Smutna Nets 11, Henry Sisters 10 Each
The Northwest College women’s basketball team was triumphant in its 2019-20 home opener on Wednesday, beating Rocky Mountain JV 66-53.
Freshman Adela Smutna of the Czech Republic finished with 11 points, while sisters Tess and Lily Henry netted 10 points apiece.
“There’s a lot of pieces to plug in, a lot of new faces, a lot of returners,” said NWC head coach Camden Levett.
The Lady Trappers dressed 15 players for the game — “there’s not a lot of teams that do that,” Levett said — and 12 ended up scoring.
“ We ’ l l take that any night,” he said.
The game was a back-and-forth affair for the first 10 minutes, with neither team able to put together a run. But with the score knotted at 14, the Lady Trappers went on an 18-10 run to take a 32-24 lead at the half.
“What I’m most proud of with that group is they’re being good teammates,” Levett said. “Everyone on the bench is cheering — whether they’re starting or whether they’re the last person to check into the game. They’re all in it together. It’s a lot of fun. When you to have tell your players to get back on the bench, it’s a good problem to have.”
Rocky continued to hang around in the second half, but couldn’t overcome the depth of NWC’s bench.
“I think we do have some depth this season at every position, which is huge,” Levett said. “Last year we didn’t have the post players, and now I’m fighting to get all of them in.”
The Lady Trappers pushed their lead to 24 points in the final frame, but Rocky kept battling back to bring the final margin to 13 points. NWC held on for the 66-53 win. Smutna led the way with 11 points, followed by the Henrys with 10 apiece. Riley Aiono netted six points to go along with her team-leading eight rebounds, while four players scored five points each.
“We definitely had balanced scoring, and we shared the ball,” Levett said.
Raquel Turner dished off five assists, while she and Smutna had three steals apiece.
“I think once we got some things clicking, they were really working for us,” Levett said. “We were playing at a high level. The second quarter we outscored them 22-10, we outscored them 30-14 in the third quarter. When things were clicking, we looked really good. It’s not always easy to keep that momentum going when you’re playing that many girls, but our energy was good the entire game.”
Freshman post Lucy Tuigamala made the most of her minutes, scoring five points and grabbing three boards.
“Lucy is instant energy off the bench,” Levett said. “When she comes into the game, everyone gets a little spark to them; they love playing with her. She’s physical, she’s dominant in the post and she played great minutes for us.”
Levett had the opportunity to get creative with his matchups against Rocky, at times subbing in three or four players at a time.
“I rarely do a full line change like that, but I felt like we had some momentum going,” he said. “They were getting tired and I felt I was able to counter with fresh legs. We used that to our advantage.”