Team improves to 9-3 as regional play starts
The Northwest College Trapper men’s basketball team picked up a trio of victories last weekend, defeating the Montana Western JV squad and scoring back-to-back wins over the Northwest All-Stars. The wins stretched the Trappers’ record to 9-3, but left head coach Brian Erickson concerned.
“I basically felt we showed up and played one half both nights,” Erickson said of the team’s two wins over the All-Stars. The Trappers were forced into doubling up games against the Northwest All-Stars after the team’s scheduled Friday opponent withdrew from the contest earlier in the week.
On Friday, the Trappers struggled to just a three-point lead at halftime 41-38. Northwest built upon that lead in the second half, building a nearly 20-point advantage at one stage. Northwest connected on nearly 70 percent of its shots from the floor after the break, but still had to endure some nervous moments late in the contest.
“We really relaxed the final five minutes and they were able to pull within nine,” said Erickson.
Jefferey Solarin finished with 20 points, leading a parade of five Trappers in double figures scoring in the contest. Jonothan Newsom added 19 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Junior Coleman had 14 points. Pietro de Andrade had 13 points and Gary Gordon finished with 12 points for the Trappers.
Less than 24 hours later, the two teams were back on the floor. Once more, the Trappers struggled for the first 20 minutes. The Northwest All-Stars led 47-35 at intermission.
Some of the Trappers’ struggles came from a juggled lineup. Regular starter de Andrade was held out of the contest. Northwest had further issues as Jefferey Solarin was held to just six minutes of playing time due to foul troubles.
In their absence, Coleman stepped up to save the day for the Trappers. Coleman finished with a season-high 37 points for Northwest, which again shot lights-out in the second half, canning better than 55 percent of its shots.
Freshman Gabe Solarin added 13 points. Newsom and Franklin Uzonwanne each added 10 points. Uzonwanne also had 10 rebounds to finish with his first career double-double.
The Trappers’ stretch of three games in three days started last Thursday with an 84-43 win over the Montana Western JV. Balanced scoring was the rule for the night as Northwest was led by de Andrade’s 12 points. Jefferey Solarin finished with 11 points. Gabe Solarin and Uzonwanne each had 10 points.
The Trappers out-rebounded Montana Western 48-19 in the contest, including pulling down 33 of the 34 possible rebounds at the defensive end of the floor.
Northwest College opened Region IX play Wednesday against Central Wyoming. Central was listed among schools receiving votes in this week’s NJCAA men’s basketball poll.
Northwest College will play at Sheridan College on Saturday. The team is also at Dawson Community College on Tuesday.
Northwest 84, Mont. Western 43
J. Solarin 11, Beehler 1, Coleman 5, Newsom 9, de Andrade 12, Gonsalez 4, Carabagiale 5, Gordon 2, G. Solarin 10, Uzonwanne 10, Hopkins 6, Checketts 4, Wakelin 5.
Northwest 98, NW All-Stars 85
J. Solarin 20, Beehler 5, Coleman 14, Newsom 19, de Andrade 13, Gordon 12, G. Solarin 6, Uzonwanne 4, Rech 3, Wakelin 2.
Northwest 91, NW All-Stars 86
Beehler 4, Uzonwanne 10, Coleman 37, Newsom 10, Carabagiale 8, Gordon 2, G. Solarin 13, J. Solarin 4, Rech 3.