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NWC Trapper women shut down Central Wyoming

Leading scorer Smith out with ankle  injury

The Northwest College women’s basketball team split a pair of weekend non-conference games, but may have suffered a greater loss following the injury of the team’s leading scorer. Northwest downed Central Wyoming 65-47 before falling 88-60 against Western Wyoming.

Megan Smith, who recently enjoyed back-to-back 30-point games for the Trappers and who ranks among Region IX’s scoring leaders for the season, was injured in the opening five minutes of the second half of Friday’s game at Central Wyoming. With 16 points to her credit, she was aleady on her way to another above-average night from the floor.

“It’s an ankle injury,” noted Trapper head coach Janis Beal, adding that the team was waiting on the results of Monday X-rays. “She’ll definitely be out this week. We hope to have her back just as soon as possible.”

Thanks to a smothering defensive effort, the Trappers barely seemed to notice the loss of their leading scorer. Northwest held a solid shooting Central team to just 47 points, including just a 4-for-19 showing from 3-point territory.

“We went in at halftime and they only had 24 points and, really, I thought there were times in the first half we could have done better defending them,” Beal said. “We knew we just needed to get some stuff going offensively, and we were able to do that in the second half.”

The Trappers quickly extended a four-point lead at intermission into double figures. A 14-for-17 performance at the foul line ensured Central would not be rallying.

In addition to Smith’s 16, the Trappers received double-digit scoring from Mckenzie Garrett, with 12 points, and Megan Goodman, who finished with 10 points.

“Goodman’s definitely a kid that’s been consistent for us,” said Beal. “She does things for us that don’t necessarily show up on a state sheet, like knowing where to be on defense and really understanding what we’re trying to do. Her 3-point shooting has really come around the past several games.”

The Trappers’ coach credited her team’s ability to communicate as being key to the night’s defensive charge.

“We talked in practice about switching certain screens on defense,” said Beal. “The kids did a good job of doing what we’d practiced and communicating where their shooters were at the whole game. It was a good job of executing in the game what we’d practiced.”

The Trappers weren’t as fortunate on Saturday, Western Wyoming vaulted to a 15-3 lead and the Trappers were scrambling to catch up throughout the entire game.

“We battled back into it the first time, but then they pulled away again and were up by 19 at the half,” Beal said. “They went up by more than 20 early in the second half and we fought back to within 12 with about eight minutes to play and then they pulled in front again.”

Many of the Trappers’ early problems could be attributed to the 22-to-1 free throw disparity between the two teams.

“We didn’t play hard enough to deserve a foul call,” Beal said. “Western came out with more intensity than we did, and that caught us off guard. We didn’t play hard enough to deserve a free throw in the first half, and that’s really what it comes down to.”

Goodman was the only Trapper to reach double figures in the game, finishng with 19 points. Dariana Santos was the team’s next-highest scorer with eight points.

The Trappers return to action Thursday night with a home sub-region contest against Little Big Horn. Northwest will be without Smith for the game.

“It’s a tough thing,” Beal said. “You just hope for someone to step up, but she’s a team captain and there’s things you miss as far as her attitude and competitiveness on the floor as much as you do the scoring.”

Northwest 65,

C. Wyoming 47

Goodman 10, Smith 16, Garrett 12, Lesu 8, Duran 6, Fisher 6, Santos 3, Otineru 4.

W. Wyoming 88,

Northwest 60

Butler 6, Fisher 7, Goodman 19, de Souza 5, Santos 8, Ryan 3, Otineru 6, Lesu 6.

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