Loss Against Pioneers NWC’s First In Conference Play
The Northwest College Lady Trappers traveled to Little Big Horn College Wednesday, Jan. 17, coming home with a 94-41 win. Then on Saturday, Miles Community College came to Cabre Gym and went back to Montana with a 68-55 victory.
LADY TRAPPERS 94, LITTLE BIG HORN COLLEGE 41
Little Big Horn College (1-14, 0-3) has only five players on the roster and had a player foul out midway through the fourth quarter.
“We kind of started to create some bad habits,” said head coach Janis Beal. “In games like that, what’s really hard is to stay disciplined and stay fundamental and we were doing things in that game that I think kind of led into Miles.”
One of the bad habits was turnovers.
“We didn’t take care of the ball in Little Big Horn and it’s not like they were pressing — it was just us being careless with the ball,” Beal said.
The Lady Trappers (15-5, 3-1) had 16 turnovers and “we shot 50 percent from the free throw line; we’re not knocking down free throws,” Beal said.
The Lady Trappers have averaged 69.5 percent for the season at the charity stripe.
“We scored 94 points but we didn’t shoot well,” Beal said. “We weren’t hitting shots we normally make.”
The team shot 49.4 percent from the field and 17.6 percent from the 3-point line. The team’s averaging 44.9 percent from the field and 33 percent from the arc.
“I think our post players played a little more aggressive with demanding the ball and getting position, so that was a real positive,” Beal said. “But we’ve got to do it when we’re playing against higher caliber players too.”
Julynne da Silva Sa led the team with 16 points, followed by Dallas Petties with 13. Charri McArthur led the team in assists with five and steals with three.
“In a sense it was a win and a big win, but some of those negative bad habits we were creating kind of followed us into the next game,” Beal said.
MILES COMMUNITY COLLEGE 68, NORTHWEST COLLEGE 55
In a game that saw the Lady Trappers turn over the ball a whopping 32 times, NWC fell to Miles Community College on Saturday, 68-55.
“Credit to them: They are very aggressive defensively,” Beal said of the Lady Pioneers. “We knew taking care of the ball was going to be a huge factor and we did not do that.”
Two of NWC’s leading scorers — Marlow and Petties — combined for just five points, as the Lady Trappers struggled to get into an offensive rhythm.
“The disappointing thing with that game is that on the defensive end, we played extremely well,” Beal said. “We did a lot of things that we needed to do. They’re a very high scoring team. They shoot a lot of threes. They’re very consistent with that.”
MCC (16-4, 2-2) has a season average of 84.2 points per game, but was held well below that by the Lady Trappers. The Lady Pioneers’ 3-point shooting percentage is 35.5 percent (or about 10 per game) and on Saturday, they shot 25 percent and made only three 3-point baskets.
“They execute extremely well on offense and just half court offense,” Beal said of MCC. “I thought we defended that well, but it was the turnovers that led to so many easy buckets for them — where we didn’t have anybody around them; it was just a wide open layup. And those all resulted from us not taking care of the ball on the offensive end.”
MCC had 22 steals in the game, while the Lady Trappers had seven.
The Lady Trappers shot 57.1 percent from the free throw line, 18.8 percent from the arc and 38.5 percent from the field.
The team was led in scoring by Alexi Payne with 12 points, followed by da Silva Sa with 11. Dani McManamen added 10.
Tayla Sayer led on the boards with eight, six on defense and two on offense.
Next up for the Lady Trappers was a road game against Casper College on Wednesday. The Lady Thunderbirds (18-2, 4-0) are ranked No. 22 in the nation.
“I want to focus more on us and how we do and taking care of the ball,” Beal said. “I thought there were times we lacked some of the effort in the game we played against Miles and we haven’t really had that a lot this year. So hopefully we can kind of focus on that heading into Casper — just flat-out playing hard and doing the little fundamental things that we need to.”
On Saturday, the Lady Trappers will host Gillette College at 2 p.m. Both Casper and Gillette are conference games, as will be every game for the remainder of the season.
“Every game from here on out — and you can see from scores of teams beating other teams in the region — there’s not a given game. There’s really not one you can go into and not really play,” Beal said. “It’s still going to come down to the end. It’s going to be a tight race for seeding in Region IX.”