With the 2018 portion of their season now in the books, the Northwest College women’s basketball team is a program in search of an identity. The squad went 1-2 in its last three games to head into the holiday break with a 2-12 record.
The Lady Trappers hosted Region IX powerhouse Western Nebraska Community College Friday, falling to the Lady Cougars 88-52. They rebounded Saturday with a 77-57 win against the Wyoming Women Trappers (an All-Star team made up of NWC alums) in a home game at Cody High School before losing the final game of the first semester 70-60 against Rocky Mountain JV in Billings.
“I want to see the ball start going in,” said NWC head coach Camden Levett. “We just have to start shooting the ball better.”
The Lady Trappers are now off until Jan. 5, when they host Williston State at Cabre Gym.
WNCC 88, Lady Trappers 52
The Lady Cougars came into Friday’s game at Cabre Gym riding a nine-game win streak, and quickly proved why they’re a team to beat in Region IX.
The Lady Cougars (10-2) jumped on Northwest from the opening tip-off, scoring 31 points in the first quarter alone en route to a 88-52 win.
“I take some blame on myself, but we weren’t ready to go that first quarter. We put ourselves in a hole big time,” Levett said. “Western Nebraska came in here averaging 91 points a game, and we gave them a [third] of that in the first quarter. That’s not ideal.”
Take away the quick start, and the two teams were not as far apart as the score might indicate. WNCC finished with 36 rebounds to the Lady Trappers’ 30 — and NWC was able to come in under their season average in turnovers with 20, compared to 14 for the Lady Cougars. The Lady Trappers also converted 87 percent of their free throws.
But as in earlier games this season, NWC’s field goal percentage was well below where Levett would like to be, hitting on just 27 percent of shots from the floor, compared to 51 percent for Western Nebraska.
“We took care of the press better than we have in the past, and we were able to run some of our offense,” Levett said. “We got the looks we wanted; we just didn’t knock them down. Twenty turnovers — that sounds crazy, but it’s below our average. We were taking care of presses and our press break, and we were knocking down our free throws, which is something that cost us a game [the prior] week.”
Tess Henry paced the Lady Trappers with 14 points — including four 3-pointers — and was the only NWC player to finish in double figures.
“She [Henry] changes us when she starts shooting and being aggressive,” Levett said, adding, “She did really well.”
Selena Cudney added eight points, followed by Kaylee Brown with seven and Jenna Lohrenz with six.
Tayla Sayer had another well-rounded game, finishing with four points, but leading the team in rebounds and assists with seven and five, respectively. Brown added five rebounds, while Juliana Ribeiro and Cudney pulled down four apiece. Berkley Larsen didn’t have an impressive game from a statistical standpoint, but Levett said the freshman was a contributor.
“She [Larsen] didn’t really show up on our stat sheet, but she gave us some good rebounds and some good defense,” Levett said. “She did what she was asked. She was put into a spot where she was our rim protector at 5’ 9” and she did just that.”
“We just gotta shoot the ball better,” Levett added. “We had some open looks, but 17 of 62 — we gotta do better than that.”
Lady Trappers 77, Wyoming Women Trappers 57
Saturday’s contest saw some familiar faces from years past don a Trapper jersey and take to the court at a home game at Cody High School. The Lady Trappers were able to hold off a game but overmatched All-Star team 77-57 for their second win of the season.
“We had some alumni in town, and that made it a lot of fun,” Levett said. “It was a fun event, and we were excited to have them here. But in the end, it’s a counter [toward overall records] for us, so we had to come ready to play basketball.”
The Lady Trappers had three players finish in double figures, led by Melissa Martinez with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Larsen followed with 12 points to go along with seven boards and Tayler Groll added 10.
Ribeiro just missed a double-double, netting nine points and pulling down 10 rebounds, while Mikkel McIntosh led the team in assists with six to go along with her seven points.