The Western Nebraska Community College men’s basketball team put five players in double figures and overcome a slow start to race to an 100-82 win over Western Wyoming Community College Saturday afternoon at Cougar Palace.
Vinnie Shahid led WNCC with 21 including three treys, while Djodje Dimitrijevic tallied 19 points.
The win pushes the Cougars record to 4-2 with games next weekend in the Cougar Thanksgiving Classic when they face Frank Phillips and Quakerdale Prep.
WNCC head coach Cory Fehringer said they played well after the slow start that saw WNCC trail 12-3 and 21-11 early on.
“Going back to yesterday [Friday night] I thought we were more consistent on both ends of the basketball court,” Fehringer said. “I thought we shared it better than we did last night. I thought defensively we had more sense of urgency, for the most part, but still got sluggish.”
The big key was the late first half run and the second half play. Fehringer was pleased with the second half play.
“We talked about that we have a drop off in the second half and we are not sure why,” he said. “Some of those dynamics have to do with rotations and substitutions. We just have to do a better job as coaches to have them defend in the second half.”
They did play well after being down 21-11. WNCC quickly came back and tied the game at 21 on a Vinnie Shahid 4-point play. WNCC trailed later 41-36 before outscoring the Mustangs 21-5 to close out the first half. Martin Roub started the comeback with a big 3-pointer and Sanchious had six points in that that stretch.
The second half saw WNCC continue the pressure, running out to a 73-50 lead. Western Wyoming came back to cut the lead to 10, 73-63, but the Cougars went on a 9-0 run behind Sanchious trey for an 85-63 lead. WNCC never looked back after that as Austin Hoffman nailed a trey to put the Cougars over the century mark.
Defense was a big key for the Cougars and Fehringer said they played well.
“When kids go out and play hard defensively, they seem to have more fluid offense as well and have more excitement,” he said. “Our kids just have to convince themselves that the full court pressure is our best interest not only for our offense but our defense.”
Another big key for the Cougars was the varied offensive output. With five players in double figures and nine players that hit the scoring column.
“We had a stretch during the early season where our sophomores were dominating the scoring and the minutes,” Fehringer said. “We need to get more substitutions in and more guys punch the clock. I thought guys came in and really did their jobs well off the bench tonight.”
WNCC finished the game with eight 3-pointers and were 15-of-16 from the charity stripe. Western Wyoming knocked home six 3-pointers and they were 13-of-17 from the stripe.
W. Wyoming 46 36 – 82
WNCC (4-2) 57 43 – 100
Amin Adamu 11, Calvin Nevill Kintu 9, Carter Rosette 7, Tyrees Sidberry 2, Traeden Aldredge 2, Spencer Nisson 2, Nathan Fromm 22, Obi Agu 19, Ryan Gundersen 8.
Trent Harris 13, Bryce Sanchious 15, Vinnie Shahid 21, Marlon Sierra 5, Marko Rajanovic 5, Austin Hoffman 3, Jervay Green 14, Djodje Dimitrijevic 19, Martin Roub 3.