“I’m proud of the kids,” said Trapper head coach Janis Beal. “Central always plays tough on their home floor. That’s always a tough place to go and play and we were able to make the plays down the stretch that we needed and convert the free throws when we had them.”
After a 31-31 tie at the half, neither team was able to establish much daylight in the second half. Beal credited Leslie Blackburn with some key defensive stops in the final two minutes to help Northwest secure the victory.
“Leslie had a huge game for us with her tips and steals,” said Beal. “She had a couple down the stretch that were just huge for us, and then we were able to execute in those late game situations and did the things we needed to in order to win.”
Blackburn finished with seven steals in the contest, to go along with 10 points and a team-best six rebounds. Kennedy Allen added 19 points for the Trappers, 11 of them coming at the foul line. Andressa Augusto had 18 points.
“Andressa was a big spark for us in that game,” said Beal. “She knocked down some shots early that really jumpstarted us and got us going. Kennedy did a good job of being aggressive and going at their taller girls and being strong with the ball and forcing contact. Central is such a tall team that you can’t fade away or else they’ll block it.”
Despite playing at a significant height disadvantage, the Trappers pulled a 30-29 rebounding advantage for the contest.
The Trappers didn’t have as much luck on Saturday as they hosted Sheridan, falling 88-77. After staying close for much of the first half, Northwest watched as the Generals embarked on a run over the final 4:45 to carry a 52-39 lead into the locker room. Northwest never recovered.
“We were down four when they started that run, but then they score something like 14 of the last 20 points in the half and we go in down by 13,” said Beal. “We just didn’t do a good job defensively and gave up way too many easy buckets. I think Sheridan shot better from the field than they did the foul line.”
Beal’s hunch was correct. Sheridan knocked down better than 63 percent of its shots from the floor in the first half. The Trappers were able to adjust and hold the Generals to just over 42 percent in the last 20 minutes, but could not overcome their own 13-for-39 struggles in the second half.
“We just dug ourselves into hole and we couldn’t climb our way back out of it,” said Beal. “Overall, we played a pretty good game outside of those last five minutes of the first half. We did a really good job of rebounding after struggling so bad in that stat when we played them over there.”
Augusto finished with 19 points to lead four Trappers in double figures. Leslie Thronburg added 16 points. Savannah Minder had 14 and Allen finished the night with 10 points.
The Trapper women are 12-13 overall this season. The team sits at 5-6 in Region IX North play. Northwest travels to Crow Agency, Mont., on Wednesday to face Little Big Horn (2-21, 0-10) for its only game of the week.
NWC 60, C. Wyoming 54
Minder 9, Augusto 18, Allen 19, Thronburg 4, Blackburn 10
Sheridan 88, Northwest 77
Minder 14, Augusto 19, Allen 10, Thronburg 16, Blackburn 4, Williams 7, Vilela 1, Winterholler 4, Lund 2.