Cougars drop two on Wyo. Roadtrip Fans get in free for tonight as WNCC takes on North Platte
     2015-12-11      By The Gering Citizen    editor@geringcitizen.com
Courtesy photo WNCC guard Chase Mason drives into the paint against Trinidad State Junior College on Dec. 3. After three South Division games, the Cougars remain winless at 0-3. They are 8-5 overall. 
CHEYENNE — It was a Region IX South battle and it went down to the wire between Western Nebraska Community College and Laramie County Community College. In the end, the Golden Eagles survived, getting past the Cougars 71-68 in conference play.

The win moves LCCC to 1-1 in South play and 8-4 overall, while the Cougars drop to 0-3 in the South Division, and 8-5 overall.

WNCC coach Russ Beck remains upbeat despite the recent setbacks. Beck believes his team will rebound.

“Rough week for the boys. We are about to turn the corner,” he said. “We have a great bunch of young men and we have a destiny in that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and we are still standing so we will take these games and grow from them.”

Beck said his team will come back in full force next week when they host North Platte and McCook in South Division play.

“We will work hard this week and get ourselves back in the win column,” he said. “We have North Platte next Friday and it is free admission for Family Night, so come out and rock the Palace.”

The contest evenly played as WNCC shot 39 percent from the field and made five 3-pointers. LCCC shot 37 percent from the field and buried four treys.

WNCC’s Phil Fayne had a big night despite the loss with a double-double. Fayne finished with 17 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Fayne was 7 of 10 from the field.

Also collecting double digits was Andrew Ramirez with 16 points and three assists. Ramirez also buried three 3-pointers.

WNCC offense was also ignited by Chase Mason, who buried two treys to finish with eight points.

LCCC finished the game with three in double digits. Gavin Peppers led the way with 17 points, including going 7 of 8 from the free throw line. Izia Sherman-Newsome also tallied 16 points with all four 3-pointers. Josh McNair also finished with 11 points, while Michael Obindu had nine.

The contest was close as LCCC held a 30-26 lead at halftime. The second half saw WNCC pick up the offense, outscoring the Golden Eagles 42-41.

In their last game before facing Laramie, the Cougars dropped a close one to Trinidad State Junior College. Chris Smith left Cougar Palace with a big smile on his face after the sophomore guard scored at the buzzer, rallying the Trojans to a win over the WNCC men 76-74 on Dec. 3.

It was Trinidad’s second straight win, moving the Trojans to 2-1 in South conference play. The Cougars controlled the first half and much of the second half.

WNCC never trailed in the first half, leading 39-15 after back-to-back threes by Marquin Walton and Andrew Ramirez. The Cougar men would push the lead to 32-18 on a Chase Mason trey and then led 35-23 on another Walton 3-pointer.

The Trojans, however, would outscore WNCC 7-2 in the final four minutes as WNCC held a 39-30 lead at halftime.

The second half was decided by shooting. WNCC shot 47 percent in the first half and then only shot 40 percent. Trinidad’s shooting made the difference. The Trojans shot 44 percent in the first half and then roasted the nets for 59 percent in the second half.

Still, WNCC played tough, holding a 46-37 lead after a Phil Fayne dunk. WNCC led 52-49 on a Michael Sparks 3-pointer. That was when Trinidad made a mini 7-0 run to slice the lead to 52-51.

The Cougars bounced back to lead 58-53 on back-to-back buckets after a Fayne offensive put-back and then a dunk. Trinidad took its first lead of the game with seven minutes to play at 61-60 on a bucket by Treyvon Andres.

The Cougars came back to lead 65-61 and led 67-65 late on a Tyrell Williams bucket. After that, it was a back-and-forth contest. WNCC went up 74-72 with 50 seconds to play on a 3-pointer but Trinidad came back and tied it at 74-74.

Fayne then missed two free throws with 33.9 seconds to play, but WNCC got the rebound and worked the ball for the final shot. Instead, WNCC didn’t get a shot off and turned the ball over. That was when Williams took the ball with 3.9 seconds to play and drove the baseline for the winning shot.

The big disparity was fouls. Trinidad was whistled for a mere 15 fouls and WNCC 25. WNCC was 10 of 14 from the charity stripe while Trinidad was 16 of 27.

WNCC had three players in double figures, led by Sparks with 14 points. Rayne and Mason Smith each had 11 points.

The Cougars will entertain North Platte Community College on Friday, Dec. at 7:30 p.m. before hosting McCook Community College on Saturday, Dec. 12. Today’s contest is Family Night and includes free admission.

Trinidad (8-5) 30 46 – 76
WNCC (8-4) 39 35 – 74

TRINIDAD
Samuel Egedi 11, Elijah Kess 6, Brandon Newman 3, Yephnick Adelphonse 8, Chris Williams 21, Treyvon Andres 21, Rahsaan Johnson 6.

WNCC
Marquin Walton 8, Mason Smith 11, RJ Palmer 3, Michael Sparks 14, Leon Tomic 3, Michael Connor 7, Bo McVay 2, Chase Mason 3, Phil Fayne 11, Andrew Ramirez 8, Tyrell Williams 4.

WNCC (8-5) 26 42 – 68
LCCC (8-4) 30 41 – 71

WNCC
Marquin Walton 4, Daylon Harris 4, Mason Smith 4, RJ Palmer 5, Michael Sparks 3, Micheel Connor 2, Chase Mason 8, Phil Fayne 17, Andrew Ramirez 16, Tyrell Wiliams 5.

LCCC
Willie Willis 2, Gavin Peppers 17, Josh McNair 11, Naseem Hadrab 2, Jerry Luckett 4, Harrison Meads 4, Izia Sherman-Newsom 16, Dominik Keinzl 6, Micheal Obindu 9.

WNCC release

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