Northwest College

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Men's Basketball Splits Coach Collins Memorial

Courtesy of the Powell Tribune

A weekend filled with emotion saw the Northwest men’s basketball team finish the inaugural Coach Collins Heart of a Champion Memorial Classic at Cabre Gym with a 1-1 record, defeating the All-Stars 97-65 on Friday before losing to North Idaho College 88-65 on Saturday. 

Kicking off the weekend on Friday night, the Trappers (6-2) squared off with a team of mostly former Northwest basketball players in an effort to maintain their unbeaten home record.

“It was fantastic to see them,” coach Andy Ward said. “Some of those guys I didn’t know but three of them I coached.”

The All-Stars came out competing early, holding the Northwest squad to poor shooting over the first five minutes and holding a 9-2 lead.

Northwest stormed back to take a 10-9 lead, before the two teams battled back and forth for the remainder of the first half.

After a difficult first half the Trappers headed into the locker room trailing 36-34.

Heading out in the second half, Northwest started strong and took a 42-40 lead.

“We were settling for threes and they weren’t rolling in the first half,” Ward said. “I think the guys made a nice adjustment getting the ball in the high post in the second half and picked up the tempo.”

After a thunderous dunk by Christian Adun, the Trappers went on a 19-2 run to blow the lead open and pull away from the All-Stars.

Northwest continued to extend its lead, outscoring the All-Stars 63-29 in the second half en route to a 97-65 victory.

“Halftime was great, we had a fantastic crowd,” Ward said. “I really appreciate everybody coming out to the game in memory of coach Collins and the tournament — it was great, we look forward to continuing this and looking to build this.”

Kolter Merritt led the way with 18 points, followed by David Ayala with 17. Juan Pablo Camargo Tellez finished with 14 and Brash Emery had 11 points.

Mack Page led the way with 10 rebounds and Tellez finished with five steals.

Ricardo Bodra, who played at NWC from 2008-2010, led the All Stars with 19 points.  

On Saturday the Trappers came up against North Idaho (2-0), a junior college that is a member of the Northwest Athletic Conference, which competes separately from the NJCAA.

North Idaho jumped on top of the Trappers from the onset, using a high-paced, high-pressure defense to jump out to an early 9-2 lead.

The Trappers got their feet under them, but were unable to chip away at the lead throughout the first 10 minutes.

With Northwest trailing only 22-15, the Cardinals used a 20-7 run to open up a 20-point lead through a high-paced transition offense alongside knockdown shooting.

“Hats off to North Idaho, they are a great team,” Ward said. “We needed to keep them out of transition and off of the glass and they really beat us up on the glass.”

North Idaho maintained that lead heading into the locker room, with the Trappers trailing 48-27.

Continuing to trail 60-38, a 13-0 run sparked by a pair of 3-pointers from Emery cut the lead down to nine.

The Trappers got within eight, but Northwest had no answer for North Idaho guard Cobi Campbell, who finished with 29 points on 10-13 shooting.

“The guys made a terrific run to cut into the lead,” Ward said. “We went into a zone and I probably kept us in that a little too long. Campbell got away from us and knocked down his threes. I take the blame for that and not getting out of the zone quicker and mixing it up more.”

The lead was pushed back out to double digits, and a late push from the Cardinals separated the two teams for an 88-65 final score.

Davion McAdam and Yannice Nlend finished with 18 points apiece, and Camargo Tellez was the other Trapper in double figures with 11. 

After a short homestand, the Trappers now head on the road for the next three weeks, kicking off the road swing heading north to Miles City.

Northwest starts off with a game against the United Tribes Technical College (5-2) on Friday at 3 p.m.

Ward said he expects United Tribes to be a fast-paced, athletic team like North Idaho, presenting another early season test for the Trappers.

“We have got to execute on the offensive end and get back on defense,” Ward said.

After the game on Friday, the Trappers stay in Miles City to take on host Miles Community College (2-6) at 4 p.m.

Ward said that despite a losing record, he expects the Pioneers to be a tough matchup with their athleticism.

Offensive rebounds in
Points — Kolter Merritt 18, David Ayala 17, Juan Pablo Camargo Tellez 14, Brash Emery 11, Will Hemme 7, Mack Page 7, Antwon Logan 7, Milton Rodriguez Santana 6, Andre Loigu 5, Christian Adun 5
Rebounds — Mack Page 10 (3), Brash Emery 7 (2), David Ayala 7 (2), Christian Adun 5 (1), Antwon Logan 4 (2), Andre Loigu 2 (1), Juan Pablo Camargo Tellez 2, Kolter Merritt 2, Milton Rodriguez Santana 1 (1)
Assists — Andre Loigu 3, Brash Emery 3, Juan Pablo Camargo Tellez 2, David Ayala 1, Milton Rodriguez Santana 1, Will Hemme 1, Mack Page 1, Kolter Merritt 1
Steals — Juan Pablo Camargo Tellez 5, Brash Emery 2, Christian Adun 2, Andre Loigu 1, David Ayala 1, Will Hemme 1, Mack Page 1
Blocks — Kolter Merritt 3, Juan Pablo Camargo Tellez 1 

— Davion McAdam 18, Yannice Nlend 18, Juan Pablo Camargo Tellez 11, Brash Emery 8, Mack Page 4, David Ayala 2, Kolter Merritt 2, Christian Adun 2
Rebounds — Kolter Merritt 5 (3), Davion McAdam 5 (1), Yannice Nlend 5 (1), Juan Pablo Camargo Tellez 4 (1), Mack Page 4 (3), David Ayala 2, Brash Emery 1, Will Hemme 1
Assists — Davion McAdam 4, Yannice Nlend 4, Andre Loigu 2, Juan Pablo Camargo Tellez 2, Brash Emery 1, David Ayala 1, Kolter Merritt 1, Will Hemme 1
Steals — Andre Loigu 1, David Ayala 1, Juan Pablo Camargo Tellez 1, Davion McAdam 1, Christian Adun 1, Yannice Nlend 1
Blocks — Juan Pablo Camargo Tellez 1