The Trappers (10-5, 3-0 conference) took down Dawson Community College 64-56 Tuesday night to run their winning streak to seven.
The win followed a pair of home victories against Miles City Community College and Gillette College.
“We put ourselves in a good position,” said head coach Janis Beal of her team’s hot start.
Despite the eight-point margin, Tuesday’s game against Dawson was the most competitive of Northwest’s three conference games.
“Playing at Dawson is a tough place to play,” Beal said. “I’ve never had a team that’s shot well there.”
Northwest shot just 38.8 percent from the floor but the Trappers did enough to win.
“We did what we had to (do) to get the win but there’s definitely some things that we need to correct,” Beal said.
Northwest led throughout the second half, though things got uncomfortably close for the Trappers with less than four minutes remaining.
The Trappers took a 10-point lead with 11:26 remaining but Dawson fought back and cut it to three on three different occasions late in the game. Once at 49-46 with 3:43 to play, again at 51-48 at the 3:22 mark and at 53-50 with 2:40 remaining, but that’s as close as the Buccaneers would get. The Trappers had an answer for each Buccaneer basket, first it was a layup from freshman Caitlin Clancy, then two made free throws from freshman Dana Bjorhus and lastly a layup from sophomore Imari Simpson.
“The girls did a good job of being aggressive going to the hoop throughout that span,” Beal said.
The Trappers’ aggressiveness led to 32 free throw attempts compared to just 17 for Dawson.
Clancy led Northwest with 13 points while sophomore point guard Andressa Augusto scored 12, eight of which came from free throws.
Freshman Hattilyn Snyder scored nine points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Bjorhus added nine points and five rebounds.
Simpson scored six points and tallied six rebounds.
Two free throws from Simpson broke a 27-27 tie late in the first half, Northwest led 29-27 at the break and the Trappers never trailed again.
Northwest overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to beat Miles City at home Dec. 7. The Trappers found themselves down 39-29 at the break but outscored the Pioneers 44-28 in the final 20 minutes to win 73-67.
Bjorhus led the charge with her second double-double of the season. She scored 13 points and 10 rebounds and added one block and one steal in 26 minutes.
Sophomore Leanne Winterholler led the Trappers with 19 points. The Kaycee High School grad was 5-for-9 from behind the arc and 2-for-4 inside it.
Simpson added seven points and eight rebounds but was limited to just less than 16 minutes of play due to foul trouble.
The Trappers benefited from 17 Pioneer turnovers while committing only nine themselves.
Four of Northwest’s starters scored at least 11 points in a 80-70 win over Gillette in the conference-opener Dec. 4.
Augusto scored a team-high 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Augusto also led Northwest with four assists.
Simpson scored 16 points while taking control of eight rebounds. Her determination and aggressiveness down low was rewarded with trips to the foul line, where she was 8-of-9. Simpson is shooting 77 percent from the line this season.
Bjorhus scored 11 points and tracked down eight boards in a team-high 31 minutes.
Winterholler sank three 3-pointers on her way to 11 points. She added three rebounds and two steals in the win.
Freshman Sarah Nielsen grabbed eight rebounds to tie with Bjorhus and Simpson for the game-high.
The Trappers shot 50 percent from the floor and were 8-for-12 from long-range.
Northwest will be back in town this weekend as both the men and women’s teams host the Trapper Tournament.
The Trappers will play the Wyoming-Montana All-Stars at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and then the Northwest All-Stars at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Saturday’s game is Northwest’s last until Jan. 8, when conference play resumes with a home game against Casper College.