The new-look North Central Missouri College women, with only three returning players off of last year’s 7th place team in the national tournament, appeared as powerful as ever on Saturday afternoon, running an overmatched Central CC Raiders (Columbus, NE) team out of the Ketcham Community Center with a 115-36 rout, heard on KGOZ FM 101.7.
Six Lady Pirates put six players in double figures, led by A’Myah Bankston with 15 points. Nateonia Russell had 14 points and was a major factor defensively, with nine steals, for North Central. LaKorria Brown, Jessica Reeter, Bailey Fleming, and Mary Copeland all had 12 points.
Here is Lady Pirate head coach Jenni Croy:
Nikie Nelson had 16 points and Aubry Saleapaga 10 for CCC, as the Raiders fell to 0-2.
In the pre-season NJCAA D-II poll, released on October 23rd, NCMC’s ladies were ranked #10. Defending national champion CCBC Essex was ranked #1, followed by Kirkwood (IA) CC. Johnson County Community College (Overland Park, KS) is #4, with Iowa Western #7. Kansas City Kansas, Allen County (KS), and North Arkansas are among schools receiving votes, but outside the Top 20.
The Lady Pirates recruiting successes will be continuing locally this week, as Mercer senior Maddi Fisher will be signing with North Central Missouri College on 2:30 Tuesday afternoon in the Mercer high school gym. In a Thursday signing at Chillicothe High School, Kayanna Cranmer will sign with Jenni Croy’s NCMC program.
The Pirate men are 2-1 to start the season, after falling to 11th-ranked Johnson County Community College on Saturday afternoon 77-59. The visiting Cavaliers trailed by five at the half, but outscored an ice-cold shooting Pirate team in the second half by 23 points in running away with the win, going 2-0 at the two-day NCMC Classic.
Kyler Mann led Johnson County with 20 points, with Massi Malterer adding 18, Traymond Willis-Shaw 13, and Jordan Nichols and Brandon Mann 10 each. For NCMC, Mikey Thomas had 17 points with Dampier Evans adding 10.
The loss dampened a good start to the season for NCMC, as the Pirates received votes in the preseason NJCAA D-II poll.
NCMC opened the season on Wednesday evening, routing the Kansas Christian College junior varsity 107-64. North Central dominated, leading KCC 60-22 at the half.
Tyler King had 25 points, Isaiah Reams 14, Mikey Thomas 12, and Roman Phillips 10 points for NCMC.
The Pirates were impressive in Friday night’s NCMC Classic opener, defending Iowa Western Community College 78-58. King led North Central with 24 points with Reams 13.
The Lady Pirates and Pirates continue their season-opening homestand on Tuesday night, hosting Southwestern (IA) Community College in a 5:30 (women) / 7:30 (men) doubleheader at the Ketcham Community Center. Coverage of the doubleheader on KGOZ 101.7 FM will hit the air at 5:15.
Photo credit – NCMC Athletics / NCMCPirates.com / Trenton, MO