“I was pleased with our overall effort,” said Northwest College women’s coach Janis Beal, whose team now stands 7-6 overall this season and 2-1 in Region IX North play.
The Trappers built a 38-29 lead at halftime. Northwest College built that gap to 14 points early in the second half, stretching their advantage to 47-33 before Dawson was able to rally back, pulling within a point in one instance.
“We need to play as though we’re trying to build on our lead rather than trying to just hold on to it,” Beal said. “We let them back into it and made it more interesting than it should have been.”
The Trappers staved off Dawson’s rally attempt with some key offensive rebounds down the stretch.
“We had some key rebounds in situations where we were fouled, missed the first free throw, but got an offensive rebound and were able to get back to the line or hit a short bucket,” Beal said.
Kennedy Allen finished with 21 points and seven rebouds to lead the Trappers’ efforts. Imari Simpson added a double-double off the bench with 15 points and 12 rebounds for Northwest. Leanne Winterholler also finished in double figures with 11 points.
“Both Imari and Leanne were big sparks off the bench for us,” said Beal. “But we also had people scoring nine, eight and seven points, so it was a well-rounded night. Everyone got involved and contributed.”
On the men’s side, Northwest struggled early to defend against Dawson’s 3-point shooting, but still managed to build a 39-30 lead at the half.
“We knew we had to defend the perimeter and make them drive on us,” said Trapper head coach Brian Erickson. “Early on, we didn’t do a very good job of that. If you look at their 30 points in the first half, I’ll bet 18, maybe 21, of them came from deep.”
Coming out of intermission, the Trappers extended their lead to 17 points. Dawson fought back to cut the margin to six as, once again, Northwest allowed a brief surge of shots against it. The Trappers slammed the door on that run, however, eventually taking their lead out to 20 points before Dawson chipped back slightly late in the game.
Jeffrey Solarin finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds on the night. Junior Coleman added an additional 18 points for Northwest College.
“Both of them played really well,” said Erickson.
Solarin’s rebounds were part of a huge night for the Trappers. Northwest finished with a 47-28 advantage on the glass. Included in the Trappers’ total were 17 offensive rebounds.
“You are always happy when you can go on the road in this region and come back with a win,” Erickson said. “We definitely thought we could win this game, but we thought that last year, too, and didn’t get it done.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams will return to action this Friday and Saturday in the Trapper Tournament at Northwest College. Four games will be held Friday and Saturday, with the men’s and women’s teams playing once each day for NWC.
The Trapper Tournament is the final home action of 2012 for Northwest College.