Heading into the weekend, Odessa College head coach Ara Baten was looking for his team to put a strong four quarters together.
He got exactly that Thursday night.
The Lady Wranglers led wire-to-wire and put together a strong defensive effort to defeat Iowa Western Community College 63-39 in the Midland College WNIT at the Chaparral Center.
"I'm proud of our kids," Baten said. "I thought they competed hard, defended well and even rebounded better than what they had done. They just played really well."
The team effort was there for Odessa College (5-2) as nine different players scored, including seven in the first half.
Kamryn Lemon finished with a game-high 19 points and six steals and was one of three players in double figures for Odessa College.
Wylatta Motta chipped in 12 points off the bench while Arielle Adams ended with 10.
"We came out better today than we had the last couple of games," Lemon said. "Everyone was focused and into the game and that made things much easier for us."
Odessa College jumped out to an early 7-4 lead after baskets from Lemon, Julan McDonald and a 3-pointer from Amanda Soderqvist. The Lady Wranglers were able to pick up the pace and came away with a 15-10 lead after the opening 10 minutes.
The second quarter saw both teams struggle offensively early in the period.
Through the first five minutes of the quarter, the lone field goal of the quarter came from a three-point field goal from Soderqvist.
But as they had done in the late stages of the first quarter, the Lady Wranglers found a rhythm to close out the half going on an 11-2 run late in the second quarter.
Iowa Western (3-1) did not score a point for nearly six minutes to start the second quarter, with Kiara Dallmann breaking the drought with 2:04 to play before the first half. The Reviers finished 2-of-12 from the field in the quarter and by the time the half was over, Odessa College had a 29-16 halftime lead.
"Communication was big for us tonight," Lemon said of the team's defensive effort. "We talked with each other and that's what carried us."
The Lady Wranglers maintained control of the game through the third quarter, pushing their lead to as many as 24 points at one point.
"We have a lot of players offensively that can play well and score," Baten said. "I thought they did a great job of moving without the ball, especially in the first half."
The Reviers were able to find somewhat of an offensive rhythm in the third quarter. Sophomore forward Aubriana Noti lea the way for Iowa Western, finishing with 11 points and 11 rebound.
But the Lady Wranglers kept their opponents in check, holding Iowa Western to 27 percent shooting for the game. They also closed out the game strong outscoring the Reviers 15-8 in the final quarter.
Odessa College moves on to face Salt Lake Community College, which defeated Seward County Community College 64-57 earlier Thursday.
ARTICLE BY TONY VENEGAS: ODESSA AMERICAN