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Tribune Staff

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Trapper Jordan Harris (4) launches a shot during Northwest College's Friday matchup with Williston State College during the first night of the First National Bank and Trust Shootout in Powell. Harris finished the two-day tournament with a total of 42 points. Tribune photo by David Dickey

Youth and inexperience led the Northwest College Trappers to a 1-5 record during its first six games this season.

However, it was the coming together as a team and new-found confidence that helped the Trappers plow through a pair of top-notch opponents in the 19th annual First National Bank and Trust Shootout at Hank Cabre Gymnasium in Powell last week.

NWC, a team that boasts a lineup consisting of 11 freshmen and only three sophomores, put its recent, youthful woes behind and looked more like a veteran squad during convincing victories against Williston State College Friday and Northeastern Junior College Saturday. Both teams entered Powell with winning records, but neither was able to topple the Trappers.

November 25, 2008 4:02 am

Lady Tetons push NWC in overtime

Northwest 2-5 after weekend tournament

During the span of a week, the Northwest College Lady Trappers endured more than their fair share of adversity.

On Saturday, Nov. 15, the team's bus suffered a breakdown on the interstate as the squad was returning from the Air Force Prep Tournament in Colorado. That caused the team to arrive home a day later than expected, and the after effects spilled into the early portion of last week.

With that in mind, NWC head coach Chad Oletzke said the Lady Trappers (2-5) were ready to simply return to the court and play, which they were scheduled to do Friday in the opening round of the Lady Trapper Tournament in Powell. The problem, however, was the Lady Trappers had no one to play.

Friday's opponent, Salish-Kootenai College, backed out of the tournament the morning of the event. The result was a forfeit victory for the Lady Trappers, but the downside was that NWC missed a valuable opportunity to play.

NWC finally got to compete Saturday against the Williston State College Lady Tetons, but the result was far from what Oletzke had hoped for his team, which lost a 74-63, overtime decision.

“It was a weird week,” Oletzke said. “We had the deal with the bus, which put us behind during the early part of the week. We struggled through Monday as everybody got caught up on school work, and we were practicing for Friday. When Friday got here, the girls didn't find out that we weren't going to play around 1 or 2 p.m.”

When NWC did get to play, Oletzke said his team had trouble maintaining any type of consistency.

“We struggled to get anything going,” Oletzke said. “At times we had players trying to make things happen, but we just couldn't get any consistency. Even when we took a six-point lead (26-20) into halftime, I felt like we should have been up by more.”

The game remained close throughout, thanks in part to turnovers. Both teams struggled to take care of the ball from start to finish. WSC committed 24 turnovers, while NWC finished with 30.

“It's hard to win when you have 30 turnovers,” Oletzke said. “That makes it that much harder.”

WSC tied the game at 30 with 14:15 left in the second half, but it took the Lady Tetons until just under the 12-minute mark to claim its first advantage of the half at 40-37. The lead changed hands five times after that, and WSC held a 54-53 advantage with 3:53 left in regulation.

The Lady Tetons added a 2-point basket for a 56-53 lead before NWC's Erin Cooke trimmed the deficit to 56-55 with 1:24 left on the clock.

Following Cooke's basket, both teams endured turnovers before WSC's Whitney Sundheim hit one of two free throws for a 57-55 advantage.

With 29.7 seconds left, Cooke answered with a clutch, 2-point basket. Both teams each had one final possession before regulation ended, but neither team could break the 57-57 deadlock.

In overtime, NWC opened strong with a quick basket by Sheena Ryan, but the Lady Tetons answered by outscoring NWC 17-4 the rest of the way.

For NWC, Cooke finished as the leading scorer with 18 points. She was followed by Ryan (13), Gita Grava (9), Madara Upeniece (8), Larissa Crump (5), Lacey Gilmer (5), Rachel Tilley (2), Kassi Tucker (2) and Kati Oliverson (1). Grava led the rebounding effort with 12 boards, and Ryan and Cooke each added seven.

WSC had three players finish with double-digit scoring efforts, including Amber Adams (21 points), Sundheim (20) and Kristen Bearstail (11).

• Up next: The Lady Trappers will be in action again Friday and Saturday in the Snow College Thanksgiving Classic. During that tournament, NWC will face Yavapai College Friday and Treasure Valley Community College Saturday.

Forfeits prove costly for NWC

Tenth-ranked Northwest College suffered a 24-23 loss to No. 16 Western Wyoming Community College last Thursday during a dual meet at Hank Cabre Gymnasium in Powell.

NWC head coach Jim Zeigler did some major juggling of his lineup Thursday night and put his team in a position to register a victory. However, the forfeits at 165 and 174 proved too much to overcome.

Zeigler said his squad wrestled well, but he was still feeling the sting of losing to one of the Trappers' biggest rivals.

