The Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team put four players in double figures in rolling to the 97-70 South sub-region win Sunday afternoon at Cougar Palace.
The win was the Cougars 19th win on the year and their seventh straight. More importantly, WNCC moves to 5-0 in South sub-region play. The winner of the south sub-region hosts the regional tournament in March and gets a first-round bye.
“We started off slow first half; we were only up five points at halftime,” freshman Taylor Joplin said. “We needed to pick it up defensively and I thought we did that second half. We ended up winning by 27 so we played alright.”
The first half was a battle as WNCC held a slim 22-15 lead after the first quarter and then watched Trinidad pull to within one, 26-25, in the second quarter. WNCC pushed the lead back to nine points, 45-36 on a R’Manie Pulling 3-pointer. The Trojans scored the next four points to trail the Cougars 45-40 at halftime.
Joplin said they knew they had to play better coming out of the locker room and they did, outscoring Trinidad 32-18 in the third and 20-12 in the fourth.
“Coach told us at halftime to pick it up on defense,” she said. “We were doing fine offensively. We had 45 had half so we just needed to pick up the defensive intensity.”
WNCC started the third quarter on an 11-3 run to lead 56-43 and led 77-58 after three quarters and never looked back after that.
WNCC had four players in double figures and saw 10 players hit the scoring column. Wiehl led all scorers with 22 points followed by 19 from Joplin, 15 from Tishara Morehouse, and 10 from Allysah Booth.
The Cougars buried 14 3-pointers on the night. Joplin and Wiehl each had three, while Morehouse and Booth each had two. Yaidelis Torres, Yuliyana Valcheva, Eva Langton, and Pulling all had one trey.
WNCC out-rebounded the Trojans 46-30. Wiehl, Joplin, and Andrijana Reljic each had four boards. Morehouse finished with a team-high six assists.
The Cougars’ second half defense was a big factor in the win. Trinidad shot 45 percent in the first half but then held the Trojans to just 33 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes.
Trinidad had four in double figures. Kate Rohr led Trinidad with 14 points followed by 13 from Julia Trujillo.
WNCC, 19-3, will hit the road for a Region IX South sub-region contest Tuesday at McCook Community College. The Cougars will then return home for a contest against Eastern Wyoming College on Feb. 11.
Trinidad (11-10) 15 25 18 12 – 70
WNCC (19-3) 22 23 32 20 – 97
Shaylynn Choate 2, Kate Rohr 14, Lyric Thompson 10, Destinee Vigil 7, Nuria Saez 11, Linsi Calvo 9, Hannah Gilmore 4, Julia Trujillo 13.
Tishara Morehouse 15, Merle Wiehl 22, Allysah Boothe 10, Andrijana Reljic 2, Anyssia Gibbs 7, R’Manie Pulling 5, Eva Langton 7, Yuliyana Valcheva 7, Taylor Joplin 19, Yaidelis Torres 3.