A few big shots made the difference for the Southeast Community College-Beatrice Lady Storm Saturday against North Platte Community College.
The Lady Storm downed North Platte, 64-58, at Southeast’s Truman Center.
“This was a huge region win,” Southeast coach Vicki Wooton said. “Now we want to win when we go out there so we can play the regional championship at home.”
While it was a big win for the Lady Storm, it wasn’t an easy one.
With 4:33 left on the clock and the game tied at 54, Southeast’s Aujanee Armstrong and Erica Lundstrom hit back-to-back three-point goals, putting Southeast up 60-54.
“They (Armstrong and Lundstrom) just stepped up and weren’t afraid to take the shots,” Wooton said. “Some games we’re scared to miss that shot, but I was excited to see them put it up today.”
Two free throws by CeCe Catlett increased the Lady Storm’s lead to 62-54 with 2:06 left.
North Platte sank a pair of free throws with 1:56 left, cutting the lead to six points. Two more charity tosses by the Lady Knights, with 1:05 left on the clock, made it a 62-58 contest.
Wooton had wanted to Lady Storm to “use” more clock on their possessions, but things didn’t work out that way.
“We went down three times in a row and took a poor shot or turned the ball over,” Wooton said. “We’re still working on focus and doing what we’re supposed to be doing.”
After missed shots by both teams, Southeast got the ball back and had a chance to extend the lead at the free-throw line with 18 seconds left, but missed the front end of a one-and-one.
North Platte got off another shot, which missed the mark and Armstrong got the rebound and was fouled with one second left. She made both free throws on the double bonus, making the final 64-58.
At the end of the first half, Catlett scored two buckets to bring the Lady Storm even with North Platte, 32-32, and Brianna Stewart hit a long-range shot at the buzzer to give Southeast a 35-32 halftime lead.
“Brianna came in and hit some key shots, including that three-pointer at the end of the half,” Wooton said.
Catlett finished the game with a double-double, leading the Lady Storm in scoring with 18 points and in rebounds with 14, including 10 offensive boards.
“CeCe is just playing outstanding,” Wooton said. “With CeCe, we always know what we’re going to get and today she went beyond that.”
Wooton said one of the “weak” areas for the Lady Storm is offensive rebounding, but Catlett was able to pick up the slack Saturday, scoring the majoring of her points off putbacks.
“She either rebounds the ball and puts it back in or she gets up to the free-throw line,” Wooton said.
Wooton said the Lady Storm went into the game wanting to cut down on their turnovers and wanted to get more “action” out of their posts off the screen-and-roll.
The Lady Storm also wanted to use its defense to their best advantage.
“Basically, we just tried to keep our defense tough and keep rolling,” Wooton said.
While Catlett led Southeast in scoring, Aujanee Armstrong also finished in double-figure scoring with 17 points.
Laura Schroeder led in blocked shots with eight, while Armstrong and Erica Lundstrom topped the team in steals with three each and Armstrong led in assists with five.
North Platte 32 26-58
Southeast 35 29-64
Southeast ( 64 )
Desirae Ayala three, Aujanee Armstrong 17, LaTrece Couvson two, Erica Lundstrom nine, Brianna Stewart nine, Abrielle Davis two, CeCe Catlett 18, Hannah Smith two, Laura Schroeder two.
Three-point goals: Southeast (Ayala one, Armstrong one, Lundstrom two, Stewart one). Rebounds: Southeast (Ayala three, LaShira Couvson two, Armstrong two, LaTrece Couvson three, Lundstrom one, Stewart one, David Five, Catlett 14, Smith two, Schroeder five, Kylee Jonsson one). Assists: Southeast (Ayala one, LaShira Couvson one, Armstrong five, Lundstrom two, Catlett one, Schroeder two, Jamie Peterson one). Steals: Southeast (Ayala one, Armstrong three, LaTrece Couvson one, Lundstrom three, Stewart two, Davis two, Catlett one). Blocked shots: Southeast (LaShira Couvson one, Schroeder eight).
Sunday, the Lady Storm dropped a 57-51 decision to visiting Hesston (Kan.) College.
After leading by as many as 11 points in the second half, Wooton said the Lady Storm struggled from the free-throw line down the stretch and had too many turnovers.
“We let the game get away at the end,” Wooton said.
Abrielle Davis had a team-high 11 points for Southeast.
Davis completed a double-double with a team-leading 11 rebounds.
Desirae Ayala and Brianna Stewart shared the team lead for assists with three each, while Davis topped the team in steals with five.
Next action for Southeast will be Tuesday as the Lady Storm host McCook in a 4 p.m. contest at the Truman Center.
Hesston 23 34-57
Southeast 28 23-51
Southeast ( 51 )
Desirae Ayala six, LaShira Couvson six, Aujanee Armstrong seven, LaTrece Couvson seven, Erica Lundstrom two, Brianna Stewart four, Abrielle Davis 11, CeCe Catlett four, Laura Schroeder two, Kylee Jonsson one.
Three-point goals: Southeast (Ayala two, LaShira Couvson two, Armstrong one). Rebounds: Southeast (Ayala five, LaShira Couvson two, Armstrong two, LaTrece Couvson seven, Stewart two, Davis 11, Catlett three, Hannah Smith one, Schroeder eight, Jonsson one). Assists: Southeast (Ayala three, Armstrong one, LaTrece Couvson one, Lundstrom two, Stewart three). Steals: Southeast (Ayala one, LaTrece Couvson four, Lundstrom two, Davis five). Blocked shots: Southeast (Armstrong two, LaTrece Couvson one, Catlett one, Schroeder five).