Lady Cougars stay on a roll

The Western Nebraska Community College women's basketball team put three players in double figures and continued to play excellent defense in posting a 64-42 South Sub-Region win over Northeastern Junior College Saturday evening at Cougar Palace.

The Cougars were led by Gritt Ryder with 17 points and nine rebounds. Kelsey Doddridge also popped In 14 points, while Ashley Stevens tallied 12 points.

Doddridge said the team played well defensively, holding NJC to just 17 first-half points.

"We played really well on defense, holding them to 17 in the first and they finished with 25 in the second half. So, we were happy with how we played on defense," the sophomore from Windsor, Colo., said. "But, we need to be a little bit tougher on offense. We had a couple turnovers and that won't fly in the regional tournament. We just need to get tougher and run our offense crisper and cleaner, but overall we are happy. It was a good win and NJC is a good rival."

More importantly, the win moved the Cougars to 8-0 in sub-region play and closer to hosting the regional tournament in March. Still, Doddridge said it will be nice to host regionals, but they are not looking that far in advance, they are taking it one game at a time.

"Hosting regionals is our goal, but we are taking it one game at a time and coach is not going to let us forget that," she said. "Coach is not going to let us get ahead of ourselves. We have four tough games to go on the road. We are going to take it one by one and we are not saying we are hosting the regional tournament yet."

While their defense was stellar, the offense was lukewarm. The Cougars shot just 38 percent from the field, while NJC shot 39 percent. WNCC was just 4 of 20 from the 3-point area, two of which came from the hot-handed Doddridge.

Offensively, what was working for the Cougars was their inside outside game, where they were finding cutters under the basket all night long.

"We pass really well with each other," Doddridge said. "We always had a good commodore and we know where each will be. We just passed really well."

The Cougars did share the ball well tonight, dishing out 19 assists. Ryder led the way with six assists, but at the same time Ryder was the recipient of some precision passing. Doddridge also handed out four assists.

The Cougars trailed just once in the contest as NJC hit the first bucket of the game. Doddridge then hit a 3-pointer with under 16 minutes to put WNCC up 3-2. From there, the Cougars led 10-5 on a Stevens bucket and pushed the lead to double digits at 21-11 on a Ryder bucket. WNCC led at halftime 31-15.

The second half was all Cougars as WNCC went up by 20 points, 45-24 on a Mikayla Brower bucket. After that, WNCC never looked back.

The Cougars, 12-13, will be back in action next weekend when they travel to Otero Junior College and Trinidad State Junior College for key sub-region contests.



NJC 17 25 – 42

WNCC 31 33 – 64

NJC

Jordan Bishop 4, Jenna Vandenbark 5, Carle Cortez-Walser 4, Tiffany Mines 11, Karala Orona 2, Kylee Crumley 4, Charron Johnson 8, Ashley Kennedy 4.

WNCC

Mikayla Brower 5, Laurin Knox 1, Kelsey Doddridge 14, Gritt Ryder 17, Shalisa Moffit 9, Ashley Stevens 12, Jessica Aratani 6.

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