Will Host Play-In Game This Friday
The Northwest College Lady Trapper basketball team secured the No. 2 position in the Region IX North with an 86-64 win over Gillette College on Feb. 21 and a 69-50 win over Sheridan College on Saturday.
The Lady Trappers will host the Region IX-North play-in game at 6 p.m. Friday against Western Wyoming Community College.
“Sheridan and Gillette were important just for us to maintain that No. 2 seed,” said Lady Trappers head coach Janis Beal. “It was important to get those on the road.”
The Lady Trappers finished the regular season with a 23-7 overall record while going 11-3 in the conference.
LADY TRAPPERS 86, GILLETTE 64
Beal felt NWC came out strong in the first quarter against Gillette College (12-15, 6-9) on Wednesday, Feb. 21, building a 25-18 lead.
During the second quarter, the Lady Pronghorns fought back, outscoring the Lady Trappers 19-17 to make the score 42-37 going into halftime.
“Second half I thought we did a better job just defensive pressure — kind of getting after it — and just extended into the fourth quarter extending the lead,” Beal said. Northwest College increased its lead to 61-52 in the third period, then held Gillette College to only 12 points while scoring 25 of their own in the fourth to win 86-64.
“The girls did a really good job of the game plan,” Beal said of the win.
Five players scored in double digits with Kira Marlow leading with 16 points, followed by Mattie Creager, Alexi Payne and Dallas Petties with 12 each. Dani McManamen finished with 10.
Creager “played really well. It’s nice to have her back from her knee injury,” Beal said.
Creager went 5 for 6 at the free throw line and, along with her points, had three defensive rebounds.
“She just came in and really kind of gave us some stability right then when we needed it,” Beal said.
On the boards, Payne led with eight — seven on defense and one on offense. McManamen had five rebounds.
As a team, the Lady Trappers had 24 assists, led by Tala Aumua-Tuisavura with seven, Petties with five and Marlow with four.
“Offensively, we were moving the ball,” said Beal, explaining that the assists showed that the Lady Trappers were playing team ball.
Gillette College had 31 turnovers and NWC had 22.
For steals, Tayla Sayer led the Lady Trappers with five followed by Aumua-Tuisavura with four.
The Lady Trappers shot 52.2 percent from the field, 30 percent at the 3-point line and 78.6 percent from the free throw line. The Lady Pronghorns shot 35 percent from the field, 30.8 percent from the arc and 69.2 percent from the charity stripe.
LADY TRAPPERS 69, LADY GENERALS 50
In NWC’s final game of the regular season, “the girls just flat out came ready to play,” Beal said of Saturday’s matchup with Sheridan. “Jumped out on them quick.”
The Lady Trappers led 21-7 after the first quarter and increased the lead to 45-21 after two quarters of play.
“... We came out with good intensity, good focus and really just got out after it,” Beal said.
The Lady Trappers maintained a 59-34 lead over the Lady Generals (14-16, 9-11) after three quarters and went on to win 69-50.
“I was just pleased with the intensity level they came out and played with,” Beal said.
Each Lady Trapper contributed to the final score. The team was led by Marlow with 15 points followed by Julynne da Silva Sa with 12.
“We were able to play everybody,” Beal said, adding that “helps us when we go into tournament time. I think we’ve been lucky with that this year.”
Beal said there have been several games throughout the season where the entire bench has gotten time on the court.
“You never know when you’re going to need that [experience] when it comes to tournament time,” she said.
The Lady Trappers outrebounded the Lady Generals 49-33 and all 12 Lady Trappers got at least one rebound.
McManamen led the team with 13 boards — eight on offense and five on defense — to go along with four steals.
Sayer finished with seven boards and four assists.
Aumua-Tuisavura had four assists and three steals.
In the steals department, seven players got at least one steal for a team total of 12. The team’s 13 assists were spread across six players.
“The girls did a good job forcing some turnovers and getting some steals,” Beal said.
Beal explained the team tried different trapping defenses, resulting in Sheridan’s 22 turnovers.
“I think those defensive stops really helped us,” Beal said. Beal also thought the Lady Trappers “did a good job at free throws — getting to the line, being aggressive and attacking.”
The Lady Trappers made it to the free throw line 25 times and shot 76 percent.
The Lady Generals attempted just 11 free throws and shot 36.4 percent.
For field and 3-point line shooting percentages, the Lady Trappers shot 38.7 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively.
The Lady Generals shot 32.3 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from the 3-point line.
“I thought the girls did a great job of coming out and focusing on this is one step to getting to our final goal and wanting to play well going into tournament time,” Beal said.
On Friday, the Lady Trappers will host the Region IX Tournament Play-In Game against Western Wyoming Community College at 6 p.m.
“We’re at do or die: you got to live to play another day,” Beal said.
The Lady Trappers and Lady Mustangs met twice during the regular season, with NWC winning by 59 points on Jan. 10 and by 20 points on Feb. 3.
In the month since the teams’ last meeting, Beal thinks Western has “played pretty well.”
“I think our girls definitely have to realize it’s going to be a battle and we got to come out and play strong; we can’t overlook them at all,” the coach said.
The winner of the game will advance to the Region IX-North Tournament in Casper March 8-10 while the loser will have their season cut short.