Despite a spirited second half comeback, the Lady Trappers’ hopes for a Region IX title were not to be as Western Nebraska Community College held on for a 67-62 win in the Region IX semifinals Friday night at Casper College.
Four Lady Trappers scored in double digits for the contest, led by a double-double from sophomore Julynne da Silva Sa, who finished with 11 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Alexi Payne, Charri McArthur and Dallas Petties closed out their NWC careers with 10 points apiece.
Kaylee Brown netted six points, while Kira Marlow, Dani McManamen and Tala Aumua-Tuisavura finished with four points each.
“I’m just so proud of how this team fought back, we had a good chance,” da Silva Sa said following the game. “It was a tough game, and we did our best.”
WNCC jumped out to a 16-6 lead to begin the contest, and led 28-15 late in the second quarter, but the Lady Tappers battled back, cutting the lead to 30-24 at the half.
NWC carried that momentum into the second half, outscoring WNCC 39-37, and briefly taking the lead midway through the fourth quarter. They failed to find an answer for Western Nebraska’s Karli Seay, however, who led all scorers with 34 points in the win. Jaleesa Avery added 12 points and Merle Wiehl chipped in 10.
Turnovers were also an issue, as the Lady Trappers gave the ball away 22 times, compared to 15 for WNCC.
The Lady Cougars will now face the winner of a Miles Community College/Casper College game for the Region IX title.
For the Lady Trappers, it’s the end of a special season. NWC finished with a 25-8 record — the most wins ever for a Janis Beal-coached team. Eight sophomores will be lost to graduation in the spring.
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