Casper College Bball

Casper College's Natalia Panufnik grabs a rebound during the T-Birds' game against Miles Community College on Feb. 7 at Swede Erickson Thunderbird Gym.

Josh Galemore, Star-Tribune

The Casper College women’s basketball team looks to extend its current 14-game winning streak while the Thunderbirds’ men’s team tries to win back-to-back games for the first time in almost a month when they host Central Wyoming College on Wednesday.

The 15th-ranked women’s team (24-2, 10-0 Region IX North) hasn’t lost since last year — a 77-72 defeat at Western Nebraska Community College on Dec. 5 — and is 12-1 at Swede Erickson T-Bird Gym this season.

The T-Birds have been even more impressive in conference play, winning all 10 games by double digits and outscoring opponents by an average of 29.0 points per game. That includes an 80-61 victory at Central Wyoming College (8-18, 2-8) on Jan. 20.

Four T-Birds are currently averaging double-digit points, led by freshman Lucie Hoskova at 12.4 per game. She is followed by sophomores Paula Orenes Sanchez (10.7), Emily Robertson (10.3) and Ashlie Larson (10.1).

Casper College currently leads the sub-region standings by two games over Northwest College with four games remaining. A win Wednesday followed by a victory Saturday at Northwest and the T-Birds would host the Region IX tournament on March 8-10.

The men’s team (18-8, 6-4) still has an outside shot of winning the North sub-region. But the T-Birds would need to sweep their final four regular season games — home games against Central Wyoming College, Sheridan College and Gillette College and at Northwest College — and get some help from other teams.

The T-Birds currently trail Central Wyoming by one game and Sheridan and Gillette by two games. The T-Birds are in position to host a first-round Region IX tournament game if they finish in the top four of the sub-region standings.

They took a big step in that direction Saturday with a 68-67 victory over Western Wyoming Community College, in which Chase Winchester (20), Nolan Bertain (12) and Antun Maricevic (10) combined for 42 points.

Maricevic leads the team in scoring at 15.0 points per game, with Winchester and Bertain averaging 13.4 per game.

Casper College will be looking to avenge a 100-78 loss to Central Wyoming.

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Sports Editor

Jack Nowlin returned to the Star-Tribune in 2007 after eight years covering Michigan State University athletics. A Wyoming native, and a graduate of Jeffrey City High School and the University of Wyoming, Jack serves as the Star-Tribune’s sports editor.

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