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NWC defeats Yavapai

Keeton Tucker, shown here in earlier action this season, ranked among the Trappers’ scoring leaders against Arizona Western as Northwest College resumed play in Arizona earlier this week. Keeton Tucker, shown here in earlier action this season, ranked among the Trappers’ scoring leaders against Arizona Western as Northwest College resumed play in Arizona earlier this week. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Trappers return 1-1 from Arizona road trip

The Northwest College Trappers split a pair of games in Yuma, Ariz., to begin the second semester men’s basketball schedule. The Trappers dropped a 70-54 decision to Arizona Western before bouncing back the following night with a 67-55 win over Yavapai.

In their first contest of 2011, the Trapper men got off to a fast start, but ultimately were hobbled by a tenacious Arizona Western defensive unit. The host Matadors, who began the year receiving votes in the NJCAA Top 25, limited Northwest to just 23 second-half points on the way to the victory.


Early on, the Trappers appeared as though they would give the Matadors some trouble. An early 11-2 run by Northwest gave the Trappers a seven-point lead. Arizona Western answered by scoring 17 of the next 19 points to go on top 23-15.

Northwest was never able to regain the lead.

In spite of the sudden momentum shift, the Trappers did stay within striking range into the second half. Northwest trailed by just four at intermission, 35-31.
Curtis Trotter finished with nine points to lead the Trappers. Corey Clement and Keeton Tucker each added eight as the team failed to have a player score in double figures against the Matadors’ defense.

Arizona Western’s D’Angelo Scott led all scorers with 19 points. The victory was the Matadors’ seventh in a row.

Northwest’s scoring efforts were hindered by the school’s inability to connect from long range. Northwest hit just two 3-point buckets in the game.

“We definitely looked like a team that had taken some time off,” said head coach Andy Ward. “Our timing at the offensive end was off at times and we turned the ball over entirely too much in the game.”

On Tuesday night, the team rebounded with a scrappy 12-point victory over Yavapai. Four Northwest players reached double figures as the team posted a 67-55 victory.

Trotter had 12 points for Northwest. Dee Crandall, Corey Clement and Tevin Rumley all chipped in with 10 points apiece.

“We were very solid defensively,” said Ward. “We probably had some of our best defensive possessions of the season against Yavapai.”

The Trappers also enjoyed one of their best nights rebounding this season, owning a 46-30 advantage on the glass that included 20 offensive rebounds.

“Our size and our determination to get up and get after the ball really paid off,” Ward said. “Overall, we gave both teams trouble this weekend with our defense.

Hopefully we can work out some of the timing issues offensively.”

The Trappers, now 7-5 this season, return home to host Western Wyoming on Friday. The contest marks the return to Region IX play for Northwest College. The Trappers host Miles Community College on Wednesday, Jan. 12, in their first North Sub-region game of the year.

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