It's to be seen what will win this year's Region IX championship, but it was defense that prevailed in the first round.
The Eastern Wyoming College women's basketball team used a full-court press to alter the game in the second quarter of an 88-44 win against Central Wyoming Friday night. EWC will face Otero in the second round of the Region IX Tournament at 5 p.m. on Thursday at Casper College.
The Lancers forced 20 first-half turnovers, which masked their slow offensive start and led to a 29-6 second quarter that put the Lancers in total control. The Lancers finished with 23 steals, their third-highest total of the season. The constant pressure turned a two-point first-quarter lead into a 43-18 lead at the half.
All 10 Lancers scored, including four in double figures. Paula Martinez Sanz led with 20 points on 10-for-12 shooting and a team-high six rebounds while tying for the team lead with five steals. Montse Gutierrez Ibanez was just behind Sanz with 19 points (7-for-11), three rebounds and four assists. Raleigh Basart was 6-of-10 from the field for 12 points, four assists, four rebounds and two steals. Ane Esnal Aguirre tallied 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting with four steals, three assists and two rebounds.
Jada Ybarra made a big impact off the bench with three 3-pointers for nine points. She also had three assists, a steal and a rebound. Emma Strom added five points, two assists, three rebounds and tied Sanz with five steals. Barbara Trehub had four points, five rebounds and a block. Sanz and Ibanez each had a block of their own, as well. Emilia Axelsson scored five points, pulled down four rebounds and swiped three steals. Mar Bastida Olivares had a pair of steals to go with two points and a rebound. Mariana Zanelatto Minotto contributed two points, two assists and a rebound.
Full stats will be made available as soon as possible.