The Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team put five players in double figures in downing Otero Junior College 104-66 in the Region IX South Sub-region opener for both squads.
The Cougars shot 54 percent from the field while burying 16 3-pointers in posting their 14th win of the season.
Eva Langton, who finished with eight points and started the 3-point barrage with the Cougars’ first trey of the game, said the team played well on both sides of the ball.
“I thought we played really well as a team which was the goal,” the sophomore from New Zealand said. “We worked really well off each other on defense. Overall it was a really good game especially coming back after break. I am really looking forward to our next games.”
Langton also had plenty of support in the crowd this weekend as her family from New Zealand flew over for Christmas and got to watch her play. Langton said that was special for her and the team.
“It has been awesome [to have my family here],” Langton said. “It is different being international when you can’t have your family come to any games. So, they came over here and get to see me play and also just not me but the whole team, and see the community I have been living in. It has been great and I am blessed that they got to come over.”
The players did put on an offensive clinic for Langton’s family and the rest of the fans the last two days in scoring 203 total points in wins over Northeast Community College on Friday and Otero Saturday.
WNCC was clicking from start to finish on Saturday against Otero. The Cougars first five field goals were all 3-pointers as they went up 15-6. Langton had the first trey and then Tishara Morehouse and Taylor Joplin each had two treys. WNCC led 27-14 after one quarter.
Langton said this team has plenty of offensive weapons.
“We always talk about how much better we are when we play together,” Langton said. “We always talk about making extra passes and we did that tonight.”
Merle Wiehl led all scorers with 22 points. Wiehl knocked down four 3-pointers and the sophomore from Germany moved into second place on the career scoring chart with 951 points passing Shana Coleman who had 944 career points. Wiehl is just 76 points away from breaking the career scoring record of 1,026 set by Penny Mallet in the 1981-83 seasons.
Wiehl had plenty of support on offense. Tishara Morehouse had 18 points and two treys, while Taylor Joplin had 16 points and four 3-pointers. Yuliyana Valcheva tallied 11 points and a trey, while R’Manie Pulling had 10 points and a 3-pointer.
Langton and Allysah Boothe each had two 3-pointers to finish out the Cougars 16 treys on the afternoon.
WNCC’s offense continued to start the second quarter as Wiehl, Pulling, and Valcheva all connected on treys for a 38-15 lead. Otero fought back with a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to 38-25, but the Cougars took a 44-29 lead into the locker room.
WNCC was just as explosive in the second half, outscoring the Rattlers 35-21 in the third period in building an 82-50 lead after three quarters. The Cougars opened the fourth quarter with seven straight points and hit the century mark for the sixth time this season with a minute to play on a Boothe 3-pointer.
WNCC will be back in action next weekend when they hit the road for two South Sub-region contests when they face Northeastern Junior College on Friday and Lamar Community College on Saturday. The Cougars will return home January 22 when they host McCook Community College.
Otero 14 15 21 16 – 66
WNCC (14-3) 27 20 35 22 – 104
Kaitlyn Roycroft 3, Zaryna Ibarra-Urbina 2, Hilda Garcia 9, McClain Walker 4, Laura Prado-Morales 13, Charisse Fairley 15, Grace O’Neil 8, Alessia Capley 12
Tishara Morehouse 18, Merle Wiehl 22, Allysah Boothe 8, Andrijana Reljic 4, Kolby Underwood 3, Anyssia Gibbs 4, R’Manie Pulling 10, Eva Langton 8, Yuliyana Valcheva 11, Taylor Joplin 16