Vinnie Shahid and Marlon Sierra combined for 50 points and the Western Nebraska Community College men’s basketball team shot past Northeastern Junior College 107-87 in the South Sub-region conference opener for both teams.
The Cougars, in notching their 8th win of the season, blitzed the net for 60 percent shooting. And, for a fifth consecutive night, the Cougars tallied 14 or more 3-pointers in the game.
Shahid said the team was ready tonight.
“The team took the game personal,” he said. “It was the first south sub-region game so we came out and fought for each other. We had a goal and it was to come out 1-0 and we did that.”
WNCC converted 16 treys on the night. Shahid had the hot hand from beyond the arc, nailing seven, including a trey that sizzled the net from far beyond the NBA range.
Shahid led WNCC on the night with 27 points. Shahid also dished off 11 assists and had two steals on 9-of-12 shooting.
Sierra also had a big night, finishing with 23 points and nine rebounds. The big man was 10-of-17 shooting and had one trey.
Two other Cougars also finished in double digits. Djordje Dimitrijevic tallied 18 points with three 3-pointers and four assists, while Trey Harris had 10 points with two 3-pointers.
Shahid said the entire team stepped up, it wasn’t just him.
“I don’t really believe all the scoring comes from me; there are four other guys on the court at all times that I play with and if I’m hot they just continue to find me like great teammates do and I would do vice Versa,” he said. “I’m a person who always looks to get others involved. I️ really take it upon my shoulders to make the game easier for my teammates when I find the open man on time and on target. The percentages of them making Iit are higher so that’s just what I try to accomplish while I’m on the floor.”
WNCC’s offensive started from the get-go. The Cougars scored the first five points and never gave up the lead after that. WNCC led 51-38 at the half.
The Cougars continued sizzling in the second half by out-scoring the Plainsmen 56-49.
WNCC not only one the game on the scoreboard, but also out-rebounded the Plainsmen 30-24 as well as sharing the ball with 28 assists compared to just 13 for the Plainsmen.
The high-flying Cougar offense, which has scored 100 or more points in seven of its 10 games, and is averaging 100.5 points a game. The Cougars are the 11th highest scoring offense in the NJCAA, just below Region IX’s Gillette College at 100.6 points. Miami Dade has the highest scoring offense, averaging 120.4 points a game.
The Cougars will take the high-octane offense into a home date with Casper College on Tuesday at Cougar Palace. The women’s and men’s doubleheader begins at 5:30 that night.
“Casper is a great team,” Shahid said. “We will have to prepare mentally and physically Sunday and Monday to come out and fight on Tuesday. The ultimate goal every day is 1-0 so we have to go 1-0 in practice Sunday and Monday to go 1-0 on Tuesday.”
WNCC (8-2) 51 56 – 107
NJC 38 49 – 87
Vinnie Shahid 27, Marlon Sierra 23, Jervay Green 7, Djodje Dimitrijevic 18, Martin Rouib 6, Trent Harris 10, Bryce Sanchious 6, Marko Rajanovic 8, Zane Bender 2.
Marcus Burwell 34, Keishon Parker 17, Jalen Guidry 7, Ron Hall 17, Jazz Parker 2, Ibrahim Dodo 6, Mohammad Elradi 2, Dan Villejo 2.