Posted 3 months ago
By John Axtell
Trinidad State Junior College handed the 13th-ranked Western Nebraska Community College women their 3 loss of the year Saturday afternoon with an 80-69 win at Cougar Palace. The loss snapped the Cougars four-game winning streak and gave the Cougars their first sub-region loss on the season.
WNCC coach Dave Harnish credited Trinidad in playing well as his team was a step slow all night long. “Give Trinidad credit, they played well all the way around and shot the ball well. Some nights you are going to run into that and they did a great job,” Harnish said.
“We were a step slow today, a little late getting out on shooters. I thought our defense wasn’t there from what it was yesterday [Friday against Otero] and for some reason we looked tired and a little more lethargic. When that happens and you get a hot team and you don’t shoot well, that [losing] will happen.”
Saturday’s loss will sting for a while, especially the way they played in Friday’2 91-58 win over Otero Junior College. On Friday, the Cougars played a complete contest on both sides of the ball, whereas today, they were flat.
“Every day is a different day and teams come ready to play,” said Harnish. “Last night [Friday] we were ready to play and maybe Otero wasn’t. Today we weren’t ready to play and Trinidad was. That is what is hard today in getting kids to play hard every day and every night. We kind of struggled the whole first semester that way. Somehow we found ways to win, but tonight it didn’t happen.”
WNCC started the contest strong, bolting to a 12-6 lead behind a 3-pointer by Shalisa Moffit. WNCC later led 18-14 on an Ashley Stevens bucket, but that was when the Trojans heated up, running out to a 27-22 lead on a Jordan Salaz 3-pointer.
The Cougars came back to cut the deficit to a single point, 29-28 on a bucket by Lile Havili, but Jocelyn Gamboa connected on two treys to help the Trojans to a 42-35 halftime lead.
WNCC made runs at Trinidad in the second half, including cutting the deficit ti 55-50 on a Kaylee Biddell bucket, but Trinidad answered with a 9-0 run to push the lead back to 14 points at 64-50. The Cougars did make one late push, slicing the lead to five points with 1:49 to play at 74-69, but never could get over the hump.
The Cougars shot just 35 percent from the field and 28 percent from the 3-point arc (5 of 18). Trinidad, on the other hand, was shooting lights out for 48 percent from the field and 50 percent (12 of 24) from the 3-point line.
Trinidad also out-rebounded the Cougars 43-29. WNCC’s top rebounder was Abi Lujan with eight boards, while Trinidad was paced by Kori Eurich with nine boards.
WNCC put four players in double figures. Ashley Stevens led the way with 17 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Biddell also chipped in 11 points, all in the second half, while Shalisa Moffit had 14 points and Laurin Rivera had 10.
Lujan also chipped in nine points, including five free throws in the second half. Lyndie Puckett also had the hot hand when she was in the game, connecting on two second-half treys to help bring the Cougars back for her six points.
WNCC, 12-3, will be back in action on Jan. 10 when they host Northwest Kansas Technical College before hosting McCook on Jan. 11 in a sub-region game.
Trinidad (9-5) 42 38 – 80
WNCC (12-3) 35 34 – 69
Asha Rose 9, Jordan Salaz 14, Daisy Romero 7, Claire Ioannidia 3, Marcella Sanchez 2, Charron Johnson 8, Jocelyn Gamboa 13, Kori Eurich 14, Mary Carpenter 4, Samantha White 6.
Laurin Rivera 10, Shalisa Moffit 14, Lyndie Puckett 6, Abi Lujan 9, Ashley Stevens 17, Kaylee Biddell 11, Lile Havili 2.