The North Central Missouri College women's and men's basketball teams each lost hard-fought, single digit games on Saturday afternoon against the visiting Allen County Red Devils, in doubleheader action from the Ketcham Community Center broadcast on Hot Country Z 101.7 and www.kgozfm.com.
It could well be argued that with good health, the Lady Pirates would have gone to 2-0 on the young season, but that was not the case, as leading scorer Amanda Rodenberg suffered a concussion early in the second half that benched her for the rest of the contest, while sophomore guard Kelsey Griffin was slowed by a sprained ankle suffered in a late week practice.
Despite the injuries, NCMC led the Red Devils 40-30 before being outscored 43-30 over the final 12 minutes in the loss, with the final score being 73-70.
DaNara Day led a balanced Red Devil attack with 17 points, with Leslie Ware adding 14, Hannah Blackwell 12, and Miracle Davis and Brittany Redmond ten points each. For North Central, Mysti Williams picked up the slack for the injured Rodenberg, scoring 24 points, many of those late, while Lexi Hope had 16, Samone Redditt 10, and Rodenberg (although all of her points came in the first half).
Coach Jenni Croy, in an interview during halftime of the men's game, indicated that Rodenberg, who suffered a concussion early last season at NCMC, would at least be sidelined for this week with her latest blow to the head, suffered as she smacked her head against the Ketcham Center floor scrambling for a loose ball in the second half.
The Pirate men fell to Allen County by a score of 72-68, unable to make enough key baskets late to pull out the victory.
The Red Devils, from Iola, Kansas, were paced by 20 points from Cameron Blue, 16 from Bryce Shippers, 14 from DeAndrae Barnette, and 13 points from Andrew Rountree.
NCMC, now 1-1 on the season, had 20 points from redshirt sophomore Marshon Norfleet, 15 points from Savannah native Tyler Peterson, and 10 from Eric McDaniel.
The North Central teams will face their first road trip of the season this Wednesday night, traveling to Creston, Iowa to take on the Southwestern Spartans in a 5:30 and 7:30 tip. The NCMC teams return home on Friday night, with the women playing host to the Graceland University JV at 5:30, and the men battling the Culver-Stockton JV at 7:30.