Six weeks removed from its last win, the Northwest College women’s basketball team continued to struggle at home and on the road last week. The Lady Trappers lost to a pair of Region IX North foes in Central Wyoming and division-leading Casper.
Playing against Central on Jan. 23 at Cabre Gym, Northwest spotted the Lady Rustlers a 22-10 lead after the first quarter and never quite recovered, losing 74-69 despite a spirited second-half comeback. On the road at Casper College Saturday, a lack of consistency hurt the Lady Trappers as Casper built a 34-23 halftime lead en route to a 65-38 rout.
“I’ve challenged this team to handle the other team’s runs a little better,” said Northwest head coach Camden Levett. “When the other team is clicking and making shots, we tend to get down on each other and start to point fingers a little bit. Kids are going to make shots at this level, they’re on scholarship for a reason. We have to do a better job handling that. We have to stay together and stay the course.”
Central Wyoming 74, Lady Trappers 69
For three of four quarters Wednesday against Central Wyoming, the Lady Trappers looked like a team with a lot more talent than their record would indicate: NWC outscored the Lady Rustlers 59-52 in the game’s final three frames.
But man, that first quarter.
With Northwest unable to get anything going in the game’s first 10 minutes, Central jumped out to a 22-10 lead, then hung on for dear life, edging out the Lady Trappers 74-69.
“That was a bad first quarter,” Levett said. “But we tied the second quarter [17-17] and won the third and the fourth. But again, we put ourselves in a hole.”
Down 12 points and with a frustrating season starting to take its toll, it would have been easy for the Lady Trappers to phone it in for the rest of the contest. But that’s not what this team is about, according to Levett. Northwest battled back in the second half, and even tied the game at one point, a testament to the team’s resilience.
“At halftime we came in to the locker room and knew that something needed to change,” said Lady Trapper sophomore Kaylee Brown. “So we changed everything. We changed our offense and our defense, which helped create more energy and gave us a lot of opportunities.”
Going forward, Levett said he’d like to see the team sustain that level of excitement and execution for a full four quarters.
“With this team, we’ve played some really good quarters of basketball,” he said. “We all know we’re capable of making a run, but it comes when we get energy and get stops on defense. I’ve challenged them to lock teams up defensively, toughen up, get some stops and good things will happen on the other end. We’ve definitely seen glimpses of that.”
Four Lady Trappers scored in double figures, led by Kaylee Brown with 13 points, to go along with four boards and five assists. Juliana Ribeiro and Selena Cudney had identical double-doubles with 11 points and 11 boards apiece, while Tess Henry finished with 10 points.
Tayla Sayer chipped in eight points and added two assists and two steals.
“Everybody who played, scored, and everybody got a rebound,” Levett said. “Everybody contributed in some way, so that’s what you want to see.”
Northwest won the battle of the boards 39-23, and shot 40 percent from the field. Asked what the team can do differently moving forward, Levett said it will come down to how the team continues to respond to adversity.
“We play talented teams, they’re going to make some runs,” he said. “We just have to weather the storm and go on runs of our own.”
Casper 65, Lady Trappers 38
It was a banged-up Lady Trappers squad that made the trip to Casper Saturday, with a couple of key players out due to injury. The Lady Thunderbirds took advantage, as they built a 34-23 halftime lead.
Northwest struggled to get anything going in the third quarter, scoring just three points in the frame. They fared a bit better in the fourth but lost 65-38, shooting just 20 percent from the floor for the game.
The Lady Trappers were unable to find an answer for Casper’s Lucie Hoskova, who led all scorers with 20 points and posted a double-double, grabbing 14 boards.
Brown and Berkley Larsen paced the Lady Trappers with nine points apiece, with Brown hitting the team’s only two 3-pointers. Melissa Martinez and Cudney followed with five points each. Ribeiro and Sayer netted four points each, with Sayer and Cudney leading the team in rebounds with seven each.
The Lady Trappers host a pair of Region IX North opponents this week. They took on Laramie County CC Wednesday, and will square off against Eastern Wyoming Saturday afternoon.