Central 77 LCCC 56
The Rustler men's basketball team fulfilled two goals under first year head coach Brad Schmit on Saturday at Rustler Gym. First, they hosted a Region 9 first round game then won that game to advance to the second round with a 77 to 56 win over LCCC.
CWC was playing with only 7 players total after two players were out. They were serving the first of a two game suspension. They were also missing leading scorer David Simental who hurt his ankle during the week at practice.
The game was tight early with 5 ties and 6 lead changes in the first 15 minutes. Central pulled away and took an 8 point lead in the halftime break. LCCC went cold from the field, thanks in part to the stingy defense of Central. Connor Nelson kept Tyreese Potoma in check the whole game. Potoma went off for seven threes against Central a week ago and 25 points, but Nelson held him to just five for the majority of the game.
Brad Schmit said, " Connor played his heart out tonight and completely locked down Potoma. That help set the tone for the rest of the players and it was contagious." Central had 15 steals against The Golden Eagles. After starting the game 5 for 8 from three point land, LCCC went cold missing their next 11 in a row.
After the game coach Brad Schmit stated, " I told Steve Barlow (Rustler AD) when I was hired, I have two goals… to host a first round game and to WIN a first round game as a first year head coach. We did that and now we will set a new bar and move into the Region 9 tournament."
CWC raises their record to 11 and 19 on the season. They will go into the Region 9 tournament as a #3 seed, not the #4 that they ended the conference season with, as #6 Eastern Wyoming upset #3 Western, thus reseeding Central to the higher spot at #3. Sheridan is #1, Casper #2 and now Eastern Wyoming will be #4.
Central will play Thursday at 5pm in Sheridan against South #2 North Platte.