N-O alumni playing key roles for 20-0 nationally ranked NCCC cagers

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 18 January 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina High grad Alba Perez (20) looks for driving room for undefeated (20-0) nationally ranked Niagara County Community College during this afternoon’s victory over visiting Alfred State. Defending for Alfred State is Destiny Brito.

A quintet of Niagara-Orleans League alumni are playing key roles for the highly ranked Niagara County Community College women’s basketball team which improved to 20-0 on the season this afternoon with a 65-36 victory over visiting Alfred State.

Roy-Hart graduate Jessie DeWaters, who ranks second in the nation in assists with 142, scored 15 points to lead the local contingent. Albion’s Tanisha Moyer added 4 as Medina’s Alba Perez, Roy-Hart’s Olivia Kelkenberg and Akron’s Ashtin Fiegel each chipped in with 2.

DeWaters also grabbed off 9 rebounds, Moyer 6, Perez 5 and Kelkenberg 4.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Roy-Hart grad Jessie DeWaters (23) drives past Alfred State’s Megan Bailey.

“Local recruiting is the lifeblood of our program. In fact, Wilson girls varsity coach Brian Baker jokes that we are N-OCCC,” said second year NCCC Coach and Starpoint High grad Nate Beutel of his contingent of former N-O players. “They know each other and some of them have played together before. Their chemistry both on and off the court is fantastic. Our number one goal always is to out work our opponent and they always work hard.”

NCCC, which is ranked No. 19 in the nation, was led by 16 points by Jaclyn Welch of Colonie High (near Albany), 13 of which came in the first half including three threes, as Lew-Port grad Kristine Ripson added 14 of which 8 came in the first half.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Albion grad Tanisha Moyer (25) drives against Alfred’s Joselyn Johnson.

NCCC jumped out to an 18-4 lead midway through the first half, a run ignited by a lead-off bucket by Perez, and highlighted by a three, a layup and two free throws by DeWaters.

The Thunderwolves extended the advantage to 21, 40-19, at the half.

DeWaters hit two more threes in the second half as Moyer and Kelkenberg both chipped in with buckets as NCCC stretched its advantage to as much as 37, 64-27, at one point.

On the season, DeWaters averages 12.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.2 points per game; Perez 8.5 rebounds and 7.7 points; Moyer 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 points, Fiegel 3.7 rebounds and 3.6 points and Kelkenberg 2.7 rebounds.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Roy-Hart grad Olivia Kelkenberg (32) puts up a shot over Alfred State’s Abbey Darling.