Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team had three players score over 20 points and the Cougar women used a strong first half in registering a 98-63 win over McCook Community College in a Region IX South sub-region contest Tuesday night at Cougar Palace.
The win was the Cougars 17th of the season but more importantly, moved the Cougars to 4-0 in sub-region play.
Tishara Morehouse and Taylor Joplin each finished with 24 points, while Merle Wiehl tallied 21. Wiehl now needs only five points to set the career scoring record of 1.026 set in 1983 by Penny Mallet. The Cougar women will next be in action Monday night when they host Casper College at 6 p.m.
WNCC head coach Chad Gibney said the team had a strong first half and it was a good team win.
“It was a huge win for us. McCook is a very good basketball team,” Gibney said. “We set the tone early and took it to them with our aggressiveness. I thought we did an excellent job on the glass. I thought our defensive pressure really stifled them.”
Gibney said they had good balanced scoring and they shared the ball.
“We had some great performances tonight,” he said. “Can’t say enough of how our team played tonight to be able to knock off a really good basketball team.”
The contest was billed to be an offensive showcase as both WNCC and McCook are ranked in the top six nationally in scoring.
The game started out that way, too, as Mccook grabbed a 5-4 lead on an Anna Sanjuan 3-pointer. It was then the Cougars defensive pressure stepped up, going on a 19-0 run to lead 23-5. The run included a variety of players contributing from Wiehl getting back-to-back buckets, to Morehouse and R’Manie Pulling burying consecutive 3-pointers. WNCC led 28-9 after one period.
WNCC continued the defensive intensity in the second quarter, opening the period on a 9-0 run for a 37-9 lead and raced to a 49-22 halftime lead.
Any hopes of a McCook comeback in the third quarter was quickly erased as WNCC put together 6-0 and 9-0 consistently in outscoring the Indians 37-17 in the period. WNCC led late in the period 86-35 before McCook scored the final four points to cut the lead to 86-39 after three.
McCook outscored WNCC 24-12 in the fourth quarter, but by then the Cougars had salted away the victory after Yaidelis Torres buried a 3-pointer for a 94-49 lead.
WNCC had eight players hit the scoring column. Gibney said a lot of people game up big, whether scoring, rebounding, or providing an assist.
“It certainly is a team win,” he said.
Morehouse tallied 24 points on 10 of 17 shooting from the floor with three 3-pointers. She also had four rebounds, four steals, and two assists.
Joplin tallied her 24 points on two treys, 6 of 6 shooting from the free throw line, while also pulling down five rebounds.
Wiehl finished with 21 points on 10 of 19 shooting. Wiehl had an all-around game leading the team with eight rebounds, four assists, four steals, and did not commit a turnover.
Pulling tallied eight points with four assists, while Yuliyana Valcheva had eight points with five rebounds.
Torres finished with seven points and two treys on the night.
WNCC will have a week off before the rematch with Casper. In the first meeting on January 7, Casper topped the Cougars 83-63. Gibney said they are will be ready.
“We are excited to play Casper again,” he said. “They are the defending champs. They are undefeated in league and it will be a great test for us.”
McCook 9 13 17 24 – 63
WNCC (17-3) 28 21 37 12 – 98
Anna Sanjuan 10, Hailey Tiles 18, Makayla Jones 8, Laura Mata 2, Sam Hinkle 8, Lena Goerke 9, Destiny Davis 2, MaKenna Bodette 6.
Tishara Morehouse 24, Merle Wiehl 21, Andrijana Reljic 4, Anyssia Gibbs 2, R’Manie Pulling 8, Yuliyana Valcheva 8, Taylor Joplin 24, Yaidelis Torres 7.