The Air Force Prep Huskies banked in a 3-pointer off the boards as time expired to sink the McCook Community College Men Tuesday in the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center 81-80.
MCC had taken the lead on sophomore Peanut Cunningham’s (Louisville, Kent.) drive down the lane that put the Indians up 80-78 with 9.4 seconds remaining. Air Force Prep got the ball up court for a 3-pointer that missed but Prep’s Marcus Hill ran down the rebound and put it up and in for the win.
“We box out and we’re happy with a great win over a quality team,” MCC Coach Brandon Lenhart said. “Instead we’re disappointed with a loss.”
The two teams battled back-and-forth in the first half. The Indians took an eight-point lead at the 12:56 mark but Air Force Prep fought back to lead by five points at the 7:12 mark. MCC took the lead back but the Huskies worked a last-second shot to end the first half and brought them to within four points of the Indians 40-36.
“We’re just having a hard tie guarding in half-court,” Lenhart said.
MCC stretched the lead to double-digits in the early part of the second half until the Huskies switched things up defensively.
“They went to a zone and it slowed us down for four or five possessions,” Lenhart said.
The Huskies cut the MCC lead to 62-59 at the 10:00 mark and the game remained tight down the stretch.
“Peanut really lifted us in the second half,” Lenhart said.
Cunningham scored 15 of his game-high 21 points in the second half to pace the Indians. Freshman Miles Black (Jonesboro, Ga.) hit three 3-pointers in the second half on the way to a 17-point night. Freshmen Tyrek Battle-Holley (Jersey City, N.J.) and Mardrez McBride (Augusta, Ga.) both chipped in nine points.
Air Force Prep canned 30 of 55 field goals for the game (56.7 percent) and 14 of 34 shots from beyond the 3-point line (41.2 percent) including 10 of 21 in the second half (47.6 percent).
“You just can’t allow a team to shoot 56 percent for the game, 42 percent from the 3-point line and let them take 34 of them,” Lenhart said.
MCC shot 49.3 percent from the field on 69 shots, and 32.1 percent from the 3-point line on 28 shots,
The Indians out-rebounded the Huskies 35-31 with Sophomore Ron White (New York, N.Y.) leading MCC on the boards with seven.
“I mean there was a lot of good that took place tonight, but in a loss you give up an inch here and an inch there and it adds up,” Lenhart said.
The Indians forced Air Force Prep into 17 turnovers, while committing nine.
The Indians fall to 7-8 on the year and begin Region IX South Division Play this weekend in Colorado, Friday at La Junta, Colo. against Otero Junior College and Saturday at Trinidad State. Then comes two more Region IX road games Jan. 22 at Scottsbluff against Western Nebraska and Jan. 25 at Sterling, Colo. against Northeastern Junior College.
MCC's only home game in the region comes Jan 29 when the Indians host North Platte.
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The McCook Community College men’s basketball team dropped its first game of the year Tuesday falling to Air Force Prep 88-72. MCC was out-scored from the 3-point line by 30 points.
Sophomore Peanut Cunningham (Louisville, Kent.) led MCC with 13 points and six rebounds. Sophomore Ron Rice (New York, N.Y.) had nine points and sophomore Amadou Dieye (Senegal) had eight points.
The Indians were 29 of 65 from the field (44.6 percent) five of 18 from the 3-point line (27.8 percent) and nine of 11 from the free-throw line (81.8 percent). MCC won the rebound battle 34-25.
Air Force Prep made 31 of 61 shots from the floor (50.8 percent) including 15 of 31 from the 3-point line (48.4 percent) and 11 of 14 from the line (78.6 percent.)
MCC takes its 2-1 mark on the road to Wyoming this weekend facing 2-0 Eastern Wyoming Friday and 0-2 Lamar on Saturday.
The next home contests come Nov. 16-17 as the Indians host Cloud County (6 p.m. on Nov. 16) and Garden City (4 p.m. Nov. 17) in the Region IX vs. Region I shootout in the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center.
Men - Team Rankings - 17 Events Scored
McCook Community College sophomore Anna Sanjuan has signed a letter of intent to continue her basketball career at Benedictine College in Kansas.
“I'm extremely excited for Anna,” said recently named MCC Women’s Basketball Coach Brandon Pritchett. “She has worked so hard to get to where she is at today. Benedictine is a great fit for her both academically and athletically, and that's what it's all about.”
The 5-6 guard from Reus High School in Reus, Spain played in 31 games this season for the Lady Indians and averaged 11.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
Her 342 points ranked 10th among all Region IX players. She shot 36.5 percent from the field and 32.9 percent from the 3-point line (also ranked 10th in the region) and 59.3 percent from the free-throw line, getting to the line 108 times on the season – sixth most in the region. Her 121 defensive rebounds were seventh most among the region leaders. Her 95 assists were third most and her 51 steals were fourth most in the region.
At the end of the season she was named to the Nebraska Community College all-conference team.
Benedictine College is a NAIA division I school in Atchinson, Kan. located on bluffs overlooking the Missouri River, northwest of Kansas City, Missouri. The Lady Ravens went 18-13 this past season under Coach Chad Folsom, in his 18th year as coach there. The team has gone to the NAIA Division I championship tournament five of the past seven years.
In addition to being impressed with the school and the coaching staff, Sanjuan said it was very noticeable how cohesive the team was, even in workouts.
“I visited there and was really impressed with the way the team worked together in practice and supported each other in drills.”
She will graduate from MCC with a BS in Science and is looking at teaching physical education.
One of her lasting memories from MCC will always be the first time she stepped inside the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center. “I was so big and my first thought was, ‘this is America and this gym is American big.’ It is so impressive,” she said of the place where she spent hundreds of hours over the past two years.
She said she is extremely grateful to Coach Pritchett, who as the interim coach, helped give her confidence and helped find her a place to continue playing the sport she loves.
“Benedictine is getting the whole package,” Pritchett said. “She is a great person, student, and talented basketball athlete. I'm excited to watch her grow over the next two years there.”