The Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team overcame a slow start in registering their 24 win of the season with a 95-52 win over Lamar Community College Friday evening at Cougar Palace.
The win keeps the Cougars perfect in the Region IX South sub-region with a 12-0 record and 24-3 overall. Lamar drops to 5-6 in the conference and 14-13 overall.
WNCC’s win was about defense as the Cougars picked up 27 steals and out-rebounded the Runnin’ Lopes 42-37. Anastacia Johnson led the team with seven swipes, while Karli Seay had six and Giovanna Silva had five. Silva also led the team on the glass, by getting nine rebounds.
Lamar jumped on the Cougars early, leading 14-10 early on. Things changed in a heartbeat in the last three minutes of the first quarter. WNCC went on a 12-3 run behind a 3-pointer by Melisa Kadic and big buckets by Seay and Merle Wiehl for a 22-17 lead after the first quarter.
WNCC kept excelling in the second quarter as Wiehl hit back-to-back buckets and then Olivia Wiberg pitched in a field goal for a 30-17 lead. WNCC outscored Lamar 21-8 in the second to take a 43-25 lead at halftime.
Any hope of a Lamar comeback was diminished early in the third as WNCC led 49-25 and then closed out the third quarter on a 11-0 run to lead 72-37.
WNCC shot 44 percent from the field and were a dismal 3 of 24 from the 3-point arc. Lamar shot 45 percent from the field, including nailing seven 3-pointers.
Merle Wiehl led all scorers with 22 points. Wiehl also pulled down eight boards and had three steals.
Also hitting for double digits were Jaleesa Avery and Seay with 18 points each, and Kadic with 13. Kadic also had four steals, while Avery had five rebounds. Seay finished with six assists and six steals.
The Cougar women will finish out the home regular season on Saturday when they host Otero Junior College Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. The game will also be sophomore recognition for the seven sophomores, Kadic, Avery, Johnson, Silva, Wiberg, Sophie Agorakis, and Kellie Gaston.
Lamar (14-13) 17 8 12 15 – 52
WNCC (24-3) 22 21 29, 23 – 95
Iva Belosevic 7, Mikayla Tessay 2, Larnie Scheibner 5, Kiara Budd 2, Kelyn Moses 8, Sam Caruth 7, Hanna Diaz 17, Armani Robbins 2, Shelby Hawkins 2.
Melisa Kadic 13, Merle Wiehl 22, Jaleesa Avery 18, Olivia Wiberg 2, Karli Seay 18, Eva Langton 5, Anastacia Johnson 8, Giovanna Silva 9.