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Cold shooting NCCC cagers upset in regional semifinals

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 1 March 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina High grad Alba Perez drives to the basket for Niagara County Community College during the top seeded Thunderwolves regional semifinal upset loss to visiting Mercyhurst Northeast this afternoon.

Plagued throughout by ice cold shooting, top seeded host Niagara County Community College was upset by No. 4 Mercyhurst Northeast 44-42 this afternoon in the semifinals of the Region 3 women’s basketball playoffs.

Medina’s Alba Perez had 7 points, Roy-Hart’s Jesse DeWaters 5, Akron’s Ashtin Fiegel 4 and Albion’s Tanisha Moyer 3 for NCCC which could not get untracked offensively shooting a frigid 22 percent (16 of 71) from the field.

Despite clicking on only 6 of 35 first half attempts, NCCC did hold a slender 18-15 football type of score lead at the half.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Albion grad Tanisha Moyer looks to shoot for NCCC against Mercyhurst Northeast defender Lezlie Richards.

Back-to-back baskets by Perez at the outset of the second half on a rebound and a layup helped keep NCCC up 26-21.

A three by Jaclyn Welch, who led NCCC with 14 points, gave the Thunderwolves a 29-25 lead with 12 minutes to go.

However, Mercyhurst answered back with what proved to be a decisive 13-2 run to rally into the lead for good by seven at 38-31 with less than four minutes to go.

Another three by Welch pulled NCCC back to within two at 40-38 with 1:12 to go but the Thunderwolves could not pull even.

Mercyhurst put a lock on the upset victory as the Saints hit four straight clutch free throws to open up a 44-39 lead with only four seconds to go.

DeWaters hit a three in the final second for NCCC but it was too little, too late.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Roy-Hart grad Jesse DeWaters puts up a shot for NCCC over Lacey Miller of Mercyhurst Northeast.