WNCC men fall to Lamar 80-72
     2016-02-19      By Media Report    editor@geringcitizen.com
Michael Connor, Jr., G redshirt freshman, 6’2”, 180 pounds. 
The Western Nebraska Community College men’s basketball team buried 11 3-pointers, but it wasn’t enough as the Lamar Community College Runnin’ Lopes left Cougar Palace with an 80-72 Region IX South Division win.

The big key in the contest was shooting. WNCC was just 35 percent from the field for the game and 39 percent from beyond the arc (11 of 28). WNCC even had trouble connecting on free throws, making 53 percent (9 of 17).

Lamar wasn’t much better shooting on the night. Lamar hit on 45 percent of their shots and were just 28 percent from beyond the arc (4 of 14).

However, what did the Cougars in was a four minute scoreless spree in the second half that saw the Cougars 56-52 lead diminish to a Lamar 66-56 lead.

WNCC was even playing decent in the first half and the start of the second. The Cougars opened up with a 15-6 lead 3-pointers from Michael Connor, Chase Mason and Michael Sparks. Lamar came back to tie the game at 18 before WNCC vaulted to one of its biggest leads of the night at 25-18. Things changed after that as Lamar came back to take a 38-35 lead late. Sparks nailed another free throw and then Phil Fayne hit a free throw with seconds left for a 39-38 halftime lead.

WNCC came out in the second half hot, running to a 43-38 lead. That was when Lamar got hot and WNCC started to cool off as the Runnin’ Lopes went on an 8-0 run for a 46-43 lead. WNCC bolted back to retake the lead on a Sparks 3-pointer with 12:58 to play and later led 56-52 with 10:19 to play.

For the next four minutes, Lamar did the scoring and WNCC couldn’t buy a bucket for the 10-point Lamar lead. WNCC got the lead to five points with 29.7 seconds to play on a Mason trey, but that was as close as they could get.

WNCC had three players in double figures, led by Sparks with 21 points and five 3-pointers. Mason finished with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Fayne had 14 points and seven boards.

Lamar was led by Chris Lewis with 17 points and 16 rebounds, while Wayne Steeart had 17 points.

WNCC, 16-11 overall, drops to 6-9 in South play.
Lamar moves to 7-6 in South play and 16-10 overall. WNCC will next be in action with two home games next week. The Cougars will host Eastern Wyoming College in the final South Conference game on Thursday, before playing the Northern Colorado All-stars on Saturday at 1 p.m. in a game that was added this week.

Lamar (16-10) 38 42 – 80

WNCC (16-11) 39 33 – 72

LAMAR

Joe Dunmyer 10, Chris Lewis 17, Michael Skinner 9, Wayne Stewart 17, Lynrick Moxey 7, Taylor Shephard 9, Jerome LaNeir 11.

WNCC

Daylon Harris 5, Michael Sparks 21, Michael Connor 5, Derrick Bowers 4, Chase Mason 17, Phil Fayne 14, Tyrell Williams 4.

Women get 21st win against Lamar

The 19th-ranked Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team put six in double figures in rolling to a 112-57 Region IX South Division win over Lamar Community College Friday evening at Cougar Palace.

WNCC, in running to its 21st victory of the season, shot the ball well from all aspects of the contest. Bree Paulson, who finished the game with 17 points including four 3-pointers, said the team played well from the start.

“I thought we played fairly well on offense and our shots were coming along,” the freshman from Broomfield, Colo., said. “On defense, there are still things we need to work on, but overall we played pretty good.”

What was the key for the Cougars was their start, scoring the first 21 points of the game behind three 3-pointers from Paulson. And the Cougars defense was sparkling in holding Lamar to without a field goal in the first period in running to a 32-8 lead after the first eight minutes.

“In practice this week we emphasized that they all are pretty much three-point shooters,” Paulson said. “We thought we needed to get out and play hard on them and make them penetrate.”

WNCC was just as sizzling in the second quarter, scoring the first 12 points behind six points from Sladjana Rakovic. Lamar finally hit their first field goal with 6:26 left in the quarter.

That didn’t stop the Cougars as they ran to a 55-11 lead before Lamar started to get hot from the 3-point arc with back to back threes.
WNCC held a 64-22 lead at halftime. The 64 points was just for points from tying the school record of most points scored in the first half.

Paulson said they have been working on their shooting and tonight it showed. WNCC shot 54 percent from the field and buried eight 3-pointers. The Cougars were also 10 of 12 from the charity stripe.

“We really have been striving for success out beyond the 3-point field goal range,” she said. “We have been talking as a team to get into the gym and start shooting by yourself and making the most of your time.”

WNCC the third quarter just as hot, scoring the first nine points behind five points from Zeynep Canbaz for a 75-22 lead. WNCC led 89-37 after three periods and hit the century mark on a Rylee Ward 2-pointer with 6:43 to play.

WNCC’s received plenty of scoring support. Rakovic led the way with 18 points. She also had five assists and five rebounds. Paulson was next with 17 points and four rebounds, while Canbaz had 15 points and Kalli Feddersen with 14. Feddersen also had a near triple-double, finishing with nine assists and seven rebounds.

Also hitting the double-figure column was Ozge Yarga with 10 points and six assists, while Ward had 12 points and two 3-pointers.

Lamar shot 30 percent but connected on 10 three pointers.

WNCC, 21-3, will return to action Tuesday when they travel to McCook for a key South Division game with McCook Community College. The Cougars lead the South Division with a 9-1 record while McCook is a half a game behind at 8-1. McCook is 22-2 overall.

Paulson said that game is vital.

“That game is super important,” she said. “We knew we needed to get through this one real fast. Now our focus will be on McCook and we are going to go and play with the best of ability.”

Lamar (4-21) 8 14 15 20 – 57

WNCC (21-3) 32 32 25 23 – 112

LAMAR

Jasmine Kemm 3, RJ Kuhn 5, Edina Kruska 13, Kaylan Miller 5, Jamie Clawson 7, Devynn Lapp 13, Felicia Null 13.
WNCC

Kallie Feddersen 14, Sladjana Rakovic 18, Hannah Sparks 4, Ozge Yarga 10, Oleida DeLeon 9, Zeynep Canbaz 15, Bree Paulson 17, Rylee Ward 12, Mikayla Gonzales 9, Myriam Garcia 5.

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