Pirates finish unbeaten week with win at D-1 rival Moberly

The North Central Missouri College Pirates will take a 3-0 record to the KCK Classic this weekend after winning a pair of games at last weekend’s Orscheln Classic in Moberly, including a dramatic 77-75 win over the host Moberly Area Community College Greyhounds on Saturday night.

In action broadcast on Hot Country Z 101.7, North Central jumped out to a quick lead over the ‘Hounds, grabbing a dozen point lead late in the first half.  However, MACC made a solid surge in the middle portion of the second half, taking up to a 7 point lead before a Pirate counter, spurred by a trio of three-point shots by freshman Nelson Reynolds, pushing the game much closer heading down the stretch.

Sophomore guard Kam Bevel made a number of huge plays, including an “and-one” in the final two minutes of regulation, to clinch the game for the Pirates, although missed free throws and sloppy ball handling saw North Central nearly lose a 7 point lead in the final minute of play.  A pair of missed free throws with two seconds remaining clinched the win as NCMC grabbed a key defensive rebound after the second miss.

Reynolds led NCMC (3-0) with 17 points, with Carlton Thomas adding 15, and Bevel and Isaiah Reams 12 points each.  MACC (1-1) was paced by Tedrick Washington with 16 points, Amorey Womack with 14, and Xavier Sykes with 11.

The Lady Pirates, playing at the Ketcham Community Center against Iowa Western on Saturday afternoon, ran into a strong Rievers team, falling 101-72.  IWCC, leading 68-56 after three quarters, put a shorthanded North Central team away with a 33-16 blitz in the final 10 minutes of the game.

Caela Tighe had 23 points for Iowa Western, with Aleshia Jones adding 20, McKenna Minter 19, and Courtney Fields 15 points.  North Central did get Maci Moore onto the floor after a sprained ankle suffered in the first quarter of Wednesday’s season opener, but the Trenton High School grad was held to four points and four rebounds, fouling out of the contest along with sophomore forward Jordyn Gray, who added eight points.  Ianara Morbidoni had a game-high 29 points for North Central, with Nora Ford adding 13 and Kennadie Crowe 12. The loss drops the Lady Pirates record to 1-1 going into a home game on Wednesday, November 9th against Marshalltown Community College (5:30 PM on Hot Country Z 101.7).

On Wednesday night, North Central throttled the Graceland junior varsity 115-65.  Sterling DeSha led the Pirates with 20 points, followed by Gerald Gittens with 18, Carlton Thomas 17, Nelson Reynolds 15, Isaiah Reams 11, and Dampier Evans 11.

The Lady Pirates were victorious in their season opener over the Culver-Stockton JV 89-69.  Nora Ford had game-high 32 points, with Ianara Morbidoni adding 21, and Kennadie Crowe 20.  Maci Moore missed most of the game, spraining her ankle in the first five minutes of regulation.  Prior to the season opener, the NCMC women had recruiting trail success, as Tina-Avalon’s Regan Crowe (younger sister of current Lady Pirate Kennadie Crowe) committed to Jenni Croy’s program for the Class of 2023.

The Lady Pirates opened the season ranked #6 in the preseason NJCAA Division Two poll, although Saturday’s loss to Iowa Western dropped NCMC to #15 in the latest rankings, released on Monday, November 7th.  The North Central men, courtesy of their 3-0 start, have jumped into the national rankings, going from unranked to #19 in the latest poll.