Nov 22, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe calendar says November, but the intensity during a 61-57 victory for the Central Wyoming College Rustlers men's basketball team at Miles Community College felt like it was late February.
The battle was the Region IX opener for both teams, played Thursday night in Miles City, Mont.
CWC is now 3-4 on the season.
"Anything in this sub-region is a big win," CWC men's coach Pat Rafferty said. "In the fall, you have to defend, rebound and manage the game on offense. I think that we did a good job of that."
The Rustlers had lost to North Idaho College 82-75 in overtime and beat Salish Kootenai in a two-day tournament in Idaho.
"We had a better focus for the game," Rafferty said.
The key to the Region IX win was defense.
"We are playing better defense, and that affects the tempo of the game," Rafferty said. "We are keeping people in front of us. We are containing better. "
CWC played Williston State on Friday afternoon in Miles City.
The home opener for the Rustlers is 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25, vs. Planet Athlete Academy at Rustler Gym.
"We have to continue to maintain that focus and high level of intensity to get better and improve," Rafferty said.
CWC 61, Miles 57
Raffety put in a starting lineup of Daryle Morgan Jr., Isaiah Tademy, Eimer Lopez, Ryan Nemelka and Bryce Canda on the floor with Miles.
Tademy fouled out of the contest after scoring five points.
"We got some guys in foul trouble," Rafferty said. "Matt Johnson and Rickey Norris played a nice stretch of minutes for us."
Johnson played 18 minutes and scored 3 points. Norris contributed 17 minutes with 1 point.
"The win was a combination of things," Rafferty said. "We got stops, and we took care of the basketball."
CWC and Miles had 13 turnovers apiece in the game.
"We didn't close it out very well," Rafferty said. "We didn't make some free throws at the stretch. We missed at least five throws late in the game. That is an area that we have to get better at."
CWC was 10-19 from the free throw line. Miles was 16-23.
"Our numbers don't indicate on how well we played offensively," Rafferty said. "We didn't turn it over very much. We had open looks, we just didn't make as many as we normally do."
Morgan (15 points), Lopez (13) and Nemelka (11) all reached in double figures for the Rustlers.
CWC 61, Miles 57
CWC 32 29 -- 61
MILES 18 39 -- 57
CWC -- Daryle Morgan Jr., 5 (1) 2-2 15, Isaiah Tademy 1 (1) 0-2 5, Eimer Lopez 3 (2) 1-4 13, Ryan Nemelka 0 (3) 2-2 11, Bryce Canda 0 (2) 1-2 7, Matt Johnson 1 1-2 3, Rickey Norris 0 1-2 1, Malik Wilson 2 2-3 6. Totals 12 (9) 10-19 61.
Miles -- Teslim Idris 4 5-6 13, Jonathan Dogbo 2 (2) 0-1 10, Quinn Smith 0 3-4 3, Tyree King 1 0-0 2, Ryan McCarty 2 (3) 4-4 17, Conner Smyle 2 (2) 0-0 6, LaSalle Massey 0 4-5 4, Emmanuel Olufemi 1 0-3 2. Totals 10 (7) 16-23 57.
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