Trappers lose back-to-back games to start region play

Posted 3/4/21

Last week’s Northwest College men’s basketball games weren’t the start to Region IX play head coach Jay Collins hoped for.

The Trappers dropped games to Central Wyoming College …

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Trappers lose back-to-back games to start region play

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Last week’s Northwest College men’s basketball games weren’t the start to Region IX play head coach Jay Collins hoped for.

The Trappers dropped games to Central Wyoming College and Laramie County Community College, beginning the conference slate 0-2. Northwest started the week in Riverton, falling 88-83 on Feb. 24, and wrapped it up at home on Saturday, dropping an 82-74 contest against LCCC.

In the first game, NWC competed for all 40 minutes, never trailing by double digits. The Trappers shot respectably, posting a 43.5% clip from the field, but so did CWC, which shot well above 50%. 

Many of the Rustlers’ attempts came inside from offensive rebounds, as they dominated the boards. The final rebounding margin was 44 to 29 in favor of CWC. 

“It was a determining factor,” Collins said. “They didn’t have to pull it out and run their offense again. They were able to convert rebounds into baskets.”

Though NWC didn’t play a poor offensive game, key turnovers and missed free throws in the final minute turned a two-point CWC lead to five points, allowing the Rustlers to secure the win. 

A few days later, defensive lapses helped LCCC push out to a quick lead in Cabre Gym. Countless easy looks from inside gave the Golden Eagles a 36-23 lead at halftime. 

“They were getting shots right at the basket,” Collins said. “They had so many easy dunks and layups, and we have to do a better job protecting the basket.”

It wasn’t enough to change the outcome, but NWC played much better in the second half. The Trappers outscored CWC 51-46 in the final 20 minutes, shooting near 50%. 

While Collins admitted that his team needs to learn to play sound basketball for both halves, he was impressed with his team’s resilience in the second half, despite a disadvantage in size. 

“I love that there’s no quit in them,” Collins said. “They’re tough and play to the buzzer.”

Jaren Fritz led NWC with 19 points in the CWC game, while Jerome Mabry posted a team-high 25 points on 11-of-16 shooting against LCCC. 

Mabry’s impressive outing Saturday came while being guarded by Nolan Causwell, a 6-foot, 10-inch post. Though Mabry stands 6-foot-5, he was able to make an impact — something he does often. 

“He does everything for us, even though he’s undersized,” Collins said of Mabry. “He’s our only returner who has played a bunch of minutes, and he just wants us to win.”

In the latter of Northwest’s first two conference games, the bench only contributed six points. For the Trappers to contend for a title, they will need to see more from their role players. 

“We’re going to need people to step up from the bench and give us a boost,” Collins said. 

Both of the Trappers’ Region IX games were competitive and provided a glimpse of what lies ahead. As NWC continues in league play, Collins hopes to see his team come out on top in what he expects to be similar games.

“We have nine guaranteed games, and that’s nine more dogfights,” Collins said. “Just execute better and figure out a way to finish on the right side of the scoreboard.”

   

Central Wyoming 88, Northwest 83

Points — Jaren Fritz 19, Jerome Mabry 15, Gabriel Gutierrez 14, Hayden Peterson 10, Andre Loigu 9, Seyi Oyeku 7, Jahquel Goss 7, Jacob Schilder 2

Rebounds — Oyeku 7, Gutierrez 6, Mabry 4, Peterson 2, Fritz 2, Loigu 2, Goss 2, Liam Guthrie 1

Assists — Oyeku 5

    

Laramie County 82, Northwest 74

Points — Mabry 25, Fritz 14, Oyeku 12, Gutierrez 11, Peterson 6, Andre Loigu 2, Goss 2, Guthrie 2

Rebounds — Oyeku 8, Gutierrez 6, Goss 5, Peterson 3, Mabry 3, Fritz 2, Loigu 1

Assists — Oyeku 5, Peterson 4, Gutierrez 4

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