Trapper men split home weekend

Face All-Stars on Saturday

Posted 12/7/23

A nearly completed comeback and a strong scoring first half led to the Northwest College men’s basketball team splitting a pair of home contests. The Trappers came up short 84-78 after rallying …

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Trapper men split home weekend

Face All-Stars on Saturday


A nearly completed comeback and a strong scoring first half led to the Northwest College men’s basketball team splitting a pair of home contests. The Trappers came up short 84-78 after rallying against North Idaho on Thursday, before a first half blitz helped the Trappers move past the Real Salt Lake Utah prep team 83-63 on Saturday.



Getting back on the court the Trappers (3-8) welcomed the Cardinals (8-2) to Cabre Gym to begin a string of home games.

A tight contest early had the teams back and forth battling for each basket, before an 8-0 run by the visitors opened up a double-digit lead at 21-10 with 12:28 left in the first half.

Northwest made small runs here and there, but North Idaho continued to respond and maintain its double-digit advantage through much of the first half.

A small run late appeared to get the Trappers back in it, but a basket plus the foul at the horn gave the Cardinals a 46-35 lead at the half.

North Idaho pushed the lead out to 50-37 to start the second half, before a Trapper flurry got them back in the game.

A 3-pointer by Will Hemme sparked the run, which was later capped off by another Hemme 3-pointer to end a 19-0 run by Northwest to claim a 56-50 lead with just over 13 minutes left.

“I thought in that run we did a solid job defensively and strung some possessions together,” coach Andy Ward said.

Over the next two minutes the Cardinals had an answer, scoring nine of the next 11 points and reclaiming the lead 59-58.

North Idaho tried to pull away, but Northwest kept the contest close and trailed 68-66 with 5:30 remaining.

A small run over the next two minutes gave the Cardinals a 75-68 advantage, which was enough for the visitors to pull away late and end with an 84-78 win.

“Even though we came out on the short end with a six point loss, there were some really good things out of that game. That’s what I stressed to the guys,” Ward said. “We have to stay with the process of getting better. I thought we played a pretty good basketball game against a good team.”

Northwest fell behind North Idaho at the free throw line, with the Trappers going 4-7 while the Cardinals were 17-23.

Milton Rodriguez Santana led with 20 points, just ahead of Hemme with 18 and six assists. Kolter Merritt led in rebounds with a 13 point, 11 rebound double-double. Drew Larson was the other Trapper in double figures with 12.



Regrouping before Saturday, the Trappers matched up against Real Salt Lake Utah prep.

The visitors came out strong, jumping out of the gate to the tune of a 9-0 lead after the first three minutes.

Northwest did not panic, scoring 11 of the next 13 points and tying the game at 11 with 13  minutes left in the first half.

A minute later Larson made a jump shot that sparked the Trapper offense, going on a 14-0 run over the next eight minutes.

“We turned them over a little bit and started to pick up more full court,” Ward said. “We got the tempo up a little bit and that helped us.”

The Trappers continued the scoring spree, extending the lead out to 37-13 with just under two minutes left in the first half, to finish with a 41-18 advantage at the break.

Northwest pushed the lead out further, growing it to as many as 28 with a 55-27 edge with 14:57 left in the game.

Real Salt Lake cut the lead down to as few as 15, but Northwest finished the game with an 83-63 win.

“We didn’t start the game or finish the game like I would’ve liked,” Ward said. 

Rodriguez Santana led with 15 points and three steals, Larson finished with 15 points, Colin Hayes finished with 14 points, Preston Condie had 13 points and Merritt had 12 points and eight rebounds.

Kaden Christensen led with five assists.



Northwest will continue its stretch of home games, starting with Lake Region State College (2-9) out of Devils Lake, North Dakota, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

“They have two really good interior players that we are going to have to do a good job on,” Ward said. “This time of year we’ve got to prepare for them, but I want us to be more aggressive defensively and play at a quicker pace but under control while being more aggressive on the offensive end too.”

The Trappers will then play against an All-Star team made up of former college players at 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.



Total rebounds then offensive rebounds in ()

Points — Milton Rodriguez Santana 20, Will Hemme 18, Kolter Merritt 13, Drew Larson 12, Preston Condie 8, Colin Hayes 4, Krue Stubbs 3

Rebounds — Kolter Merritt 11 (6), Milton Rodriguez Santana 4 (1), Drew Larson 4 (1), Preston Condie 4, Will Hemme 3 (1), Colin Hayes 2 (1), Carter Clark 1, Kaden Christensen 1

Assists — Will Hemme 6, Drew Larson 3, Milton Rodriguez Santana 2, Krue Stubbs 2, Kolter Merritt 2, Preston Condie 1, Kaden Christensen 1

Steals — Krue Stubbs 2, Kolter Merritt 2, Milton Rodriguez Santana 1, Kaden Christensen 1



Points — Milton Rodriguez Santana 15, Drew Larson 15, Colin Hayes 14, Preston Condie 13, Kolter Merritt 12, Kaden Christensen 7, Will Hemme 4, Max Postiglione 3

Rebounds — Kolter Merritt 8 (4), Drew Larson 6 (4), Milton Rodriguez Santana 5 (1), Colin Hayes 5 (1), Carter Clark 4 (1), Preston Condie 4 (1), Will Hemme 3, Kaden Christensen 3, Krue Stubbs 2 (1), Max Postiglione 1

Assists — Kaden Christensen 5, Carter Clark 4, Kolter Merritt 3, Preston Condie 3, Will Hemme 2, Drew Larson 2, Colin Hayes 2, Milton Rodriguez Santana 1, Krue Stubbs 1

Steals — Milton Rodriguez Santana 3, Krue Stubbs 2, Preston Condie 2, Colin Hayes 2, Drew Larson 1, Jean Carlo Villanueva 1

Blocks — Preston Condie 2, Drew Larson 1, Colin Hayes 1, Kaden Christensen 1