Five Trappers Score In Double Digits
After a stunning defeat Saturday, Dec. 8 to a team of Utah all-stars, the Northwest College men’s basketball team got back on track Monday, Dec. 10, beating Rocky Mountain JV 84-61 to head into the holiday break on a positive note.
“I told the guys, ‘Hey, we can all go home for the holidays frustrated, or we can have a good taste in our mouths over the break and enjoy the time home,” said NWC head coach Dawud Abdur-Rahkman. “They ran with that and finally played with and for each other for a full 40 minutes. From all aspects, I think this was the best game we’ve played all year.”
TRAPPERS 84, ROCKY MOUNTAIN JV 61
Shaking off a surprising loss to the all-star team on Dec. 8, the Trappers (6-9) took care of business Monday, Dec. 10 in Billings, routing Rocky Mountain JV 84-61 to earn the season sweep.
“That type of effort is what you need on a consistent basis in order to win college basketball games,” Abdur-Rahkman said of Monday’s contest. “We beat Rocky Mountain pretty handily the last time, and it’s the last game before the holiday break, so it’s easy for the guys to be checked out and ready to go home. That was my fear, but that ended up not being the case.”
All five Trapper starters finished the game in double figures, led by sophomore Reme Torbert with 19 points. Lagio Grantsaan followed with 15 points, Calvin Fugett netted 12 and Kyle Brown finished with 11.
“There was a host of guys that stepped up, led by the usual suspects,” Abdur-Rahkman said. “It was just incredible. Those guys have been just great — they’ve really got a handle on their roles. It’s difficult sometimes to figure out what’s best for you and what’s best for the team, and I saw that with these guys. They really came together.”
Freshman Brian Howell recorded a double-double, scoring 10 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Fugett, meanwhile, got a head start on the season of giving, dishing out nine assists to lead the team.
“Typically, teams will play down to the level of their competition — they don’t play well, or they’re sloppy,” Abdur-Rahkman said. “That wasn’t the case at all in this game. From start to finish, the guys were on their games. We jumped on them, and it wasn’t just our sheer ability to utilize our skill and our power. It was execution. We were executing, playing for each other. It was a great thing to see from a coach’s perspective.”
GAME GEAR 83, TRAPPERS 82
The Trappers began the weekend of Dec. 8 with a “home game” at Cody High School, taking on Game Gear, a traveling all-star team from Utah. What should have been an easy game soon became anything but, as the all-stars outplayed Northwest to take a 52-46 lead at the half.
Northwest stepped their game up in the second, but Game Gear wouldn’t go away, holding on to win 83-82.
“We overlooked them, plain and simple,” Abdur-Rahkman said. “That happens — you start thinking, ‘Ah, they’re old guys, they can’t play.’ You know they can shoot, but you don’t really get concerned. And that’s what happened. By the time the guys realized they were going to have to play hard to win this game, it was too much to overcome.”
Torbert paced the Trappers with 21 points to go along with four assists. Grantsaan just missed a double-double, netting 17 points and nine boards and led the team in assists with five.
Kyle Brown rounded out the double-figure scorers with 11 points, while Howell and Darius Webster scored eight points apiece.
“We had a chance to win it, but really, we should have never been in that situation,” Abdur-Rahkman said. “But it is what it is. Game Gear played a good game.”
The Trappers are off until Jan. 5, when they’ll open the new year hosting Williston State. Abdur-Rahkman said the key for the team right now is to go home and regenerate and enjoy the holidays with their families.
“They need to just take a deep breath and leave this stuff behind,” he said. “But they do need to get in the gym, do some cardio. Just focus on the things that we’ve done well, forget about the things that didn’t and come back ready to play and build on the things that we accomplished.”