Head coach Janis Beal said the Trappers didn’t play their best but still managed to get back in the win column.
“We didn’t really play to our level,” Beal said. “(But) coming out and getting a win is good for us after that loss.”
The Trappers (14-6, 5-1) lost in Sheridan Saturday afternoon, their first loss since Nov. 16.
The win over the Rustlers kept Northwest tied atop the Region IX North standings with Western Wyoming, which beat Gillette 67-65 Wednesday night in Rock Springs.
Northwest started slow out of the gate Wednesday night but once they took a 10-9 lead early in the first half they never looked back.
Northwest went on runs of 8-0, 7-0 and 9-0 against the Rustlers, allowing for the Trappers to play their second unit for extended periods of time.
Sophomore Imari Simpson battled through early foul trouble to lead the squad with 14 points and three rebounds.
Point guard Andressa Augusto scored 12 while dishing out six assists and committing no turnovers.
Augusto provided safe ball handling on an otherwise careless night for Northwest. The Trappers won despite turning the ball over 23 times to the Rustlers’ 17.
Midway through the second half Augusto single-handedly made the play of the night. The 5-6 Brazilian weaved down the left side of the lane and then, in one fluid motion, faked a pass to Hatti Snyder on the right block and finished past a dazed defender for two points, drawing “oohs” from the Trapper bench and fans.
“There’s not even a way to explain it,” said Beal of the play. “She’s fun to watch, that’s for sure.”
Hattie Snyder was the third and final Trapper to score in double figures. The freshman scored 10 points, grabbed a pair of rebounds and made some deft passes to lead to more Northwest points (though she was credited with just one assist).
“She’s a little bit more of a quiet player but definitely a key for us,” Beal said.
Freshman Dana Bjorhus, one of Northwest’s more dynamic scorers, was held to just two points on 1-of-4 shooting but tracked down a team-high 10 rebounds.
Freshman TaNeil Clayton scored three points, grabbed four rebounds and had a team-high three steals in just more than 13 minutes of play.
Sophomore Leanne Winterholler’s cold shooting continued Wednesday. The normally deadly shooter was 2-for-7 from the floor and 1-for-6 from beyond the arc.
Winterholler is 4-for-23 from deep in her past three games.
Beal said team’s will focus on stopping Winterholler now that a half-season’s worth of tape is out there.
“It’s tough being a shooter like that,” Beal said. “Coaches have done their scouting reports and they’re putting a lot of pressure on her."
Beal is confident this is just a slump that Winterholler will shoot her way out of.
“She just has to let it come,” Beal said. “Her shot’s still there. It’s just a matter of us getting her open too, because teams are really focusing on making her get rid of the ball.”
The Rustlers didn't fare any better from 3-point range, shooting a miserable 1-for-16 on the night. Central Wyoming had averaged 7.7 made 3-pointers per game coming into the matchup with Northwest.
“One of our goals was to hold them to five or less makes,” Beal said.
The Trappers head to Little Big Horn College (0-9, 0-3) on Saturday for a 3 p.m. tipoff.