Perfect 10

Posted 11/29/11

Despite the wins, Trapper head coach Andy Ward came away with some disappointment over his team’s performance in Sheridan.

“We got a couple wins, but I wasn’t particularly pleased with the way we played,” Ward said. “We had far too many …

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Perfect 10


Northwest men extend streak with wins

The Northwest College men’s basketball team extended its season-opening win streak into double figures over the weekend, winning a pair of games at Sheridan College. The Trapper men opened with an 85-70 win over the Rocky Mountain College JV team and followed that with a 97-57 win over Little Big Horn.

Despite the wins, Trapper head coach Andy Ward came away with some disappointment over his team’s performance in Sheridan.

“We got a couple wins, but I wasn’t particularly pleased with the way we played,” Ward said. “We had far too many breakdowns on the defensive end in both games.”

The Trappers opened play Friday against the Rocky Mountain College JV team. It was the third time this year the Battlin’ Bears’ reserves had stepped on the floor against NWC. Unlike the first two meetings, which saw the Trappers vault to big first half advantages, the scoreboard showed only a 41-39 edge for NWC at intermission.

“Rocky got hot and hit 10 of 11 shots from 3-point range on us,” said Ward. “Give them some credit for hitting the shots, but a lot of that was on us for not rotating over or being in a position to really challenge some of those shots.”

The Bears’ Midas touch from long range cooled off after intermission, enabling the Trappers to eventually score a 15-point win.

Jeffrey Solarin produced 18 points and seven rebounds to pace the Trappers in both stat categories. Chris Hansen added 17 points while Konner Frey had 13 points and Junior Coleman finished his night with 10 points and a team-best six assists.

On Saturday, the Trappers overcame some of their defensive struggles as they outran Region IX North co-member Little Big Horn in a 97-57 victory. Northwest jumped to a 51-31 lead at halftime and was never challenged down the stretch.

The win does not count in the Region IX standings for either team.

“We were able to correct some of our shortcomings on defense on Saturday, but some of it also carried over to that night,” Ward said.

Hansen’s 15 points were tops for the Trappers in the contest. The freshman also pulled down nine rebounds to narrowly miss a double-double in the game. Frey added 13 points for Northwest. Guilherme Carabagiale and Pietro de Andrade each dropped down 12 points in the victory.

De Andrade also handed out a team-best three assists while Solarin hauled in 10 of the Trappers’ 50 rebounds in the contest.

After the weekend, Ward acknowledged part of his team’s Friday struggles may have been tied to the team’s two previous lopsided wins against the Rocky Mountain JV.

“One of the things that I try to talk to the kids about is, if they really want to be as good as they’re capable, then you have to play the same way and as hard as you can regardless of who you’re playing,” Ward said. “If you get used to playing that way, then you’ll always be on top of your game. I don’t know if it’s human nature or what, but I thought we let up against them this time.”

After 10 wins to start the season and a measure of national recognition that has moved the team to the verge of a place in the NJCAA top 20 poll, the Trappers are no longer in a position to allow for a letup. The team’s schedule takes a marked uptick in its degree of difficulty, beginning tonight (Tuesday) at Snow College.

“Snow is a very tough game,” said Ward. “They beat Casper by something like 30 points earlier this year.”

Casper began the season as the only Region IX team in the national rankings.

“We saw them early at a scrimmage, and they’re a team that’s capable to putting a lot of points on the board,” Ward said.

The team follows that contest with a neutral-court encounter with No. 10 Salt Lake that will really test its mettle. After a day off, the Trappers will be back in action for games against Region IX South foes Western Nebraska and Laramie County on Friday and Saturday. Western Nebraska, like Northwest, has received national poll votes during the early stages of the 2011-12 season.

“Western Nebraska has a great top seven and LCCC is always well-coached,” said Ward. “They’ll come out and be pretty methodical in what they run and will try to wear us down.”

With the degree of difficulty increasing on the team’s schedule, Ward indicated he’s looking for how the team performs defensively and in the rebounding department.

“We might have some off nights offensively,” Ward said. “We can generate a lot of our offense out of our defense, though. So if we can guard well and rebound well, there are enough people on the team that can shoot the ball that we should be in a position to compete if we do those two things.”

Northwest 85


Ty Ackelson 2, Guilherme Carabagiale 4, Junior Coleman 10, Pietro de Andrade 6, Hudson Filho 2, Konner Frey 13, Devin Gonsalez 2, Chris Hansen 17, Diego Pasos 8, Jeffrey Solarin 18, Zach Stanley 3.

Northwest 97

Little Big Horn 57

Ty Ackelson 3, Jeremy Beehler 8, Guilherme Carabagiale 12, Junior Coleman 4, Pietro de Andrade 12, Italo De Oliveira 2, Hudson Filho 2, Konner Frey 13, Chris Hansen 15, Diego Pasos 9, Jeffrey Solarin 6, Zach Stanley 6, Jonathan Wakelin 5.