The Western Nebraska Community College men’s basketball team put four players in double figures and Chase Thompson hit four clutch free throws in giving the Cougar men a hard-fought 91-83 win over Central Community College-Columbus on Saturday of the WNCC Classic.
Thompson led the way scoring for the Cougars with 22 points and was 10 of 13 from the free throw line. The four free throws Thompson hit with under 20 seconds to play helped the Cougars expand a slim 87-83 lead to the final 91-83.
WNCC had a strong first half as the two teams were tied just once at 2-2. After that Issad Solano scored back-to-back buckets to push the Cougars lead to 8-2. WNCC went up 16-5 on a Tyler Mack 3-pointer and led 26-12 after back-to-back Carter Brown 3-pointers.
Central-Columbus sliced the lead to single digits at 27-19, but WNCC went on a 13-0 run behind five points from Taylor Johnson and another trey by Mack for a 40-19 lead. WNCC led 40-29 at halftime.
WNCC started the second half with a trey from Solano and then two free throws by Thompson for a 45-29 lead. Central-Columbus scored the next eight points in cutting the lead to 45-37.
The teams traded buckets back and forth the Raiders tied the game on a 3-pointer by Gacoby Jones with 11:53 to play. WNCC went back on top with free throws by Solano and Them Koang for a 60-56 lead.
The two teams kept battling as the Raiders tied the game at 60-60. WNCC went back on top 64-60 and later pushed the lead back to 10 points on back-to-back buckets by Thompson, 76-66. Central-Columbus cut the lead to six, 81-75 but the Cougars went back up by nine on a Thompson old-fashioned 3-point play.
WNCC shot 48 percent from the field and 31 percent from the 3-point arc. WNCC was also 23 of 30 from the free throw line.
Central-Columbus shot 44 percent from the field and 25 percent from beyond the arc. The Raiders were 14 of 21 from the free throw line.
WNCC had four players in double figures. Thompson led the way with 22 points while also puling eight rebounds. Solano finished with 20 points and seven rebounds with two 3-poiners.
Also netting double digits was Koang with 14 points and six rebounds, while Agwa Nywesh finished with 13 points.
WNCC will be back in action Monday when they host Laramie County Community College in a women’s and men doubleheader. Monday’s action begins at 5:30 p.m.
CCC-Columbus 29 54 – 83
WNCC 40 51 – 91
Gavin Lipovsky 9, Jayden Byabato 12, Dwight Glover 18, Gacoby Jones 10, Michael Ozomah 17, Caleb Muia 12, Logan Dorm 5.
Carter Brown 7, Chase Thompson 22, Tayler Johnson 7, Tyler Mack 8, Agwa Nywesh 13, Issad Solano 20, Them Koang 14.
Lamar 30 50 – 80
Northwest 32 27 – 59
Bryce Whitaker 15, Deondre Barfield 6, Donato Joseph 2, Tim Montgomery 15, Khalil Haywood 31, Kevon Wiggins 11.
Hayden Peterson 8, Andre Loign 2, Jacob Schilder 3, Jahquel Goss 4, Jaren Fritz 8, Gabriel Gutierrez 14, Oluwaseyi Oyeku 16, Jerome Mabry 4.