“It was a good experience for us,” said Trapper head coach Janis Beal. “It was a different style of basketball than what we’re accustomed to seeing. Hopefully we can learn something from it and bring that back here to help us as we go back to Region IX play.”
The Trappers’ opening challenge against Rhode Island was no small task. The New England school entered the game averaging more than 94 points per game.
“We fell behind by 15 or 20 points early,” said Beal. “Out here, we’re used to teams having one or two really quick, athletic players. Their whole team was that way and it took us a bit to adjust.”
Once the Trappers got a feel for the pace of the contest, they were able to adjust to the flow of the game. Northwest trimmed the margin to 12, 41-29, at intermission. In the second half, the team continued to whittle away, drawing as close as two points.
“In the second half, we did a great job of making them play our game,” said Beal. “We didn’t let them get out and play their frantic style and that gave us a lot of success. Unfortunately at the end they were able to hit a couple shots from the floor and we weren’t able to counter or answer.”
The Trappers also dug themselves into an early deficit against Palm Beach the following night. Instead of style of play, it was cold shooting and rebounding that doomed the Trappers early in that contest.
“They came out against us in a zone the first half, and we weren’t able to knock down any shots,” said Beal. “You play out there and the humidity makes the ball feel a little different. We were getting good looks — as good as you could draw it up — but we couldn’t get the ball to go in.”
The off night from the field saw Northwest fall behind by as many as 30 points before mounting a late charge that drew the team back to within 16, 70-54, at the game’s conclusion.
“The other big things that hurt us in that game was we didn’t take care of the ball well early on and we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds that Palm Beach was able to immediately turn into follow-up shots and points,” Beal said.
Individual and team stats from both games were unavailable.
“Overall, this was a good experience for us,” Beal said of the trip. “Instead of having two or three weeks off, these games hopefully kept us sharp so we’re ready for when we go back to Region IX play this Saturday.”
The Trappers host Little Big Horn College this Saturday in a 3 p.m. contest. The Trapper men, idle through the holiday recess, will follow with a 5 p.m. game.