 9, Laurin Rivera 5, Kelsey Doddridge 11, Gritt Ryder 9, Shalisa Moffit 11, Maurissa Ortega 4, Simone Evans 5, Michelle Brassard 5, Alyssa Yates 4, Ashley Stevens 3, Jessica Aratani 14, Jess Samorodova 14.
© 2014 Rural Radio Network. All rights reserved. Republishing, rebroadcasting, rewriting, redistributing prohibited. Copyright Information