“One of the keys tonight for us was that we felt we needed to come out with tremendous defensive intensity,” said Trapper head coach Andy Ward. “Mitch is one of the best on-ball defenders in the region. He works really hard and he …
Roundball larceny helps NWC men top century markSophomore Mitch Ackelson recorded four of his game-high seven steals in the first two minutes of Tuesday's contest against the Rocky Mountain College JV. The effort was part of a larger 23-steal night by the Trapper men, who won their season opener in emphatic fashion 104-56 at Cabre Gym. The Trappers menaced the reserves of the defending NAIA national champions to the tune of 36 turnovers. Nine different Trapper players finished with at least one steal in the contest. In addition to Ackelson's seven, Harlem, N.Y., freshman Demetrice Jacobs added five takeaways as Northwest College harrassed the Bears over the full length of Ken Rochlitz Court.
“One of the keys tonight for us was that we felt we needed to come out with tremendous defensive intensity,” said Trapper head coach Andy Ward. “Mitch is one of the best on-ball defenders in the region. He works really hard and he set the tone early. We were solid with our ball pressure and that generated some offensive opportunities for us.”
Did it ever. It took the Trappers less than 10 minutes to amass 37 points on their side of the scoreboard as the team rolled out to a 24-point lead midway through the opening half. While the pace slowed, halftime still saw the Trappers in front 53-28 on the scoreboard.
Just to prove the early 37-point outburst wasn't a fluke, Northwest used the opening nine minutes of the second half to add another 31 points onto the home side of the ledger.
Six players finished in double digits for the Trappers in the contest, led by the tandem of sophomore Casper Hesseldal and freshman Alfonzo Hubbard. Both players finished with 20 in the contest. Jacobs added 12 points while Ackelson, Chantz Ramos and Valdez Green each dropped in 11 points.
“We had a really nice team effort out there,” said Ward. “We think this team has depth. We've got guys that are capable of playing multiple positions. Hopefully we can maintain this sort of balance.”
Hopefully the team can maintain its blistering shooting percentage as well. The Trappers sizzled the nets to the tune of 64.7 percent accuracy on 44-for-68 shooting from the floor. The team knocked down six of its 11 three-point attempts.
Ward's troops don't have long to enjoy their opening night win. The game was the first in a sequence of four games in five nights for the Trapper men. The team plays at Laramie County tonight (Thursday) before playing Friday and Saturday in the Wells Fargo Tip-Off Classic in Casper.
Northwest College (104) — Ackelson 11, Jacobs 12, Andreotti 3, Hesseldal 20, Hubbard 20, Patterson 8, Moats 1, Ramos 11, Green 11, Dossing 1, Tucker 6.
Rocky Mountain JV (56) — Ferguson 6, Graham 3, Crandell 9, Ashely 2, Whelchel 2, Clark 9, Burningham 6, Neumann 4, Hopkins 9, Barnett 6.