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November 18, 2008 3:29 am

Trappers fall to Eastern Utah

Written by Tribune Staff

NWC looks to rebound Friday, Saturday

Head coach Andy Ward and his Northwest College men's basketball team traveled and faced the College of Eastern Utah last Saturday and suffered an 83-67 setback.

According to Ward, the Trappers played well during the matchup in Price, Utah, and held a 36-33 advantage at halftime. However, an injury to standout freshman Casper Hesseldal hampered NWC's efforts in its quest for win No. 2 of the season.

“We lost Casper to an ankle injury with about nine minutes left in the game,” Ward said. “When he left the game, he had 17 points. That took away one of our main scoring options.”

Also adding to the Trappers' woes was the fact that leading rebounder Ricardo Bodra landed in foul trouble during the first half of the contest. In the end, Eastern Utah outrebounded the Trappers by a 38-30 margin.

“With Ricardo in foul trouble, it made it a lot harder for us to rebound against them,” Ward said. “That, and losing Casper, really hurt us in the second half.

“I felt bad for the kids because they did a good job against a solid opponent. They played really well, particularly in the first half. They were rebounding well in the first half, and they did a lot better job of taking care of the ball.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to overcome some of the things that happened to us, and Eastern Utah was able to pull away from us toward the end.”

Among the leaders for NWC last Saturday was Hesseldal, who finished as the Trappers' top point scorer (17) despite missing the final nine minutes of the game. He also had four assists and five rebounds. Hesseldal was followed by Bodra (11 points), Malcolm Colbert (10), Mitchell Ackelson (7), Jordan Harris (7), Julian Olubuyi (7), Cody Ball (5) and Anthony Harris (4).

• Up next: The Trappers, who dropped to 1-5 for the season, will attempt to rebound from last Saturday's loss when they host the First National Bank and Trust Shootout this week. The Trappers first game in that tournament will be Friday at 7:30 p.m. against North Dakota's Williston State College. On Saturday, NWC will face Northeastern Junior College from Sterling, Colo. That game also has a scheduled 7:30 p.m. start time.

Ward said the Trappers' opponents this week will continue a string of games against top-notch competition.

“Those are two good teams,” Ward said. “We'll have to regroup, and we've got to be ready to play. We've faced a tough schedule starting out, but I believe it will pay off. Going into the game with Eastern Utah, we were averaging about 23 turnovers per game. We cut our turnovers to 16 Saturday, and we'll try to continue taking better care of the ball this week. We also need to keep our guys out of foul trouble. We'll keep working on things and the guys will get better. This is a young team, and I believe they'll be fine.”

Unfortunately for NWC, the Trappers likely will be without Hesseldal during this week's tournament. Initial reports indicated that Hesseldal did not suffer a break in his ankle, but Ward said he wasn't sure when the 6-6 freshman from Aarhus, Denmark would be able to return to the Trappers' lineup.