Men, women have rough time in Rock Springs
The Northwest College men’s and women’s basketball programs suffered setbacks over the weekend, falling to Western Wyoming. For the Trapper men’s team, the loss was especially painful as the squad looked to jockey for position near the top of the Region IX North standings.
“This was one of the few games this season that I can recall us being out-rebounded in,” said Trapper men’s coach Bryan Erickson following his team’s 81-73 defeat. “We thought we could use the same game plan against Western Wyoming that we’d executed well at against Miles a few nights earlier and we just didn’t get it done.”
“We had opportunities,” said Erickson. “With about five minutes left, we were tied with them, but then I think we turned the ball over on four straight possessions and that really hurt us. You can’t do things like that, especially on the road.”
The Trappers also struggled on the defensive end of the court throughout the night.
“We just had too many guys who weren’t on the same page defensively,” said Erickson. “We didn’t have what I would call the hunger to stop people. We didn’t execute like we should have.”
Junior Coleman was one of just two Trapper players to reach double figures in the scoring column. Coleman finished with 19 points in the contest. Jeffrey Solarin added 15 points. Franklin Uzonwanne, Guilherme Carabagiale and Kilby Rech narrowly missed joining the pair in double figures as each finished with nine points.
Uzonwanne led the Trappers with eight rebounds in the contest and also blocked four Western Wyoming shot attempts. Coleman produced a team-best three steals.
The loss knocked Northwest College to 3-4 in Region IX North play as the team’s record slid to 14-7 overall for the year. It was Western Wyoming’s first victory in a Region IX North contest this season.
Things went no better for the Trapper women, who dropped back under the .500 mark with an 80-48 loss at Western Wyoming.
“I felt like the first 10 minutes of that game we played great,” said Trapper head coach Janis Beal. “It was like we suddenly lost our defensive intensity, almost as if someone just flipped a switch, and that’s not something you can do against a team like Western Wyoming. They have a lot of weapons. There’s a reason they’re near the top of things.”
In a matter of minutes, the Trappers went from being tied to falling significantly behind on the scoreboard. Western Wyoming pulled away for a 45-22 lead at halftime and the Trappers were never able to threaten that gap over the final 20 minutes.
“It isn’t enough to play with intensity for 10 minutes,” Beal said. “We have to do that for 40 minutes, especially against great teams. We can’t suddenly start doing multiple things wrong and commit turnovers and forget to get back on defense.”
The Trapper women were able to welcome back leading scorer Kennedy Allen, who missed the Miles Community College game earlier in the week. Allen announced her return with a team-best 17 points and 12 rebounds. Imari Simpson added nine points and seven rebounds while Leslie Thronburg finished with seven points and eight rebounds.
The Trappers connected on just 1-of-22 shots from 3-point range in the contest as Western Wyoming neutralized Northwest’s outside game.
The loss dropped Northwest to 3-4 in Region IX North play and 10-11 overall this season. The Trapper teams were in action Wednesday night against Gillette College.
“It doesn’t get any easier,” Beal said of that game. “They just went down and beat Casper by 20-something. They’re an athletic team that will try to get us to play up tempo.”
W. Wyoming men 81, Northwest 73
J. Solarin 15, Beehler 2, Uzonwanne 9, Coleman 19, Newsom 4, Crabagiale 9, Gordon 4, G. Solarin 2, Rech 9.
W. Wyoming women 80, Northwest 48
Allen 17, Simpson 9, Thronburg 7, Winterholler 5, Augusto 5, Minder 4, Blackburn 1.