“It's a hard pill to swallow,” Zeigler said. “We had a tall mountain to climb because of the two forfeits. We're still working with a makeshift lineup because we have guys trying to change weight classes. We've also got one that is battling an illness, and we're waiting for him to return. We'll get through all of that and get our lineup where we want it. And I know this group will be competitive down the stretch.”

NWC fell behind 6-0 early when the Trappers' 125-pound entry, freshman Eddie Whiting, was pinned by sophomore Ryker Vandertoolen at the 3:52 mark. The pin came after Whiting battled to a 4-4 tie by the end of the first period.

“Eddie was right in there,” Zeigler said. “He had tied it up, but then he got himself in a compromising position and got pinned.”

Trapper freshman Jeff Wood followed Whiting's loss by defeating fifth-ranked Mason Stott. Wood, who trailed 4-3 after the first period, came back to tie the match in the second period and tallied six points in the third to claim an 11-5 decision.

“He was tough again,” said Zeigler, noting that Wood won the 133-pound amateur division at the University of Wyoming's Cowboy Open Saturday, Nov. 15. “He just ran the guy out of gas at the end and finished strong.”

With NWC trailing 6-3 in the team score, freshman McCade Ford came through with a major decision by defeating WWCC's Daniel Coffey by a 13-4 score. Ford took a commanding 7-2 lead early and built on that in the second and third periods.

The four points for the major decision by Ford vaulted NWC into the lead at 7-6, but that advantage was short lived due to WWCC's victory at 149. Dollar built a 4-1 lead after two periods against the eighth-ranked freshman from Casper and was able to hold on for a 5-3 decision. The victory pushed WWCC ahead 9-7, but NWC 157-pound entry Corey Woodruff put the Trappers ahead again, and set the stage for a possible team victory with his major decision over the Mustangs' Justin Curtice.

The bout between Woodruff and Curtice was deadlocked in a scoreless tie after one period, and Woodruff trailed 2-1 after the second. In the third period, however, the freshman from Michigan mounted an impressive come-from-behind effort and walked away a 14-2 winner.

“He made a great comeback to get the major decision,” Zeigler said.

NWC, ahead 11-9 following Woodruff's victory, then forfeited at 165 and 174. That put NWC behind 21-11 and left Trapper freshman Tyrell Wright with the tall task of facing WWCC's Tyson Anderson at 184. Wright, who was originally scheduled to wrestle at 174, said he gave up about 12 pounds to Anderson. However, he led 2-1 after the first period and 4-3 after the second before dropping a 5-4 decision. The Mustangs moved ahead 24-11 with the three points for the decision and guaranteed themselves the victory.

NWC closed the gap when Trapper freshman Mak Jones won via forfeit at 197 and when Landon Harris pinned WWCC's Rusty Farnsworth at 1:46 in the first period of the heavyweight bout.

For the Trappers, Thursday's meet was their last at home until Jan. 15. On that day, NWC will host the University of Great Falls.

The Trappers were scheduled to compete in the University of Northern Colorado Open in Greeley Sunday, Nov. 23. Results of that tournament will be included in the Friday. Nov. 28, edition of the Powell Tribune.

November 25, 2008 3:29 am

Mary Emma Gormley

(Feb. 18, 1932 - Nov. 18, 2008)

Funeral services were conducted Saturday morning, Nov. 22 at Thompson Funeral Home for Mary Emma Gormley, 76, who died Tuesday, Nov. 18 at Powell Valley Hospital.

She was born Feb. 18, 1932, to Ewell Jackson Hankins and Bertha Fleet (Glover) Hankins. Her formal education extended through one year of Business School before marrying Guy Robert Gormley in Billings, Mont., on July 12, 1952. They lived in Greybull, Grand Forks, N.D., and Greeley, Colo., before moving to Powell.

She was a bookkeeper and housewife.

Survivors include her husband of Powell; a son, Keith Ewell Gormley in Texas; two grandsons, Craig Thomas Gormley in Texas and Christopher Todd Gormley in Oregon; and a sister, Bertie Hotvedt.

Burial was in Crown Hill Cemetery.

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Terra Fernau fills Kristen Edwards' and Ric Heasler's bowls with steaming potato bacon soup at the Empty Bowls charity event Tuesday at Plaza Diane. Attendees cheerfully waited in a line that wound all the way to the corner of Bent and Second streets. Tribune photo by Kara Bacon

Inside Plaza Diane, hundreds of handmade ceramic bowls of various sizes and colors lined a long table. Outside, hundreds of people of various ages and social backgrounds waited to purchase a bowl for a good cause.

During the Empty Bowl fundraiser Tuesday night, 220 bowls were purchased, raising more than $2,500 for Powell Valley Loaves and Fishes.

