What the Trappers did was play an unselfish and overpowering brand of basketball as they dominated every facet of play on Tuesday night. Northwest College finished the night hitting 61 percent of its shots from the floor and owning a commanding …
Trapper men set season mark in win over LBHCThe Northwest College men's basketball team set a high-water mark for the season, dishing out 35 assists on Tuesday night as part of a 110-64 victory at Little Big Horn College. The victory improves the Trappers to 20-5 overall, keeps the team undefeated in sub-region play and ends a nearly month-long road trip.“It was an important game, being a sub-region contest,” said Trapper head coach Andy Ward. “Any time you go on the road, you never know what's going to happen. We came out, played hard and did what we needed to do to get the win.”
What the Trappers did was play an unselfish and overpowering brand of basketball as they dominated every facet of play on Tuesday night. Northwest College finished the night hitting 61 percent of its shots from the floor and owning a commanding 56-32 rebounding advantage.
“When you can shoot the ball well and you're rebounding well, those are usually pretty good signs,” Ward said.
The Trappers grabbed control of the contest early and built a 56-36 halftime lead. The margin afforded Ward the luxury of liberally substituting players throughout the second half.
“It was nice to have the chance to play everyone and get some guys some minutes and some experience that they don't always get,” said Ward. “I thought we did a good job of defending them in the second half.”
Despite the unusual rotation of players, the Trappers held the Rams to 28 second-half points and just 24 percent shooting over the game's final 20 minutes. The liberal substitution pattern also didn't prevent some big nights from Trapper players, particularly freshman Demetrice Jacobs.
Jacobs, who ranks among the nation's leaders in steals per game and 3-point percentage, finished the night with 36 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and four steals. The eye-catching story line drew praise from the Trappers' coach.
“He played well and really attacked the basket,” said Ward. “He puts a lot of pressure on opposing defenses with the way he looks to attack. That's been getting him to the line. Plus, he's such a good passer that when he draws defenders to him, he is able to find open guys and get them the ball.”
Sophomore Mitch Ackelson added 13 points, nine assists and three steals in the game.
Northwest College wraps up the regular season playing four of its last five games at home. The team begins that stretch on Friday night with a sub-region contest against Miles Community College.
“That's a big game for us,” said Ward. “We'll need to have a couple good practices this week to get ready for it. Miles is a good team and they're well coached. There's also a good chance that the game will mean a lot for them in terms of where they will be seeded in the post-season. Obviously, it means a lot for us, too. If we want to stay No. 1 (in the sub-region) we need to win.”
Lady Rams edge Northwest women
For a couple days this past week, Northwest College women's basketball coach Janis Beal was able to see a scenario by which her Trapper hoop squad could still capture a co-title within the north sub-region. That vision vanished Tuesday night in an 85-80 loss at Little Big Horn College.
“Now we're in a position where we need to win one (of the team's final two sub-region games) to move in front of Little Big Horn for third place,” said Beal. “Depending what happens in other games this week, we'll need to win at least one of the games against Miles or Sheridan to jump to third.”
Beal chalked up the Trappers' Tuesday night woes to a single area.
“We put them at the free throw line 35 times,” said Beal. “A few of those were us fouling late trying to get back in the game, but a lot of them were just us fouling them. Defensively, we didn't move our feet and put ourselves in the proper position.”
The Lady Rams made the most of the Trappers' generosity. Little Big Horn was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe in the first half as the team built a 42-36 lead at intermission. In the second half, Little Big Horn reached the foul line 25 times, compared to just five for Northwest.
“We did a good job shooting free throws,” said Beal, whose team connected on better than 82 percent from the stripe. “We just didn't get ourselves there nearly enough and we put them there too often.”
Perhaps even more important to the game's final result was LBHC's ability to trim a 34-turnover performance in the teams' first encounter down to just a 15-turnover night on Tuesday.
“As I've said, so much of what we do is set up by our defense,” said Beal. “When we're not in position and just fouling them, then we don't give ourselves the opportunity to tip passes and make steals. It limits our opportunities.”
Megan Goodman finished with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Trappers, who slide to 9-15 with the loss. Megan Smith added 14 points and Sharla Stevenson dropped in 13 points.
“Megan (Goodman) had a good game,” Beal said. “She attacked the basket and got to the free throw line and got her points. She had a great game. It was good to see her get going.”
The Trappers didn't have a bad night shooting the ball, finishing with better than 46 percent shooting from the floor. Northwest did struggle from long-range though, converting just four if its 17 3-point attempts.
“When teams play zone defense against us, we can't live and die with the 3-point shot,” Beal said. “We're trying to work on penetrating and attacking the inside instead of just passing around the perimeter. At times, we did that well, but at others we didn't attack enough.”
The Trappers also fared well in the rebounding department, owning a slight 39-36 edge there. Kati Oliverson pulled down 11 of the Trappers' rebounds in the game.
Northwest College hosts Miles in a sub-region contest on Friday night. Gillette College comes to Cabre Gym on Saturday.
“Miles is a game that we can definitely win,” Beal said. “But it means we need to do the little things well. We have to rebound and take care of the ball.”