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Comets Lose Season Finale to NCMC

The Cottey College Comets were a little shorthanded but almost pulled off the win in their home and season finale. However, poor shooting in the final minutes doomed them as they fell to North Central Missouri College 51-61.

Freshman Dayna Turnbull, one of the top scorers for the Comets, suffered a severe sprain of her right ankle Monday night in practice and was not available to play. The Comets would miss her clutch scoring, especially down the stretch.

Despite her absence, the Comets played tough for much of the game. The first half was a back-and-forth affair. Cottey took a quick 5-0 lead before the Lady Pirates tied it. The Comets regained a four-point lead before the game was tied again at 16. Chelsey Rowland tied it up again at 27-all on a three-pointer with 30 seconds left in the half, but the Lady Pirates answered with a trey of their own to go into the break with a 27-30 lead.

The second half was like three different games within the game. In the first third of the second half, the Lady Pirates built an eight-point lead at 35-43. In the middle third of the half, the Comets played outstanding defense to tie the game up at 47. But in the final third, the Comets went ice cold from the field and the free throw line. Cottey was 1-13 from the field in the final minutes, and at one point, missed four consecutive free throws.

Leading scorer for Cottey was Bailey Braden with 16 points, and Blaklee Sanders added 14. Also of note was Petra Stankovic who had nine points on three treys.

The loss dropped the Comets to 16-3 on the season. Cottey will have a little over a week to get ready for the Region XVI postseason tournament which begins on March 2 at State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Missouri. Cottey is the second seed and will face the third seed, St. Louis Community College, at 4 p.m. on that day. The championship game will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 3.