BETHELEM, Pa. — Kerrigan Lyga admitted that the Western Technical College women’s basketball team had never seen the size Hostos came to play with on Friday.
No. 1 Hostos (N.Y.) outrebounded the fifth-seeded Cavaliers 66-39 in an NJCAA Division III national semifinal that helped the Caimans defeat Western 68-47.
The Caimans had 30 offensive rebounds.
“Hostos is a fantastic team,” Western coach Chad Dull said. “I thought we were physically intimidated (early) and got in a hole. We played hard until the end.”
Hostos (27-5) has four players listed at over 6-foot, and its tallest player on the roster is 6-6 Apilyn Bonny out of New York City.
Caimans 6-foot sophomore Kayla Wilson led Hostos with 20 points while Bonny had 13 points with seven rebounds.
Hostos had three players who had double-digit rebounds: 5-10 Skydajah Patterson (14), Wilson (13) and 5-10 sophomore Ellease Billings (12).
“We knew it was going to be a tough game from the start, and we let their size intimidate us,” said Lyga, who led the Cavaliers with 18 points. “The team next year needs to get into the weight room. They rebounded so well.”
Holmen High School graduate Caitlin Young scored 12 points for the Cavaliers. Krysten Lawver led the Cavaliers (21-6) with nine rebounds.
The Cavaliers never led in the game, and shot 20-for-66 in their first loss since December.
Western will play in the third-place game at 4 p.m. Saturday against the winner of Owens and North Country.
“We’re going to be proud of whatever they do,” Dull said. “We want to bring a trophy back home.”