LA JUNTA, Colo. – The Western Nebraska Community College women’s and men’s basketball teams finally got back on the court after nearly two weeks away from the game and the two squads suffered Region IX South Sub-Region defeats to Otero Junior College Friday evening.
The 9th-ranked WNCC women held a 56-53 lead after three quarters, but saw the Rattlers hit a late bucket to earn a come-from-behind 70-68 win over the Cougar women.
The WNCC men saw the Otero men have a big first half and then hold on for the 89-77 win Friday night over the Cougars.
The Cougar women were out-rebounded in the contest 53-36 as both teams shot about 35 percent for the game.
Otero led 21-18 after the first quarter and led 40-31 at halftime.
WNCC came out in the third quarter and went to work, outscoring the Rattlers 25-13 to hold a 56-53 lead. It was the fourth quarter that the Cougars couldn’t hit any buckets in the final two minutes. WNCC held a 66-61 lead with 4:14 to play.
Otero came back to tie the game at 68-68 with 1:04 to play. The Rattlers took a 70-68 lead with 33.6 seconds to play. WNCC turned over the ball and then had another chance after Otero missed two free throws with 14 seconds to play. WNCC, however, couldn’t get the tying bucket to fall to Otero.
WNCC had two players in double figures. Lidsey Mahoukou led the way with 16 points followed by Shanti Henry with 12 points. Ashley Panem and Alejah Douglas each had eight points.
WNCC was 25 of 32 from the charity stripe while Otero was just 17 of 25. The Cougars had one more trey than Otero, nailing five 3-pointers. Henry buried four treys, while Payton Fields had the other one.
The men’s contest saw Otero bury 10 treys compared to just six for the Cougars in getting the South sub-region win.
WNCC was within striking distance at halftime, trailing 41-29. WNCC got back within the game early in the second half, but a big run by Otero opened the contest. Both teams finished with 48 points in the second half.
WNCC put four players in double figures. Issad Solano led the way with 17 points followed by Chase Thompson with 16 points. Tyler Mack finished with 14 points including four treys, while Carter Brown had 10 points.
The WNCC women will be back in action Saturday when they travel to face Trinidad State Junior College. The Cougar men will next be in action Sunday when they head to McCook Community College for a Sunday afternoon contest.
WNCC 18 13 25 12 – 68
Otero 21 19 13 17 – 70
Alejah Douglas 8, Bella Sparaco 4, Ky Buell 5, Martrice Brooks 7, Shanti Henry 12, Ashley Panem 8, Payton Fields 4, Isabelle Cook 4, Lidsey Mahoukou 16.
WNCC 29 48 – 77
Otero 41 48 – 89
Carter Brown 10, Chase Thompson 16, Jasiya DeOllos 2, Tayler Johnson 4, Tyler Mack 14, Agwa Nywesh 5, Issad Solano 17, Turumbil Zaki 2, Them Koang 7.