Trappers fall to No.18 North Platte
By RANDAL HOROBIK
Tribune Sports Editor
The Northwest College Trappers went toe-to-toe for more than a half with No. 18 North Platte at the Region IX basketball tournament on Sunday, but fell 82-71 to bow out of the post-season. The Trappers advanced to the round of eight with an 85-74 win over Gillette on Saturday.
Northwest and North Platte played back and forth basketball for the bulk of the first half. The two schools exchanged slim leads for more than 11 minutes before either club was able to open more than a three-point lead on the other. The Trappers grabbed the game's first four-point cushion with just over eight minutes to play and nursed the edge up to five late in the half before North Platte rallied in the waning minutes for a 36-35 halftime lead.
The Knights continued to play strong, utilizing a towering post game and accurate 3-point shooting to build a nine-point edge early in the second half. The Trappers chopped the gap back to two points, but the Nebraska school was able to build it back again. Northwest fought to within 75-71 late and had possession of the basketball for a chance to climb closer, but a turnover and seven consecutive points by North Platte brought the curtain down on the NWC season.
Ricardo Andreotti had 19 points and nine rebounds. Demetrice Jacobs and Alfonzo Hubbard added 17 points each, with Jacobs also pulling down 10 boards.
That wasn't enough to overcome a 32-point night from North Platte's Karol Gruszecki, who finished 7-for-9 from behind the arc.
On Saturday, Northwest opened a 16-point first-half lead, but saw the gap trimmed to five points by halftime against Gillette. The Pronghorns were able to whittle the margin to three in the early stages of the second half before the Trappers re-exerted themselves to comfortably win by 11.
Valdez Green had 24 points for the Trappers. Casper Hesseldal added 20 points while Jacobs finished with a line of 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
The Trappers complete their season at 25-7 overall.