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It was business as usual at the defensive end for Lower Columbia College.

The second-ranked Red Devils held Green River to single-digit scoring in three of four quarters en route to a 72-36 victory over the Gators in NWAC West Region women’s basketball Wednesday at Myklebust Gymnasium.

“That’s the type of defensive effort we had in the first part of the season,” LCC coach Chad Meadors said. “We still have a ways to go on offense, but the defense isn’t letting us down.”

LCC (22-3, 9-1 region) won its eighth straight game and remains atop the region standings. The loss dropped Green River to 6-18 and 3-7.

The Red Devils, who led the game wire-to-wire, rolled to a 23-9 lead after the opening period.

“We played solid, and in the first half we did really well,” Meadors said. “Anytime you put up 20 points in a quarter, you’re doing something right.”

In fact, the Devils backed their first quarter with a 20-point second period for a 43-16 halftime lead.

“We made 3 of 16 threes in the first half and still led 43-16 at halftime,” Meadors said. “That’s as well as we’ve played except for the shooting.”

Green River had double-digit scoring in the third quarter, but it didn’t help as the Red Devils took a 57-27 advantage into the final 10 minutes. LCC built its largest lead at 70-31 following a pair of Tywanna Abbott free throws with 3:18 left.

The Devils made 32 percent of their shots (27-83), including 5-25 from outside the arc. LCC also held a 58-46 rebounding edge including 29 offensive caroms they turned into 21 second-chance points. The Devils also forced the Gators into 34 turnovers which were converted into 36 points.

“We did everything we needed to do, and I’m impressed with how hard we played,” Meadors said. “We should’ve scored more, but we had 72 and won by 36.”

Meadors was equally impressed with the Devils’ ball handling, particularly the 16 turnovers.

“We’ve been turning the ball over a lot, and we want to have more possessions,” he said. “We want to maximize our possessions. We did a better job tonight, but we have a ways to go.”

Abbott led the Devils with 15 points and seven rebounds, and Madison Lord added 12 points and 11 rebounds. Madison Hinrichs added 10 points, four rebounds and four assists, Carissa Cannon grabbed six rebounds, and Sam Boyce and Shanay Dotson pulled five board apiece.

The Red Devils visit Highline on Saturday.

Battle of boards kickstarts LCC men’s offense

It all starts with rebounding.

Sixth-ranked Lower Columbia College outrebounded Green River 40-32, which keyed a number of fastbreak opportunities as the Red Devils claimed an 84-66 victory in NWAC West Region men’s basketball on Wednesday at Myklebust Gym.

The victory snapped a three-game region losing skid for the Red Devils, now 18-7 overall and 7-3 in the region.

“The losses might’ve done us good so we don’t peak too early,” LCC coach Jim Roffler said. “We still have some work to do, along with getting refocused. The most important for us now is to be playing our best basketball going into the postseason.”

LCC was back to full strength with the return of Devin Johnson, who sat out Saturday’s loss in Tacoma with a concussion he suffered in a nonleague win against Pierce on Feb. 8.

“We started rebounding last game, and not having Devin was a shock treatment for the rest of the guys who picked up the slack,” Roffler said. “Everyone is buying into rebounding.”

The Devils outrebounded the Gators 20-12 in the final 20 minutes, including seven offensive caroms which were converted into eight points.

LCC led 36-21 at halftime, and pulled ahead 57-36 following a 3-ball from Keun Palu-Thompson with 13:45 remaining. The Devils built their largest lead four minutes later when Brandon Cotton, Geordi Morrow and Marcus all drilled treys as part of an 11-0 run for a 77-44 lead with 6:50 left.

Johnson led the Devils with 17 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots. Keun Palu-Thompson added 15 points, six rebounds and six assists, Elijah Cotton-Welch had 11 points, and Morrow had 10 points and seven rebounds. Cotton added five assists, and Nate Solomon pulled five rebounds.

The Red Devils visit Highline on Saturday.

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Sports Reporter

Rick is a 29-year veteran of The Daily News, and the lead Lower Columbia College athletics reporter. In addition, he tracks former area prep athletes and assists several other beats. He is a Mark Morris grad with a business management degree from LCC.

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