NORTH PLATTE – The Western Nebraska Community College men’s basketball team finished off the regular season with back-to-back wins over McCook Community College and North Platte Community College over the weekend Region IX South sub-region action.
The Cougars started things with a 77-65 win over McCook on Friday before concluding the regular season with a thundering 86-58 win over North Platte Saturdayafternoon.
WNCC finishes the regular season at 22-7 and 12-4 in conference play. WNCC will be the No. 2 seed from the South when the first round of the Region IX tournament opens up next weekend. The Cougars will host a first-round game against the No. 7 seed from the South. Pairings will be released Monday.
WNCC controlled the contest from the get-go, never trailing in the game. In the first half, the Cougars led by as much as 14 points, 24-10. North Platte made a run, cutting the lead to four, 31-27, but WNCC regrouped to lead at intermission 42-31.
A big key in the Cougars’ first-half play was shooting, where the Cougars hit 46 percent from the field while burying seven 3-pointers. WNCC’s defense kept North Platte at bay, where the Knights shot 32 from the field and 0-of-5 from beyond the arc.
The second half was much the same as the first. WNCC kept the double-digit lead, while shooting 50 percent and connecting on eight 3-pointers. North Platte was 34 percent from the field and hit three treys.
All-together, WNCC buried 15 3-pointers. Martin Roub buried four 3-pointers while Vinnie Shahid had three. Trent Harris and Marko Rajanovic each had two.
WNCC put five in double figures. Shahid led the way with 21 points followed by Roub with 18, Jervay Green with 13, Marlon Sierra with 12, and Harris with 10.
Sierra finished with a double-double adding 10 rebound to his 12 points.
WNCC’s 22 wins during the regular season is the most wins since the 2011-12 season when the Cougars finished 26-7. The Cougars have also recorded back-to-back 20-win season for the first time since 2003-2005.
WNCC (22-7) 42 44 – 86
North Platte (15-12) 31 27 – 58
Trent Harris 10, Vinnie Shahid 21, Rashad Gillion 2, Marlon Sierra 12, Marko Rajanovic 7, Jervay Green 13, Djordje Dimitrijevic 3, Martin Roub 18.
Goy Lew 16, Aaron Ridley 8, Trajan Harris 7, Jakub Karwowski 4, Godfrey Rolle 20, Ty Clement 1, Boom Duboul 2.