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Lady Rustlers end season with nice Region IX run
Central Wyoming College freshman Emily Smith moved past Aubry Boehme of Otero Junior College Monday night in the Region IX semifinal game at Casper College. Photo by Bruce Tippets

Lady Rustlers end season with nice Region IX run

Mar 13, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

CASPER -- Otero Junior College stopped the remarkable run by Central Wyoming College, winning 66-53 in a semifinal game Monday night in the Region IX women's basketball tournament at Casper College.

The Rustlers advanced deep into the do-or-die tournament on Sunday afternoon by surprising Sheridan College 58-51.

The Lady Troopers had swept CWC in the regular season series. CWC opened the tournament upsetting Western Nebraska on Saturday afternoon.

CWC was the No. 6 seed from the north division after a regular season filled with a number of injuries. The Rustlers ended the year at 15-17.

"It was a pretty good run on a sub .500 season," CWC women's coach Serol Stauffenberg said. "If we were healthy all year, then things could have been a little different. The regular season really didn't matter. What matters is that we are one of the top four teams in the tournament. There are a lot of teams that beat us that are home."

Otero improved to 30-1 on the season in beating CWC. Otero is located in LaJunta, Colorado.

"I think that Otero is the best team at the tournament," Stauffenberg said. "Otero got some open looks, but I don't think that we played that poorly."

Otero played Northeastern Colorado in the title game on Tuesday afternoon. Northeastern shocked top-seeded Casper College 72-58 in the other semifinal Monday.

Otero had lost to Casper College two years in the row in the title game.

Otero Junior College 66, CWC 53

CWC kept the game against Otero in striking distance as Courtney Patterson had a pair of 3-pointers and Brynlie Nielsen had one, but Otero was up 15-9 early in the first half.

Rock solid

CWC didn't have an answer for Otero shooting guard Taylor Rock in the first 20 minutes.

Rock carried the team on the offensive end with 17 points.

The Rustlers cut the score to 40-30 on a Patterson 3-pointer, but Otero closed out the first half on a 5-0 run for a 45-30 lead.

In the second half, CWC pulled to within eight points at 50-42 on another 3-pointer from Patterson at the 13:48 mark.

"That was big for us," said Stauffenberg.

Otero then went on a 7-0 run to take the momentum back at 57-42.

"I just think that we did take a few odd shots when we could have maybe slowed down that would have at least helped us with the clock," Stauffenberg said.

Otero put the game way on two 3-pointers from Rock and one from Tonje Midle.

Patterson finished her final game at CWC scoring 18 points, and Jacki Nicholson scored nine.

CWC 58, Sheridan 51

(Sunday)

CWC's defense was the key to the win on Sunday night in the quarterfinal game.

"It's always nice to beat a Wyoming team because sometimes you get into recruiting battles," Stauffenberg said.

Elise Keller kept Sheridan star Fallon Lewis in check all game long.

"We did play defense very well against Sheridan," Stauffenberg said. "Elise was phenomenal all game long. That was the best defense she played all year."

Lewis finished the game shooting just 3-19 from the field, and was 4-6 from the free-throw line for 10 points.

Lewis will be playing basketball next year at University of Wyoming.

CWC was all over Sheridan 37-29 in the first half and held on for the seven-point win. Sheridan outscored the Rustlers 22-21 in the second half.

Patterson led the way for CWC with 14 points. Nielsen added 12 points.

Sheridan finished the game shooting 23.08 percent from the field (15-65).

Former Lander Valley High School standout Ruth O'Neal put in seven points for Sheridan.

Otero Junior College 68, CWC 53

Otero 45 21 -- 68

CWC 30 23 -- 53

CWC -- Brynlie Nielsen (2) 2-2 8, Elise Keller1 2-2 4, Emily Smith 2 4-4 8, Courtney Patterson 3 (4) 0-0 18, Randi Prosenick 2 0-0 4, Porsha Wadsworth 1 0-0 2, Jacki Nicholson 2 (1) 2-6 9. Totals 11 (7) 10-14 68.

Otero -- Ellie Carter 1 (1) 2-2 7, Taylor Rock 2 (6) 1-3 23, Ashlynn Steffensen 1 -0 2, Lo'amanu Ilaisaane 1 0-0 2, Nicole Hanen 1 0-0 2, Tonji Milde 2 (2) 1-2 11, Aubry Boehme 7 5-5 19. Totals 15 (9) 9-12 66.

CWC 58, Sheridan College 51

CWC 37 21 -- 58

Sheridan 29 22 -- 51

CWC -- Bynlie Nielsen 3 (2) 0-0 12, Elise Keller 3 1-1 7, Emily Smith 2 0-0 4, Brynn Foster 1 (2) 0-0 8, Courtney Patterson 4 (1) 3-3 14, Randi Prosenick 0 1-2 1, Marissa Hogan 1 0-1 2, Porsha Wadsworth 3 3-4 9, Jacki Nicholson 0 1-2 1.Totals 17 (5) 9-13 58 .

Sheridan -- Brodie Bennett 3 (2) 4-6 16, Fallow Lewis 3 4-6 10, Ruth O'Neal 2 (1) 0-0 7, Kelli Cordell 0 6-6 6, Kayla Kiriau (1) 1-4 4, Laura Pelse 3 2-4 8. Totals 11 (4) 17-26.

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