Anyone tired doing Black Friday shopping this weekend or tired of watching football on television, there is another option for families over Thanksgiving Break – WNCC basketball.
The WNCC men’s and women’s basketball teams will be home over the Thanksgiving holidays when they host the Thanksgiving Classic Friday and Saturday, Nov. 23-24.
There will be four games each day with eight teams involved in the 2-day Thanksgiving Classic and plenty of teams with winning records.
The marque game will be Friday night when No. 12 Indian Hills Community College will battle the No. 14 Cougar men. Indian Hills comes into the classic with a 5-1 record, having only lost to Coffeyville Community College.
The Cougars are 6-2 and on a 3-game winning streak after Tuesday’s 96-86 road win at Colby Community College.
Indian Hills will also face Trinidad State Junior College on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Trojans are 7-1 on the season and are riding a 7-game win streak while averaging 85 points a game.
WNCC’s Saturday contest against Rainy River Community College on Saturday at 6 p.m. will be an interesting matchup with family members coaching against each other. Rainy River head coach is Bill Engel, who is the father of Cougar assistant coach Billy Engel. Rainy River enters with a 2-0 record having played their first games last weekend.
The Cougar men have the most losses of the three teams in the classic with two. Both losses came against Top 10 ranked teams in College of Southern Idaho and Salt Lake Community College. WNCC has also defeated No. 3 CSI in the opening weekend of the season.
The women’s side of games will also be stiff as the three Region IX schools – WNCC, Eastern Wyoming College, and Trinidad State – have a combined record of 18-4.
EWC enters with the best record at 6-0 and will open both days of the classic with the first game of the day. The Lancers will play the Nebraska All-stars at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and then Trinidad State at noon on Saturday. EWC and the Nebraska All-stars last played each other in the 2010-2011 season and the Lancers escaped with a 66-63 win.
The Lancers are averaging 85 points a game in their six wins. The 6-0 start is the best start the Lancers have had. The previous best was a 5-1 start back n 2014-15.
Trinidad State’s only loss on the season was a 67-62 defeat to Air Force Prep on Nov. 10. Since then, the Trojans have run off three straight, including a 70-65 win against LCCC.
The Cougars are 5-2 on the season and will be making only their second and third home appearances of the season after three straight weekends on the road. The Cougars losses came to ranked teams Seward County Community College and Iowa Western Community College.
The WNCC women, in their five wins, have scored over 90 points. WNCC is averaging 88 points a game.
The Cougar women open the classic on Friday at 5:30 p.m. when they battle Trinidad State and then wrap up the classic on Saturday at 4 p.m. against the Nebraska All-stars.
After this weekend, the Cougar women will be back at home on Tuesday when they host the Colorado State Club team at 6 p.m.
Thanksgiving Classic Schedule
Friday, Nov. 23
1:30 p.m. – Women’s Game: Eastern Wyoming College vs. Nebraska All-stars
3:30 p.m. – Men’s Game: Trinidad State Junior College vs. Rainy River C.C.
5:30 p.m. – Women’s Game: WNCC vs. Trinidad State Junior College
7:30 p.m. – Men’s Game: WNCC vs. Indian Hills Community College
Saturday, Nov. 24
12 p.m. – Women’s Game: Eastern Wyoming vs. Trinidad State
2 p.m. – Men’s Game: Trinidad State vs. Indian Hills
4 p.m. – Women’s Game: WNCC vs. Nebraska All-stars
6 p.m. – Men’s Game: WNCC vs. Rainy River