Given the recent extremely cold weather, it may not be notable to say Northwest College guard Reme Torbert has ice water in his veins....
“I like those games,” Torbert said of willing the Trappers to victory with his 34 points
Twenty-seven of them came in the second half of Northwest’s last regular-season home game after he sat on the bench with two fouls much of the first half.
“He was just on fire,” said Trapper coach Brian Erickson. “He carried us. He took everybody on his back.”
The win lifted Northwest’s record to 14-14 following a 111-102 double-overtime loss to Miles Community College on Wednesday and the official posting of a 2-0 forfeit win over Little Big Horn.
A shortage of healthy and eligible players led to Little Big Horn’s forfeit Feb. 10. The Trappers have regular-season road games left with Gillette and Sheridan, Region IX’s top teams, but cannot host a playoff game.
Northwest’s game against Miles was a wild one.
The Trappers, short a couple of players, fell behind 52-34 in the first half, then flipped the score to make it 84-84 at the end of regulation. Both teams scored 11 points in the first overtime.
Former Cody star Blake Hinze fouled out and three other Trappers had four fouls, requiring Erickson’s judicious use of personnel.
“We didn’t have the depth to go into two overtimes,” he said. “We were gassed.”
Forward Lagio Grantsaan scored 27 points and added 14 rebounds for Northwest. Luc Lombardy had 21 points and nine rebounds, Torbert 17 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, Laukan Taufa 13 and Jordan Banks 10.
“I believe we could have had it,” Grantsaan said.
Casper, 19-9, was tough to conquer because the Thunderbirds are such dangerous 3-point shooters. Wilfried Likayi scored 29 points and Nolan Bertain 28 as the team hit 14 threes.
“They have talent,” Erickson said of numerous Thunderbirds earmarked for NCAA Division I play.
Northwest led by as many as 13 points before Casper put together a 16-point run before halftime.
After the intermission Torbert, a 6-foot-3 freshman from Southfield, Mich., did his Russell Westbrook imitation.
Grantsaan hit two shots wrapped around three Torbert 3-pointers to return the lead to the Trappers.
“Basketball is a game of runs,” Torbert said.
After that stretch, except for the final 20 seconds, the game was nerve-wrackingly close. There were seven ties and 19 baskets that left a team one shot off the lead.
At 81-81, Lombardy (17 points, seven rebounds), made two free throws, but a Bertain three-pointer gave Casper an 84-83 lead.
The next Northwest possession was huge. Jordan Banks (10 points) fed Torbert on the perimeter. He swished a three-pointer and was fouled. His rare four-point play was the final lead change.
Umar Jalloh and Banks added late scores in the closing seconds.
“We practice what to do against good teams,” Lombardy said. “We play good against good teams.”
This is not the first time Torbert has been the go-to finisher. On other occasions he led with drives to the hoop. This time the big hoops came from the outside.
“I think it was me being aggressive,” Torbert said. “It was just what the defense gave me.”