Lady Cougars win big in Sterling
STERLING, Colo. -- The Western Nebraska Community College women's basketball team buried 12 3-pointers in staying unbeaten in South Sub-Region play with a commanding 85-45 win over Northeastern Junior College Tuesday in Sterling, Colo.
Mikayla Brower led the way for the Cougars, popping in 23 points. The Torrington High graduate sizzled from the 3-point arc, nailing five of six 3-pointers.
Brower was just one of many Cougars that had the hot hand from long range. Kelsey Doddridge sank three 3-pointers to finish with 13 points, while Gritt Ryder, Laurin Rivera Simone Evans, and Shalisa Moffit each had one trey.
Ryder finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and four steals in the game.
Brower said the team played well both offensively and defensively on the night.
"We played like we have been, like we played in the first semester," she said. "We went back to playing as a team and the way we know how to play."
The team's shooting was definitely on and Brower said that fine shooting is contributed by extra work in the gym.
"We have been going in the gym and shooting and I think that is showing," she said. "It really helps us to get in the gym because it helps us confidence."
Defense was what really set the stage for the Cougars in the win. WNCC trailed early at 9-2, but went on a 13-2 run to lead 15-11 and never trailed again. The Cougars took a 41-27 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Cougars were even more intense on defense, holding NJC to just 18 second-half points, including an early 8-0 run to go up by 20 points, 49-29 on a Brower 3-pointer.
Later, the Cougars went on a 14-0 run to lead by 31 points at 78-37 as Ryder had five straight points with Moffit capping the run with a 3-pointer.
Brower said the defense was key tonight.
"He told us to be a strong defense and play solid," she said. "We helped each other out, got our hands up, and that is what it took."
WNCC moved to 6-0 in the South Sub-Region and have won 10 straight since having to forfeit games first semester. Still, the Cougars are winning through all the adversity they have faced. Brower said that is the mark of a good team.
"It really doesn't matter how tall you are; it is how passionate that you play," Brower said. "Right know we playing as one heart and doing well. It is really showing."
WNCC will next be in action on Feb. 8-9 when they host Lamar Community College and Northeastern Junior College in sub-region tilts.
WNCC 41 44 -- 85
NE Colorado 27 18 -- 45
Ashley Stevens 7, Kelsey Doddridge 13, Mikayla Brower 23, Gritt Ryder 15, Laurin Rivera 6, Katie Kerkhoff 4, Jessica Aratani 2, Shalisa Moffit 8, Maurissa Ortega 2, Simone Evans 3, Michelle Brassard 2.
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