Northeast Community College women notch bounce-back win
The Northeast Community College women’s basketball team bounced back from a recent loss with a solid 89-45 pummeling of 2-13 North Platte Community College on Monday evening.
“We were coming off of a tough loss at Western Nebraska Friday night, so we wanted to have a good bounce-back game, and the kids responded pretty well,” Hawks coach Matt Svehla said.
In the process, all 12 of the Northeast players dressed for the game not only played significant minutes but also contributed statistically.
“Being able to have everybody play a lot is always a good thing, and I thought that we got some decent play out of our bench,” Svehla said. “I thought our starters got us out of the gate pretty good, and then our second group was a little stagnant in the first quarter.
“Then, in the second half our starters went into a lull, and our bench got us going.”
Northeast got its fast break going immediately, scoring the first 12 points of the game before North Platte put a pair of free throws on the scoreboard. The Hawks then closed out the first quarter with six consecutive points to lead 20-7 at the end of the period. Irene Sanz sparked the Hawks with 10 of her game-high 20 points, including two early 3s, while Kori Fischer added two fast-break layups along with a couple of assists.
While the Northeast defense was holding the Knights without a field goal the final eight minutes of the second quarter, the Hawks ended the half with a 14-2 run that expanded the lead to 38-14 at intermission. This time Lauren Hunstad, who finished with 15 points, paced the offense with six points and an assist.
Northeast, now 9-7, gradually increased its lead throughout the second half, holding a 59-28 advantage after three quarters of play and, after outscoring the Knights 14-3 to open the final period, closed out the 89-45 win.
North Platte struggled offensively throughout the game, shooting just 14 percent from the field in the first half and under 29 percent for the game, while Northeast shot a consistent 47 percent in each half — including a solid 39 percent from the 3-point line, buoyed by making 6 of 11 attempts during the third quarter.
“Irene (Sanz) had a pretty complete game. Of course she shoots the 3 pretty well; Lauren Hunstad hit three 3s, and Blake Mann came off the bench to score 12 points,” Svehla said. “Irene and Lauren are two of our better shooters, so you’d hope they would have opportunities to get a good look at the rim. Our execution wasn’t great, but we did some things; we got some post touches.”
“We always hate turnovers, but I liked our intentions in transition; we had talked about running, pushing the ball ahead,” he said. “There have been times we’ve struggled to score a little bit, so it’s nice to see us put up 89 points tonight.”
The Hawks also dominated North Platte in rebounding 45-34 with Fischer, Sanz and Kyla Moore each tracking down seven rebounds.
“We’re 2-1 after the Christmas break. We’re still trying to figure out some things,” Svehla said. “Our consistency hasn’t been there, even by our starters. There are some decisions that haven’t been made, with players stepping up to show us who they are and where they fit, so in the second half of the season, we want to see if we can be more consistent.”
The Hawks were to host the Concordia University junior varsity on Tuesday before traveling to face Iowa Western Community College on Saturday.
North Platte CC 7 7 14 17 — 45
Northeast CC 20 18 21 30 — 89
North Platte CC (2-12): Madisyn Francis 4-13 4-4 13, Nahatabaa Nacona 3-11 3-5 9, Katie Cox 1-5 0-1 2, Emily Joseph 1-9 3-4 6, Dehje Belmore 1-6 1-1 3, Treasure McCrimon 0-3 0-0 0, Nerea Castellano-Jar 2-4 0-0 6, Trinity Langley 0-1 0-0 0, MacKenna Turner 0-3 1-2 1, Angel Richards 2-7 1-2 5. Totals: 14-62 13-19 45.
Northeast CC (9-7): Kori Fischer 2-6 1-2 5, Eriana Brown 1-5 0-0 2, Jade Blackburn 2-4 0-0 5, Lauren Hunstad 6-10 0-0 15, Irene Sanz 8-14 0-0 20, Kyla Moore 2-8 0-0 4, Caitlin Orton 2-3 2-5 6, Katie Richards 3-4 2-2 8, Blake Mann 5-8 0-0 12, Jacalyn Schwanebeck 0-1 1-2 1, Macey Kulhanek 2-4 2-2 8, Teagan Pompa 1-4 0-0 3. Totals: 34-71 8-13 89.