STERLING, Colo. – The Western Nebraska Community College and Northeastern Junior College men’s basketball teams combined for 207 points in a wild one at Sterling, Colorado, Friday evening to open Region IX South sub-region play.
The WNCC men held a 53-50 halftime lead and then watched Northeastern outscore the Cougars 55-49 in the second half to register a 105-102 win. The loss stops the Cougars 6-game winning streak.
WNCC moves to 10-6 on the season while NJC goes to 10-6. WNCC will look to get back on the winning track when they host McCook Community College on Tuesday in a South conference contest.
The difference in the contest was 3-point shooting. WNCC buried just five 3-pointers, four of which came from Teddy Allen, who finished with a game-high 39 points.
NJC connected on 11 treys on the night, including four from Dalton Knecht. Knecht finished with 29 points.
Both teams spent a lot of time at the free throw line, too. WNCC was 39-of-43 from the free throw line while Allen was a perfect 15 of 15. NJC was 28 of 34 with Knecht going 13 of 13 and Ryan Bagley going 8 of 8.
The first half saw WNCC move out to a 19-13 lead on a Allen 3-pointer. NJC came back to knot the score at 21 and then took a 39-36 lead. WNCC came right back to forge ahead 46-42 on a Tayler Johnson bucket. Once again, NJC tied the game at 48-48 before WNCC took a 53-50 lead into the halftime break.
WNCC opened the second half with a 62-56 lead before the Plainsmen tied the game at 69-69. With NJC up 79-78, the Cougars fought back to grab a couple 6-point leads at 90-84 and the last one at 94-88 with about four minutes to play.
NJC finished the out the game outscoring WNCC 19-8 the rest of the way. The plainsmen took a 101-97 lead with 1:42 to play before Allen hit two free throws. Allen then brought the Cougars back to within one, 103-102 with 34.5 seconds to play. NJC hit two big free throws with 23 seconds left to take the win.
Allen led both teams with 39 points. Allen also had 10 rebounds. The Cougars also had four other players in double figures. Kalen Williams finished with 19 points including going 8 of 8 from the free throw line. Kenny Strawbridge finished with 12 points, while Johnson and Jarred Rosser each had 10 points.
WNCC (10-6) 53 49 – 102
NJC (10-6) 50 55 – 105
Tayler Johnson 10, Kalen Williams 19, Kenny Strawbridge 12, Elie Cadet 6, Teddy Allen 39, Jarred Rosser 10, Jordan Smith 1, James Felton 5.
Quincey Jewett 7, Cyler Kane-Johnson 15, Ryan Bagley 17, Mohamed Diallo 11, Andrew Ferrin 2. Dalton Knecht 29, Wade Kellogg 3, Jared Adams 4, Rashon Barron 10, Sami Logoro 2, Ryan Ongala 5.