The Western Nebraska Community College and Adams State junior varsity basketball teams combined for 25 3-pointers and 93 rebounds as the Cougar men put five in double figures in racing to the 104-76 win Friday night at Cougar Palace.
The win was the Cougars sixth straight and moves WNCC to 17-8 on the season. WNCC will be back in action Monday evening when they host Northeastern Junior College in a men’s and women’s Region IX South Sub-region doubleheader. It is also “White Out” night at Cougar Palace.
WNCC head coach Billy Engel said he saw some good things and some things that they need to clean up before Monday.
“We had our good moments and we had our bad moments,” Engel said. “We had some moments defensively where we were not playing up to our standards. At the end of the day the guys found enough good moments to put a big lead on Adams State.”
The game actually was closer than the final score indicated. The first 10 minutes of the game was a shoot out as the two teams combined for 12 3-pointers and were knotted at 26-26. That was when the Cougars got hot, going on an 8-0 run to lead 34-26 and later at 50-32. Adams State junior varsity cut the first half deficit to 52-39, but the Cougars closed out the first half on a 8-3 run to go into the locker room at 60-42.
Engel said that last 10 minutes of the first half the Cougars played well.
“We had a good run there at the end of the first half and a couple good runs there in the second half,” Engel said. “You have to accept some confidence when you play good basketball. Even though I don’t think we played a great full game today, we did have our moments where we played good basketball.”
Adams State, even though they were down by 18 at halftime, was still in the game in the second half as they cut the Cougar lead to 62-49 and later to 13 points with 13 minutes to play at 70-57.
That was when the Cougars pushed the lead to 20 points on a JJ Harris 3-pointer and led 94-67 on a Junior Galicia trey. WNCC hit the century mark on a Marquis Morrison bucket and never looked back.
Both teams shot well. WNCC shot 45 percent while Adams State JV shot 38 percent. The two squads had 25 treys with Adams State JV hitting 13 and WNCC 12.
The two squads had 93 combined rebounds. WNCC grabbed 56 with Anthoy Simo getting 10 and Daniel Bula with nine.
The two teams also had a combined 49 fouls with NCC going 24-of-35 from the free throw line and Adams State JV going 11-of-16.
WNCC had five in double digits with Willie Wilson and JJ Harris each getting 18 points. Maurice Walker, Kayden Nation, and Bula all had 10 points.
Engel said they will need to play better on Monday when they host NJC. The last time the two teams played WNCC won on a buzzer-beater at NJC on Tuesday.
“They (NJC) will be a little bit hungry and angry of the last game and it is a quick turnaround,” he said. “We will see them again on the court and it will be fun. They play tomorrow against another conference opponent so we will sit down and watch that and see how it goes for the big one on Monday.”
Engel hopes there is a big crowd on Monday for the game as his team stays alive for a chance to host the regional tournament.
“It sure would be nice to pack Cougar Palace on Monday,” he said. “The Panhandle has done a nice job of supporting us this year and hopes that continues for the next couple of games.”
Adams State JV 42 34 – 76
WNCC (17-8) 60 44 – 104
ADAMS STATE JV
Austin Valdez 13, Elijah Carslon 7, Ben Parra 7, Duncan Balatche 10, Josiah Bowsher 11, Zeb Bowsher 1, Justin Cade 6, Cameron Wennberg 11, Jordan McKay 10.
JJ Harris 18, Maurice Walker 10, Junior Galicia 8, Anthony Simo 6, Danilo Glisovic 9, Willie Wilson 18, Travis Easterly, Jr. 7, Stephen Ovia 4, Elijah Burney 2, Daniel Bula 10, Kayden Nation 10, Marquis Morrison 2.