The moment set in for Kierra Cutright as she stepped on the court on Nov. 6 in Northwest College’s scrimmage against Dawson Community College. It was her first time playing in an organized …
The moment set in for Kierra Cutright as she stepped on the court on Nov. 6 in Northwest College’s scrimmage against Dawson Community College. It was her first time playing in an organized setting in over a year and a half.
“It felt really good,” Cutright said.
A transfer from Gillette College, Cutright is expected to be a key contributor to this year’s Lady Trappers squad. After a strong freshman year in 2018-19 for the Pronghorns, Cutright was forced to sit out last season, due to academic ineligibility.
With so much time since her last competition, it took Cutright time to get comfortable in the exhibition. But shortly after, she found a groove.
“I was a little nervous at first because I didn’t know what my game was going to be,” Cutright said. “I felt like I could’ve done better, but I felt like I did pretty well overall.”
NWC head coach Camden Levett noted Cutright as one of the Trappers’ top performers in their two scrimmages on that date, notching six total steals and “working well in the post.”
Rewind to Cutright’s first season of college basketball, and she was a force in NJCAA Region IX. As a freshman for the Pronghorns, Cutright averaged 11.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest.
She didn’t realize that introductory year at Gillette would be her last in the program. But after missing the 2019-20 season, Gillette leaders opted to cut their athletics programs in June; that left Cutright to search for a new program.
Former Gillette coach Liz Lewis reached out to Levett, telling him that Cutright was searching for a new home and had taken care of her grades. Cutright faced NWC twice as a freshman, tallying 14 points in two victories.
“She could do anything,” Levett said of his first impression of Cutright. “She guarded our best player and was really impressive.”
For Cutright, it was an easy decision to come to Northwest.
“I started talking to coach, and my Gillette coaches were like, ‘I think this would be the best fit for you,’” Cutright said. “I just decided to come here, and I’m glad I did.”
Between the school’s small-town feel and the program’s family mantra, Cutright has adjusted to this transition well.
“I really like it here,” said Cutright, who’s originally from Gillette. “I like the practices, and I like the girls that I play with, so it’s a good place.”
Though the transfer has enjoyed her time in Powell thus far, her first few months on campus have been unconventional.
Between positive COVID-19 tests forcing a three-week break from practice and having a few international players absent from campus due to visa complications, it has been a strange last few months for NWC women’s basketball. As a result, much of the team’s focus has been on improving skills on an individual basis.
The next semester is just around the corner, and the first-year Trapper said she’s excited to see how the team gels once every player is on campus.
“To get all the girls here so we can build chemistry together is going to be great,” Cutright said. “It’s going to help us a lot to get that team dynamic. When everybody’s on the same page as a team, the team just works so much better together.”
Northwest is scheduled to kick off the 2021 season on Friday, Jan. 22, the first of a three-day tournament hosted at Salt Lake Community College.