The $10 bowls were filled with warm soup, and people kept their purchased bowls as a reminder of hunger.
Northwest College ceramics instructor Elaine DeBuhr organized the event and was amazed at the community's turnout.

“I'm just astounded by it,” she said. “The bowls sold out in less than an hour ... only an hour, but it was such an incredible hour.”

Northwest College will begin offering online degrees soon, pending permission from the Higher Learning Commission.

Sher Hruska, vice president for academic affairs, last week asked for, and received, the NWC Board of Trustees' approval to apply to the commission to offer three trial associate degrees online. Two of those degrees will be general studies and social sciences, and the other hasn't been chosen yet, she said.

If the Higher Learning Commission grants its permission and those degrees are offered successfully, the commission will give blanket accreditation allowing the college to offer other degrees over the Internet.

Ward 1 candidates separated by less than a buck

Despite having about half of the population Cody does, Powell's mayoral race turned out to cost one fiftieth of Cody's.

The two Cody contenders, mayor-elect Nancy Tia Brown and opponent Paul Rankin, spent a combined $18,000 on their campaigns. In comparison, Mayor Scott Mangold and challenger Tim Sapp used only $351 between them, according to reports filed with the Park County Elections department.

For perspective, the annual salary for mayor of Powell is $13,200. Cody's salary is $24,000.

November 20, 2008 4:02 am

Kanin Asay opts for extra safety

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Powell's Kanin Asay competes in the recent Wrangler ProRodeo Tour Championship in Dallas. Like he has done since sustaining head injuries during a bull riding event in July, Asay donned a helmet in attempt to reduce his injury risk. Courtesy photo/Dan Hubbell

Powell bull rider now among helmet-wearing competitors

When Kanin Asay sustained extensive injuries during a bull riding competition in Oregon last July, he lost his spleen and sustained a concussion, a broken rib, facial fractures, a torn ear and a number of other cuts and bruises.

When Asay's parents and girlfriend arrived at Oregon Health and Science University where the Powell bull rider underwent surgery for his injuries, he was in a hospital bed and looked far different from what they were used to seeing.

“I had tubes in me, my left eye was purple and swelled shut — it was pretty bad,” Asay said.

The incident was a grim reminder of the age-old phrase “If you're going to rodeo, you're going to get hurt.”

Also read about Kaleb, Kanin's brother, here.

November 20, 2008 3:56 am

Kaleb Asay named Rookie of the Year

Powell cowboy excels in saddle bronc events

Powell's Kaleb Asay capped his first full season in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association by earning Rookie of the Year in the saddle bronc division.

For the 19-year-old Asay, the honor helped solidify his decision to put on hold his pursuit of a college education.

Asay, who was a freshman member of the Casper College rodeo team in 2007-08, left the squad after one semester to pursue his dream of competing professionally.

“It was a tough decision to make, but it was something I felt like I had to do,” Asay said. “Trying to concentrate on both — it was impossible. I just decided if I was going to go to school, I wanted to do it right. I plan to go back, and when I do, my education is going to come first before anything else.”

For now, however, Asay has his mind set on learning as much as he can in his pursuit of one day winning a world title in the saddle bronc competition. Considering the success he had in that event while in high school and during his brief stay in college, it appears that goal is attainable. Asay is a former high school national champion, and he was on his way to qualifying for the College National Finals Rodeo when he decided to focus solely on PRCA events. By gaining valuable experience at PRCA events and learning from fellow professionals, Asay said he's put himself a step closer to realizing his ultimate goal — winning a world title in saddle bronc riding.

“I've learned a lot this year,” said Asay, who currently is listed in 41st place with $21,069 in the PRCA's world standings. “It's a lot different than high school and college, that's for sure. It's a lot harder, and there's a lot more travel involved. You find out what you're made of, and you learn to be pretty resilient. You have to adapt. Most of the time you're on the road for 12 or 13 hours. You get to an event after all that time traveling, and you have to be ready to ride. Once you get done, you get back on the road and go to the next one. It's tough, but its a lot of fun, too.”

During the past year, Asay has notched a number of memorable performances. At the 2008 San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo in Texas, he finished sixth among the overall winners in saddle bronc riding. In November of 2007, he claimed first place at A Tribute to Chris LeDoux rodeo in Casper. That victory occurred while he was still attending Casper College.

Though saddle bronc riding and bull riding are two totally different beasts, Asay said he's learned a great deal from his older brother, Kanin Asay. Kanin recently qualified for his second Wrangler National Finals Rodeo despite missing two months of the 2008 season due to injuries suffered during a bull ride in early July. Kaleb said he looks forward to the day when he and his brother are both qualified for the Super Bowl of rodeos. However, he also said he and his brother are not going to be satisfied with just competing in the same WNFR. They both want to compete and finish atop the world standings.

