LA JUNTA, Colo. — The Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball advanced to the semifinals of the Region IX Tournament with a 75-61 win over Laramie County Community College Thursday in La Junta, Colorado.
The Cougars advance to face No. 3 and 21-0 Casper College on Friday at 4 p.m. Casper had an easy win over Northeastern Junior College, winning 94-59.
WNCC’s win was not easy by any means, especially in the first half where LCCC led the entire first half. The two teams were tied just once in the first half at 3-3.
After that tie, LCCC went on a 9-0 run to lead 12-3 and led 15-7 before WNCC came back to cut the lead to 15-12 on a Martrice Brooks bucket. The Golden Eagles led 20-12 at halftime.
LCCC kept playing tough in the second quarter, leading 32-20. That was when WNCC went on a 10-0 run which included back-to-back buckets by Lidsey Mahoukou. LCCC closed out the half leading 39-32.
While WNCC had trouble hitting shots in the first half, things were totally different in the second half as the Cougars dominated play in the final 20 minutes. LCCC hit the first bucket of the third quarter and then WNCC went to work, scoring the next seven points, including Payton Fields nailing the first trey of the game for the Cougars.
WNCC tied the game first time since early in the first quarter as Fields hit a shot with 6:30 left in the quarter. The Cougars took their first lead of the game as Alejah Douglas hit a bucket for a 45-43 lead.
The Golden Eagles retook the lead with a trey, but Ky Buell answered right back with her first trey of the game for a 48-46 lead. The game was tied once again at 50-50 after four LCCC points. WNCC closed out the third on a 6-0 run on buckets by Douglas and Mahoukou and then a steal and bucket by Ashley Panem as time was running out for a 56-50 WNCC lead.
LCCC scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to slice the lead to 56-54, but that was as close as they would get as WNCC outscored LCCC 19-11 in the fourth quarter. WNCC led 62-58 when they exploded for an 11-0 run that was highlighted by buckets from Mahoukou, Douglas, Brooks, and Fields for 2-point shots and a trey by Buell to lead 73-58. WNCC won 75-61.
The Cougars put four players in double digits. Douglas led the way with 20 points followed by 11 from Mahoukou. Brooks and Fields each had 11 points. Buell came close to double digits, finishing with nine points.
WNCC 12 20 24 19 – 75
LCCC 20 19 11 11 – 61
Alejah Douglas 20, Lidsey Mahoukou 13, Martrice Brooks 11, Payton Fields 11, Ky Buell 9, Isabelle Cook 4, Emma Johnson 3, Ashly Panem 2, Shanti Henry 2.