The Western Nebraska Community College had three players score 20 or more points in picking up their 18th win of the season with a 107-32 victory over the Nebraska All-stars Tuesday evening at Cougar Palace.
WNCC was led in scoring by Jaleesa Avery with 24 points followed by Melisa Kadic with 21 and Merle Wiehl with 20. Also hitting double digits was Giovanna Silva with 17 and Sophie Agorakis with 14.
The All-stars, made up of local players some of which played at WNCC, was led in scoring by Stephanie Perez and Ashley Fenning with 10 points each.
Fenning, a Bridgeport High graduate who played two years for the Cougars before continuing her playing days at Colorado Mesa, said it was fun to get back on the court of Cougar Palace.
“It was a lot of fun and brought back old memories,” Fenning, whose maiden name was Stevens, said. “It wasn’t the right locker room, but it was fun to play in the palace again. I have played in three of these games now. It is hard when the other team is in better shape than you.”
Fenning said putting together an all-star team is hard during a weekday. She was trying to talk in some more former Cougars to come up but they lived five hours away and had to work. She did say, however, having one of these games on a Saturday or even Sunday could get more players.
“It is fun to play with different people except that everybody has busy lives,” Fenning said.. “Sometimes they are working late or they have kids or families to go home to.”
The All-stars did have talent out there and even were tied with the Cougars at 5-5 early on before WNCC went on a 28-0 run to lead 33-5 and then 37-10 after the first quarter.
“We had seven players and I knew three of them personally,” she said. “So not being able to play with them and meshing with your teammates of where they are going to be. It is hard to play with new people but fun to build relationships with others.”
There were plenty of times that the All-stars hit the boards and got a steal during the game. The All-stars finished with 24 rebounds but the Cougars had 48. It was the Cougars quickness that was the difference in the game, forcing 28 turnovers by the All-stars.
“They [the Cougars] get up and down the floor really well,” she said. “They are a good transition team. They get a lot of steals and they have quick hands. They are aggressive.”
Both teams opened up the second quarter with a couple buckets. In fact, the All-stars out-scored WNCC 5-4 early on as Jessica Miller hit a bucket and then buried a 3-pointer. After that, though, WNCC ran off 21 straight points to lead 63-17 at halftime.
WNCC outscored the All-stars 24-7 in the third for a 87-24 lead and never looked back for the win.
The All-stars shot 30 percent from the field and connected on three 3-pointers. WNCC hit for 60 percent from the field and buried nine treys. Kadic led the way with four 3-pointers followed by two each from Wiehl and Olivia Wiberg.
Silva finished with a double-double in the game, finishing with 10 rebounds to go with her 17 points. Karli Seay had seven assists and six steals to lead the team. Wiberg added eight assists in the win.
Fenning led the All-stars with seven rebounds followed by Perez and Chalsey Grentz with five boards.
WNCC, 18-3, will next be in action Saturday when they host McCook Community College beginning at 2 p.m. for the men’s and women’s South sub-region doubleheader.
Neb. All-stars 10 7 7 8 – 32
WNCC (18-3) 37 26 24 20 – 107
Joni Bruce 0, Kelli Coch 0, Chalsey Grentz 3, Jessica (Bruce) Miller 9, Stephanie Perez 10, Ashley (Stevens) Fenning 10, Dalia Pavia 0.
Melisa Kadic 21, Merle Werle 20, Jaleesa Avery 24, Sophie Agorakis 14, Olivia Wiberg 6, Karli Seay 3, Eva Langton 2, Giovanna Silva 17.