The Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team put four players in double figures and earned their 15th win of the season with an 82-57 Region IX South Sub-region win over Trinidad State Junior College Saturday afternoon at Cougar Palace.
Melisa Kadic led the Cougar attack with 19 points, including three 3-pointers in the Cougars eighth straight victory.
The Cougars also received 14 points each from Merle Wiehl and Jaleesa Avery and 13 points from Karli Seay.
Seay, who added six assists in the winning effort, said the team started slow but then picked up the intensity thanks to their defensive intensity to get the sub-region win.
“We knew this was the last game of three straight games and we just wanted to come out and finish the weekend strong as a team,” Seay said. “We just wanted to come out and play good defense and move the ball. We just wanted to come out and play our brand of basketball and that is what we did.”
The defense is what drove the Cougars’ offense. Early on, too, the Cougars needed a spark, trailing 9-8.
“Defense is basically the key to our team,” Seay said. “Coach always tells us about defense and basically when we do great defense that is when the offense starts to come to us. That is what happened.”
The defensive intensity after that first-quarter deficit was the key. WNCC finished off the first quarter out-scoring Trinidad 18-4 to double-up the Trojans after the first 10 minutes of play 26-13.
WNCC’s defensive intensity continue in the second quarter building a 32-15 lead and went on to lead 41-27 at halftime after a Seay driving bucket at the buzzer.
Trinidad made a small run to open the third quarter, slicing the lead to 45-32. Kadic quickly changed the complexion of the contest with two treys in to give the Cougars a 57-36 lead after three periods.
WNCC pushed the lead to 65-48 early in the fourth and had a 30-point lead, 78-48, on two Josie Perez free throws to get the 82-57 win.
WNCC shot 45 percent for the game and were an impressive 19 of 21 from the free throw line. The Cougars also buried five treys in the contest.
Another thing that stood out on the defensive side was forcing Trinidad into 17 turnovers. The Cougars registered 10 steals, led by Wiehl with three and Kadic and Anastacia Johnson with two each.
WNCC, 15-2, will have a day off before hitting the road for three contests beginning with a Monday evening encounter with Casper College. WNCC will then face Otero and Lamar in key sub-region contests next weekend.
Trinidad (8-7) 13 14 9 21 – 57
WNCC (15-2) 26 15 16 25 – 82
Mackenzie Overmiller 21, Jordan Wyatt 4, Destinee Vigil 9, Cassia Mccaskill 2, Hannah Gilmore 5, Julia Trujillo 2, Annette Warner 14.
Melisa Kadic 19, Merle Wiehl 14, Jaleesa Avery 14, Sophie Agorakis 4, Olivia Wiberg 2, Karli Seay 13, Josie Perez 5, Anastacia Johnson 4, Giovanna Silva 7.