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WNCC tops North Platte, advances to semis to face Casper College at regional tourney

March 12, 2012

 The Western Nebraska Community College men's basketball team moved into Monday's semifinals of the Region IX tournament with a heart stopping 58-54 win over North Platte Community College Sunday night at Cougar Palace.

               The contest was nip and tuck throughout and a couple late defensive rebounds is what sealed the Cougars berth in the semifinals. WNCC will now take on Casper College at 8 p.m. Monday night. Casper was an 88-70 winner over Northeastern Junior College.

               The other semifinal on Monday will pit No. 19 Otero Junior College against Miles Community College, who is the top seed from the North Subregion. Otero fought off a stubborn Sheridan squad to prevail 83-72, while Miles needed overtime to knock out reigning Region IX champion Western Wyoming Community College 94-90. Tip off for that contest is slated for 6 p.m.

               The Cougars game was one that either team could have won and it actually came down to the play at the tail end of the first half. with time clicking down, Du'VaughnMaxwell stole the ball and with a tick left on the clock, let go a 3-pointer just inside the half court line that went in, giving the Cougars a 30-26 halftime lead.

               "That half court shot at halftime sure showed that we needed those points at the end," WNCC coach Russ Beck said. "We wanted to win and move on and we have done that. We are bound for a big game and we have had two rough ones that we haven't played to our potential. It is time for us to step up and be men and be the team that we are and quit making excuses and quit being so emotional."

               While the Cougars got some big points when they needed, including two clutch free throws by Alliance's Mike Peltz with 20.4 seconds left in the game to put the Cougars up by four. North Platte then came down and a good look at a 3-pointer, which was off the mark and Maxwell hauled in the rebound and was fouled with 6.8 seconds to play.

               The Cougars out-rebounded the Knights 42-36 as Terrance Motley was a beast on the boards, pulling down 14 to go along with his 16 points. Maxwell also cleaned the class with seven boards as well as getting five blocked shots.

               WNCC, however, never had a save lead and with two minutes to play, North Platte had an opportunity to seize control. The Cougars held a 54-52 lead after a Motley field goal. That was when North Platte's Ben Wilson was fouled and given a one-and-one. Wilson missed the first, but everyone thought it was a two-shot foul. Wilson realized it and got his own rebound and went in for the two points to tie the game.

               Neither team could get another field goal to foul. Maxwell finally stopped the ice-cold shooting by putting WNCC up 56-54 with two free throws with 49.4 seconds to play. North Platte's Nick Tomsick, who finished the contest with 32 points and six 3-pointers, was off the mark on a trey and Maxwell pulled down the rebound and the Knights fouled Peltz with 20 seconds remaining.

               Neither team shot the ball well. North Platte was 35 percent from the field but was deadly from beyond the arc, making 8 of 20 3-point shots. The Cougars were pretty lethargic, shooting just 36 percent from the field and 27 percent (3 of 11) from the 3-point area.

               The Cougars had three players in double figures. Motley led the way with his double-double, while Marko Kovacevic and Maxwell each had 11 points.

               In other games in the tournament, Casper College shot 49 percent from the field and opened up a close contest at halftime, 38-33, to run past Northeastern Junior College to move on to face the Cougars. The Thunderbirds had three players in double figures, led by Remi Dibo with 21 points. Also collecting double digits was Darrious Curry with 13 points and Jerrold Brooks with 10 points.

               Northeastern Junior College shot well at 47 percent, but was out-rebounded 44-26. The Plainsmen had four players in double digits. James Stukes finished with 21 points, followed by Steven Liebert with 13, Joe Charles with 16, and Ray Riley with 11.

               The Miles Community College and Western Wyoming contest was a dandy. THe last time these two teams met, Miles won a triple overtime regular season contest. This game was just as intense as Western Wyoming held a 36-32 halftime lead before each team was tied at 77-77 after regulation.

               Both teams were feeling it from the floor as Western Wyoming shot 43 percent from the field and connected on 10 3-pointers, while Miles was 53 percent from the field and canning nine 3-pointers.

               The Pioneers were led in scoring by Tyree Anderson with 30 points, while Jeremy Nicholas had a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds. Also getting double figures was Sian Laine with 20 points.

               Western Wyoming had five players finish with double figure scoring. Ian Matos led the way with 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Danilo Toskovic had 19 points. Also for the Mustangs, Craig Tucker had 13 points, and DJ Stennis and Lindsey Johnson each had 10 points.

               The other contest saw Otero open up a tight contest in the first 10 minutes to run to a 48-38 halftime lead. In the second half, Otero stayed strong in posting the 83-72 win.

               The Rattlers had four players in double figures. Lucas Archuleta and Brandon Harris each had 17 points. Harris also connected on five 3-pointers. Wes McKenzie had 14 points and Perrycote Smith had 12 points.

               While Otero connected on nine treys, the Generals misfired on all nine of their 3-point attempts. Sheridan had led by Ron Mvouika with 17 points followed by Lamont Prosser with 11 points and Khion Stankey with 16 points.


First Game

Sheridan                      38 34 -- 72

Otero JC                       48 35 -- 83


Khion Stankey 16, Ron Mvouika 17, Lamont Prosser 11, Robert Heyer 8, R.J. Leverette 2, Wayne Bradford 9, Victor Bermadez 2, Brandon Pines 7.


Perrycoate Smith 13, Wes McKenzie 14, Lucas Archuleta 17, Brandon Harris 17, Anthony Johnson 3, Adam Link 9, Oscar Garcia 9, Chris Strong 2.


Second Game

Western Wyo.                               36 41 13 -- 90

Miles C.C.                                        32 45 17 -- 94


Ian Matos 23, Craig Tucker 13, DJ Stennis 10, Sam Wunderli 9, Greg Meacham 2, Lindsey Johnson 10, Eric Rippetoe 4, Danilo Toskovic 19.


Sian Laine 20, Colby Hardin 3, Tyree Anderson 30, Nick Dermusis 3, Jeremy Nicholas 23, Demetre Wilkins 5, Ashante Ross 3, Ayibukaro Preh 7.


Third Game

NE Colorado                                   33 37 -- 70

Casper                                              38 50 -- 88


Joe Charles 16, Ray Riley 11, Anthony Crenshaw 2, Donthe Lucas 5, James Stukes 21, Steven Liebert 13, Bobby Lebsock 2.


Darrious Curry 13, Remi Dibo 21, Denzel Douglas 9, Dominique Lee 6, Dominique Brooks 2, Sam Johnson 7, Deninson Burguillos 7, Jerrold Brooks 10, Daniel Carlin 4, Tyler Larson 9.


Fourth Game

North Platte                                   26 28 -- 54

WNCC                                               30 28 -- 58


Joe Swift 4, Nick Tomsick 32, Ben Wilson 4, Reath Jiech 7, Jack Kraemar 3, Aboubscar Casse 2, Wilson Arob 2.


Tahir Little 2, Mike Peltz 4, Du'Vaughn Maxwell 11, Raul Delgado 9, Sebastian Suarez 5, Marko Kovacevic 11, Terrance Motley 16

NJCAA Region 9 • Tagged
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