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The Casper College women's basketball team got the separation it needed in the first quarter during Friday's semifinals of the Region IX tournament.

The 13th-ranked Thunderbirds (30-2) led Miles Community College 13-8 after the opening 10 minutes and the two teams played on near-even terms after that as the T-Birds advanced to the championship game with a 60-56 victory over Miles Community College.

Casper College will face Western Nebraska Community College, a 67-62 winner over Northwest College, in the title game at Swede Erickson Thunderbird Gym. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.

The T-Birds and the Cougars split their two games during the season.

Ashlie Larson led the T-Birds with 14 points and Paula Orenes Sanchez added 13. Lucie Hoskova and Emily Robertson pitched in nine and eight, respectively, in addition to eight rebounds apiece.

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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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