BY SETH ROMSA TRIBUNE SPORTS WRITER
Courtesy of the Powell Tribune
An improved season came to a close for the Northwest College women’s basketball team last week, as the Trappers fell to Trinidad State in the Region IX quarterfinal.
TRINIDAD STATE 102, NORTHWEST 75
Playing in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, NWC (20-10) came out of the gates strong, holding an 8-3 lead after four minutes. But Trinidad (13-17) responded with an eight-point run to take an 11-8 advantage.
The Trojans hit consistently from 3-point range after getting consistent production on dribble penetration. At one point, they pushed their lead to seven.
“All credit to Trinidad,” coach Lauren Davis said. “They were able to score driving and shooting. Unfortunately it was a tough matchup for us with their quickness.”
Still, the Trappers trailed 20-17 heading into the second quarter, following a basket by freshman Natalyah Nead. The Trinidad lead still stood at three points, 24-21, after a jumper from Kamber Good Luck.
But then cold shooting and Trapper turnovers added up, allowing Trinidad to quickly push the lead out to double digits. They led 34-21 with 7:01 left and forced a timeout from Davis.
A runner by Good Luck stopped the run, cutting the lead to 11, a 3-pointer by Nayeli Acosta cut it to seven with 2:30 left in the half, and a Batoul Khaleefah free throw later made it a five-point game.
Trinidad appeared to stop the NWC comeback in its tracks, hitting back to back 3-pointers to push the lead back out to double digits — but Good Luck continued her strong play and hit two 3-pointers in the last minute to cut the lead back to five. The Trappers trailed 47-42 heading into the break.
In the second half, Northwest initially kept the contest within two possessions, trailing 55-49 with 6:30 left in the third quarter. But over the next five minutes Trinidad extended its lead to 72-51, continuing to push the initiative against the Trappers.
“We definitely weren’t trying to allow anything, but Trinidad was making a lot,” Davis said. “The percentages they shot that night will win them most games any given night.”
The third period ended with the Trojans up by 21 points, 76-55. Northwest got as close as 15 in the fourth quarter, but was unable to close the gap further — finishing with a 102-75 loss.
Trinidad shot 43-of-71 (60.6%) from the field, and 12-of-15 (48%) from the 3-point line in the game, dramatically above their season averages of 38% and 27%, respectively.
Box scores for Northwest were unavailable at press time.
CONTINUING TO BUILD
The Trappers showed improvement in their second year under Davis, building from a 14-14 record in the 2021-2022 campaign to a 20-10 record and a first round bye in the Region IX tournament.
NWC had two returners from last year’s roster, Darla Hernandez and Acosta, who helped lead a young team to an improved record.
“We learned a lot as a team and how important leadership is,” Davis said. “We will be lucky to have many sophomores next year and I think that will help us.”
She said the team is looking for continued improvement each year, continuing to build and work toward a Region IX title.
“My goal is to improve every year,” Davis said, “and I am so proud of my girls for the season they had.”