Sophomores walked away with flowers and other lovely parting gifts from their Northwest College basketball careers.
And, at least as important, a feel-good win in their last game at Cabre Gym.
“It was awesome,” said Maddy Johnson, who fired in 15 points in the Lady Trappers’ 67-49 victory over Central Wyoming last week.
“To finish this way was important.”
It was a finish merely of home games. Northwest completed the regular season 14-16 after falling to Sheridan 59-48 on the road last Saturday.
The Lady Trappers open Region IX playoff play Friday at Casper College.
Poor shooting did the Lady Trappers in versus Sheridan, as they hit just 25 percent for the game. Dallas Petties scored 10 points and Mattie Creager, off the bench, added 9.
“We did some good things on defense,” coach Janis Beal said. “And we had good looks. We took good care of the ball. It came down to our not making shots.”
Disposing of Central Wyoming was a lot easier because the Trappers shot 48.3 percent from the floor and dominated the second half, running their lead up to more than 20 points.
“Right from the start we came out strong,” said guard Jessie Lessard (7 points, 5 assists). “It felt good right from the very start. We had it in mind, ‘We have to win.’”
Ten players broke into the scoring column, with Kira Marlow contributing 10 points and Jessica Lohrenz and Petties 8 each.
The Trappers started the game with a 9-0 run, led 22-16 after a quarter, and worked the lead to 43-30 at halftime before the pace of scoring dropped off.
“We came out with fire, something we’ve been talking about a lot,” Marlow said. “It was so much fun.”
Beal said the Lady Trappers have had difficulty holding on to leads and playing consistently for 40 minutes.
“I thought we came out in the third quarter and at least maintained,” she said.
Defeating 22-8 Casper is not viewed as an impossible challenge – if the Trappers can play their best.
“Making our shots would be a first step,” Beal said. “Rebounding is going to be an important factor.”
(Lew Freedman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)