Cougar men get second win of the season

The Western Nebraska Community College men's basketball team went to 2-0 on the season with an impressive 101-35 win over Oglala Lakota College in the second day of the Cougar Classic.

The Cougars, just like they did on Friday against the Ft. Collins All-stars, used a strong 2-point shooting game coupled with a stellar inside game to pick up the victory.

Derrick Bowers, who led the team with 22 points, said the focus on this contest was to get better as they know they will have some tough contests coming up, including next Friday when they face top 10 ranked South Plains College at Cougar Palace.

"We got two wins [this weekend] but those two wins are in the past now and we have to focus on the future," he said. "We just need to go in hard beginning this Monday and have good practices this point forward."

Bowers said they meet most of the goals they wanted to achieve in Saturday's contest.

"Our focus today was getting a lot of defensive and offensive boards as well as getting stops," he said. "We wanted to limit them to a certain amount of points and I feel like with a few more stronger defensive stops, we could have met that objective."

WNCC was in control from the get go, bolting to a 15-0 lead behind the strong inside play of Youssoupha Kane and Brandon Morley. Oglala started to find the range from outside, slicing the lead to 27-12 on Garrick Stands third trey of the night.

After that, though, WNCC went on a 12-0 run behind eight points from Kane for a 39-12 lead. Kane had two dunks during that stretch, including an ally-oop slam that excited the crowd. WNCC led 54-17 at intermission.

Bowers said the defensive intensity that they showed was a major reason for the big halftime score as well as final score.

"I feel like, more than anything, our defense is going to be a big factor for us," Bowers said. "We obviously have a lot of offensive weapons, but it all starts on defense. Our main focus this year is getting strong defensive stops and get some transitions into offense and go from there."

The second half was all WNCC as they continued playing well, using an intense defense that saw the Cougars finish with 24 steals in the game, many of which went for easy lay-ups or dunks.

The Cougars also had another well-balanced scoring offense with four players in double figures. Bowers 22 points and six steals led the way, followed by Morley and Kane with 14 points each. Diante Mitchell also chipped in 13 points while Peter Dewtang, Tyler Crosbie, and Joel Einfeldt each had eight points

WNCC also outrebounded the Bravehearts 56-29. Julio Guity led the way with nine boards. Einfeldt and Crosbie each had six assists in the contest and the team had 21 assists.

WNCC will be back at home next weekend with the WNCC classic when they take on South Plains and Raleigh's Finest Academy. Bowers said this team has plenty of potential, but they have to take it one game at a time and keep working hard in practice.

Bowers said this team has plenty of potential for the season, but they have to keep working hard and can't get complacent.

"I feel this team can be the best in the region," he said. "But we have to start that off in practice in staying mentally tough and continue to work."

Oglala 17 18 -- 35

WNCC (2-0) 54 47 -- 101


Skylar Hunter 3, Tim Has No Horse 6, Richard Hosie 5, Garrick Stands 14, Isaiah Veo 2, Russell Running Hawk 5.


Tyler Crosbie 8, Youssoupha Kane 14, Diante Mitchell 13, DouDou Gueye 6, Joel Einfeldt 8, Peter Dewtang 8 Derrick Bowers 22, Brandon Morley 14, Austin Clark 6, Julio Guity 2.

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