The 6-10 sophomore out of Quebec, Canada, flew to the rim for three emphatic dunks during a 23-point night that helped spark the Northwest College men’s basketball team to an 80-57 victory over Dawson Community College at Cabre Gym in Powell on …
Sophomore tallies 23 points in blowout win
It was starting to feel as if Chris Boucher was permanently airborne.
The 6-10 sophomore out of Quebec, Canada, flew to the rim for three emphatic dunks during a 23-point night that helped spark the Northwest College men’s basketball team to an 80-57 victory over Dawson Community College at Cabre Gym in Powell on Dec. 11.
The victory was NWC’s fourth over Dawson this season and second at home, moving the Trappers to 12-2 this year to finish out the 2014 half of its schedule. NWC won’t return to action until Jan. 9 (at home versus Sheridan College), so Boucher did his best in making his team’s final game of the year a memorable one.
“These fans are so great to play for ... they get so crazy,” Boucher said. “I just try to get them excited and pumped up.”
Boucher riled the crowd up for the first time in the game’s early going, catching a high pass from Ammar Rehman near the hoop and slamming it home for an alley-oop dunk and a 16-9 lead. Boucher wowed fans late in the first half when E.J. Hubbard stole a Dawson pass and found Boucher breaking down the court. Boucher then elevated for a booming tomahawk dunk that pushed NWC’s cushion to 40-21.
Nicky Desilien found Boucher again near the midway point of the second half, tossing up a pass that Boucher handled with his back to the rim before driving it home for a reverse dunk that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Even Desilien had to admire the play.
“Did you like that?” the sophomore guard quipped after the game.
In light of the handful of highlights, Dawson managed to keep the game close early on. The Trappers traded 3-pointers with the Buccaneers on the game’s first four possessions. After Keegan Border gave Dawson a 3-0 lead with a trey, Hubbard answered with his own. Elbert Jones then knocked down another triple for DCC before Boucher got in on the fun.
After a Jake Buck jumper had Dawson ahead 8-6, Colin May drilled a three for NWC and the Trappers never trailed again.
However, NWC coach Brian Erickson wasn’t happy with his team’s willingness to settle beyond the arc, especially after a few of the Trappers’ attempts from downtown were off target. From the Trapper sideline, Erickson could be heard screaming at his team to attack the basket.
“I wasn’t happy with the guys getting a little lazy and not wanting to go inside,” Erickson said. “We needed to get inside and show a willingness to pressure their defense a little bit more.”
NWC quickly appeased its coach on its next possession, as Desilien preceded Boucher’s dunk-a-thon with a jam of his own off a steal-and-assist from May. Boucher then followed up with a layup.
“I think we just needed to calm down and play better basketball,” Boucher added. “It’s not good to shoot threes all day long. Sometimes you have to drive to the basket and make things happen that way.”
NWC didn’t convert another 3-pointer until under 4:30 minutes remained in the first half, but built a 29-16 advantage anyways thanks to a barrage of short jumpers and layups.
Back-to-back layups from Boucher and Desilien left the Trappers in control at 44-23 at the break.
NWC’s offense continued its surge into the second half, scoring the first nine points after intermission. Boucher knocked down his second trey during the run to give the Trappers a commanding 53-23 lead.
“I just wanted to play hard and continue to build myself back up,” said Boucher, who has scored 20 or more points in three straight games. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who scores as long as we win, but I like to do my part, too.”
Eleven of the 14 Trappers that played scored, and three reached double figures behind Boucher, with Desilien, Hubbard and reserve Dan Milota chipping in 10 apiece. Milota, who was a starter to begin the season, said he prefers coming off the bench and giving his team a spark under less pressure.
“I feel so much better [coming off the bench] than when I was a starter,” Milota said. “I feel like I can still play just as hard and maybe catch the opponent off guard a little bit.”
Milota, who is a native of the Czech Republic, also echoed Boucher’s comments about NWC’s home crowd.
“I love the fans. When I played back home, there would be like 20 or 30 people at the games ... it was a quiet gym,” Milota said. “But over here, fans are just crazy. They are with you the whole game.”
When Sheridan comes to Cabre Gym for a 7:30 p.m. matchup on Jan. 9, it will mark the beginning of Region IX play for both teams. Erickson said that while he is pleased with his team’s first-half performance, he knows a tough road awaits.
“Our conference has some good competition, and that makes me very eager to see what happens when we really get tested,” Erickson said. “But we’ve been playing good basketball, so I’m eager to get the Sheridans and the Gillettes here at Cabre Gym to show them what we’re about.”