Last second loss: Trapper women fall in regular season finale

Posted 3/7/24

Needing a win to secure a home play-in game, the Northwest College women’s basketball team had a win snatched away by the final shot in Gillette on Saturday, as the Trappers fell on the wrong …

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Last second loss: Trapper women fall in regular season finale


Needing a win to secure a home play-in game, the Northwest College women’s basketball team had a win snatched away by the final shot in Gillette on Saturday, as the Trappers fell on the wrong side of a 72-71 buzzer beating defeat to the Pronghorns. The loss sets up a rematch of the two teams to open the region tournament.



Heading into the contest both teams had an opportunity to earn a home play-in game, with the winner earning that right after Laramie County Community College lost both of its games last week.

Both teams came out firing in the contest, with the Trappers (15-14 overall, 4-8 Region IX North) holding a slight 14-11 lead over the Pronghorns (15-15 overall 4-8 Region IX North) midway through the first quarter.

Northwest created separation the rest of the quarter, outscoring the hosts 15-7 and establishing a double-digit lead after the first up 29-18.

It stretched out to 31-18, before the Pronghorns worked their way back into the game.

Gillette used a 13-3 stretch over the first five minutes to cut the deficit down to one possession.

Despite the run the Trappers continued to hold off the hosts, and took a 43-41 lead into the locker room.

Early on Northwest pushed the lead further out to 48-41, before Gillette once again made a run the second half of the quarter.

That push gave the Pronghorns the lead at 49-48, before the Trappers took the lead back.

The teams swapped back and forth to end the quarter but Northwest ultimately took a 52-51 lead into the final quarter.

An early run helped Gillette build a five point lead up 62-57 with six minutes left in the fourth.

Northwest responded with an 8-0 run by Roxanne Rogers and Tayva Phillips to take the lead back up 65-62.

Gillette regained the edge at 67-65, before the two teams eventually battled to a 69 all tie with 1:30 remaining.

The Pronghorns held a 70-69 lead after a free throw before a Carolina Ruiz jumper gave the Trappers the lead back with 22 seconds remaining.

Gillette missed a shot and Northwest rebounded before getting fouled, calling a timeout to advance the ball and hoping to run out the final five seconds.

Out of the timeout Northwest turned the ball over, and Gillette had one last hope with four seconds left.

The ball was lobbed deep, and worked inside, leading to a layup at the buzzer and a 72-71 loss for the Trappers.

“It was a tough pill to swallow; however, I didn’t want to dwell on that,” coach Lauren Davis said. “We knew that we lost the chance to host but we always talk about moving on to the next best action, which means we win the next game on the road to keep our season going.”

Phillips led with 20 points, six assists and tied for the team lead with four steals.

Kamalani Anitielu had 15 points, Ruiz had 12 points and led with eight rebounds while Kelsi Nicholson had 10 points as the final Trapper in double-figures.



The Trappers will open the postseason on the road in Gillette this weekend, taking on the Pronghorns in a Region IX North play-in game.

Northwest is the No. 5 seed heading into the postseason, holding its position despite Gillette catapulting itself from the No. 6 seed up to No. 4 with a pair of wins last week.

“We just need to tighten things up defensively on our end, we had some miscommunications and missed box outs which hurt us. We need to be better offensively as well,” Davis said. “Props to Gillette — they had the best (shooting) percentages they have had all season. So for us, our main goal is to just be better in all categories this weekend and compete.”

Gillette, Northwest and Laramie County Community College were all tied with a 4-8 region record.

Gillette got the No. 4 seed due to a 3-1 record against Northwest and LCCC, Northwest was No. 5 due to a 2-2 record and LCCC was No. 6 due to having a 1-3 record.

The Trappers will take on the Pronghorns on Friday night at 6 p.m. with the winner advancing to Casper next week for the Region IX tournament.



Total rebounds then offensive rebounds in ()

Points — Tayva Phillips 20, Kamalani Anitielu 15, Carolina Ruiz 12, Kelsi Nicholson 10, Roxanne Rogers 8, Bianca Silva 5, Isabella Gurie 1

Rebounds — Carolina Ruiz 8 (2), Kelsi Nicholson 6 (3), Kamalani Anitielu 4 (1), Roxanne Rogers 3, Tayva Phillips 2, Isabella Gurie 2 (1), Bianca Silva 1 (1), Selen Ucek 1 (1)

Assists — Tayva Phillips 6, Kamalani Anitielu 3, Kelsi Nicholson 2, Bianca Silva 2, Carolina Ruiz 2, Selen Ucak 1, Isabella Gurie 1

Steals — Tayva Phillips 4, Bianca Silva 4, Roxanne Rogers 3, Carolina Ruiz 2, Kamalani Anitielu 1



No. 1 Casper College will host the Region IX Tournament next week, No. 2 Western Wyoming also receives a first round bye.

No. 3 Eastern Wyoming vs. No. 6 LCCC 5:30 p.m. on Friday

No. 4 Gillette College vs. No. 5 Northwest 6 p.m. on Friday

No. 7 Central Wyoming is eliminated from postseason competition.