“My goal right now is to go as hard as I can and do everything I need to do so I can win a world title,” Kaleb said. “It would be a neat deal for us to both be in (the same WNFR). But more than anything, we want to win it.”

Asay's Rookie of the Year honor will be presented by representatives of American Cowboy Coffee, Montana Silversmiths and the PRCA during Rookie Night at the 50th anniversary of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo on Dec. 9 in Las Vegas.

Other Rookie of the Year winners include Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas, (overall, tie-down roping); Trell Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla., (all-around); Jared Smith, Ranger, Texas, (bareback riding); Zack Cobb, Pampa, Texas, (steer wrestling); Joel Bach, Millsap, Texas, (team roping-heading); Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah, (team roping-heeling); Douglas Duncan, Huntsville, Texas, (bull riding) and Tim Abbott, Midland, Texas, (steer roping).

November 20, 2008 3:30 am

NWC to face pair of top-notch teams

No. 6 NJC among tournament's lineup

The Northwest College Trappers, a team loaded with freshmen and a 1-5 record, will face a pair of difficult tests this week at the 19th annual First National Bank and Trust Shootout at Hank Cabre Gymnasium in Powell.

NWC's first game in the tournament will be against North Dakota-based Williston State College Friday night at 7:30. On Saturday, the Trappers are scheduled to square off against the Northeastern Junior College Plainsmen from Sterling, Colo., in another 7:30 p.m contest. Also scheduled as part of the event's four-team lineup is Sheridan College.

NJC opened the season with a 5-0 mark and currently is ranked No. 6 in the NJCAA Men's Division I basketball poll. The Plainsmen were scheduled to face Garden City Community College, Wednesday, Nov. 19, but results of that contest were not available at press time.

“We're facing some talented teams this weekend,” said NWC head coach Andy Ward. “Williston State is averaging right around 100 points per game. They've got an up-tempo style, and they shoot a lot of 3-pointers.”

When the Trappers face the Tetons (6-2) Friday night, Ward said his team, which has only two returning players from last year's squad, will have its hands full, particularly on the defensive end.

The Tetons have a number of players who can strike for impressive point totals on any given night, including guards Nathaniel Packineau, a sophomore, and Luke Martinez, a freshman. During a 102-95 loss to Sheridan College Tuesday night, Packineau and Martinez accounted for 30 and 28 points, respectively. Combined, those two players connected on 12 of 16 shots from 3-point range.

As for the Plainsmen, they also boast a lineup capable of lighting up a scoreboard. Like Williston State, the Plainsmen recently faced the traditionally strong Sheridan College Generals. During that matchup last Saturday, NJC scored a 107-89 victory. Leading the way for NJC against the Generals was sophomore forward Anthony Harris, who finished with 31 points. The Plainsmen also got 21 points from another sophomore forward, A.J. Wilson.

“NJC has another strong team this year, and that will make for another tough matchup,” Ward said. “We've played an extremely tough schedule this year, but I believe that will help us in the long run. Because we have such a young team, playing teams like Williston State and NJC will help our young guys learn a lot about what it takes to play at this level. Our inexperience has cost us some games early on, but as these guys get more games under their belts, I think we'll be fine.”

Unfortunately for the Trappers, it is likely they will be without one of their top players this weekend. Freshman Casper Hesseldal, a 6-6 freshman from Aarhus, Denmark, is listed as doubtful for the tournament because of an ankle sprain sustained during last Saturday's road loss at the College of Eastern Utah. The injury occurred with nine minutes remaining in the second half and with Hesseldal leading the Trappers in scoring with 17 points.

Hesseldal currently is NWC's top offensive player with 15.5 points per game. He also is a force on the boards with 6.5 rebounds per contest.

“We'd like to have Casper in the lineup this weekend, but we don't want to rush it,” Ward said.

Other leading players for the Trappers this season have been sophomore Julian Olubuyi (12 points per game), freshman Ricardo Bodra (12 ppg, 10 rebounds per game) and sophomore Jordan Harris (8 ppg, 5 rpg).

“The main thing for us is to continue improving,” Ward said. “We just need to work hard and get better each day. If we can keep doing that, it will pay off in the end.”

The tournament will open Friday at 3:30 p.m. with a matchup between Sheridan and NJC. NWC and Williston State are slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, Williston State will face Sheridan at 3:30 p.m., and NWC and NJC are in the 7:30 p.m. time slot.

First National Bank and Trust Shootout
Friday, Nov. 21
• 3:30 p.m.: Sheridan vs. Northeastern
• 7:30 p.m.: Northwest vs. Williston State
Saturday, Nov. 22
• 3:30 p.m.: Williston State vs. Sheridan College
• 7:30 p.m.: Northwest vs. Northeastern