The Northwest College women had to settle for the disappointment of a pair of home losses in their first two conference basketball games of the season.
The Trappers fell 77-73 to Laramie County Community College on Wednesday night, then lost 99-63 to Eastern Wyoming Community College on Saturday.
LARAMIE COUNTY 77, NWC 73
The Golden Eagles made just enough more plays than the Trappers (9-9 overall, 0-2 in Region IX) down the stretch to leave coach Camden Levett and the team on the short end on Wednesday.
“We played our butts off, but so did Laramie County. Credit to them, they made a few more plays than we did,” Levett said after what was, but for the outcome, a wonderfully entertaining couple of hours.
Fouls were the theme Wednesday night, especially for the Golden Eagles, who Levett credited for their ability to get themselves to the line.
LCCC attempted 44 free throws, sinking 35 of them for 79.5 percent shooting, while NWC shot 27 and sank 22, for 81.5 percent.
“It’s hard to win” when spotting the opponent a deficit that large at the line, Levett said.
Freshman Adela Smutna opened scoring with a jumper from deep in the corner, Tess Henry followed with a driving bucket and the Trappers were up early, 4-0. On the heels of two unanswered Eagle 3-pointers, however, Laramie County led 6-4.
Samiyah Worrell — who scored 17 to leading scorer Smutna’s 18 on the was but the first of many deadlocks and lead changes in this nail-biter.
The first period ended with Laramie County up 20-19.
Two at the line from Sapirah Broussard had the NWC women up 31-26 with 4:23 to go in the half.
By halftime, though, the Eagles were up 39-35.
More 3-pointers from Tess Henry and Smutna put the Trappers on top, 53-52, with 2:10 left in the third, but the Eagles led 60-59 after three periods.
The last Trapper lead was 63- 62 at 8:25 of the fourth behind four free throw makes, two each by Smutna and Tess Henry.
Levett said his squad was hampered in its hectic attempt to rally at the end by the absence of point guard Worrell.
“We can’t get her fouled out,” he flatly stated of the whirling freshman from Fountain, Colorado.
The coach said his charges would “learn from this game and stay positive.”
Joining double-digit scorers Smutna and Worrell for the Trappers was Tess Henry with 13. No other NWC player netted more than five. Smutna and Raquel Turner were tops on the glass with eight and six boards to which Smutna added three shot blocks.
EASTERN WYOMING 99, NWC 63
“It just wasn’t our night,” Levett said Saturday 99-63 loss at home to Eastern Wyoming. “You have four-point losses and 40-point losses. You have to learn from both.”
The Trappers led just once. That came when their first bucket of the game — a three from Tess Henry — put NWC up 3-2 near the start. Another 3-pointer from Adela Smutna at 6:03 in the second period forged a deadlock at 22-22 and the half ended with the Trappers down just nine, 38-29.
NWC matched the Lancers in the made 3-pointers column before intermission.
“I told them at halftime we had six and they had six, so they shouldn’t obsess about that,” Levett said. “We were more worried about them being very good drivers and getting to the free throw line.”
The coach’s fear was realized in the third quarter, as the Lancers began to penetrate to the bucket and score almost at will from point-blank range. That stretched Northwest’s deficit to 33 points and sealed their fate, with the Lancers up 71-38 after three.
There were moments for Northwest, including a pair of pretty assists early in the second period by Powell freshman guard Aubrie Stenerson.
She first fired a no-look, over-the- shoulder, mostly backwards flick of the ball to teammate Riley Aiono for two, then moments later did it again.
Quickly deflecting credit after the game, Stenerson said that Aiono “is a really athletic post. She can go get that ball.”
Asked about playing just down the street from the Panther Gym, where she had a successful high school career, Stenerson answered, “I like the choice I made. It’s nice having familiar faces in the crowd.”
The numbers show Smutna leading Northwest with 25 points, including 9-9 at the line, to which Aiono added 11 on 5-6 marksmanship from the floor.
Meanwhile five Lancers posted point totals in double figures led by 18 from Ane Esnal Aguirre, a freshman from Donostia, Spain.
After being scorched by the third-period flash fire, Levett said, “It took us the fourth quarter to start playing again. It just wasn’t our night,” he said. “That’s basketball.” One positive he noted was NWC shooting 81 percent from the free throw line (18-22) in the second straight Region IX game.
The Trappers look to set things right Wednesday evening when the Western Wyoming College women visit Cabre Gym at 5:30 p.m.
LARAMIE COUNTY 77, NWC 73
Laramie County – Garreaud 15, Anderson 12, Wells 12, Mathern 10, Saraven Allen 9, Sam Hester 9, Ximena Gutierrez 4, Anna Terron 3, Kaysen Hobbs 3.
Northwest College – Smutna 18, Worrell 17, T. Henry 13, Aiono Riley 6, L. Henry 5, Turner 4, Martinez 3, Lucy Tuigamala 3, Aubrie Stenerson 2, Kendall Wright 2.
EASTERN WYOMING 99, NWC 63
Eastern Wyoming — Esnal Aguirre 18, Raleigh Basart 16, Montse Gutierrez Ibanez 14, Mar Bastida Olivares 14, Emma Strom 10, Barbara Trehub 9, Paula Marknez Sanz 8, Emilia Axelsson 7, Mariana Zanelatto Minotto 3.
Northwest College — Smutna 25, Aiono 11, Worrell 6, Broussard 5, Wright 4, L. Henry 3, T. Henry 3, Tayler Groll 2, Stenerson 2, Jenna Lohrenz 2.