Northwest Trapper Men Continue Winning Ways
Stretching their winning streak to eight games, the Northwest College men’s basketball team picked up two more wins over the weekend.
The Trappers defeated Rexburg United 97-73 and rallied to edge Eastern Wyoming College 84-81 at the Friday-Saturday Western Wyoming Classic Tournament in Rock Springs. After starting the season with three losses, the men’s overall record now stands at 8-3.
The Trapper men used some sizzling long-range shooting to sink Rexburg United, making 15 shots and shooting 53.6 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. It was the most 3-pointers NWC has had so far this season; the team’s previous high was 11.
Freshman Blake Hinze of Cody sank five of the 3-pointers, Luc Lombardy made three and Skyler Zabriskie and Jonathan Koud each had two. To finish off the team’s 15, Carter Baxter, Devonte Morgan and Tanner Coleman each sank one.
Hinze was lead scorer with 23 points, followed by Koud with 13 and Lombardy with 12.
Levi Londole led with 10 rebounds — six defensive and four offensive.
NWC shot 66.7 percent from the free throw line and 50.7 percent from the field; Rexburg United, meanwhile, shot 55.6 percent from the free throw line, 41.2 percent from the 3-point line and 45.9 percent from the field.
The Trappers had 14 turnovers to Rexburg United’s 12.
Friday’s win over Rexburg United was the Trappers’ second victory over the Idaho team, having bested them 68-56 in Powell on Nov. 12.
Trapper head coach Brian Erickson felt better about last week’s win versus the previous victory, which featured a tired Trapper team that was playing its fifth game in nine days.
On Saturday, NWC got off to a slow start against Eastern Wyoming College.
Coach Erickson was not pleased with his team’s performance in the first half, which ended with the Trappers trailing 45-33.
“I just don’t feel like we showed up,” said Erickson. “Playing a little bit selfish.”
He said the team wasn’t passing the ball much, wasn’t helping much on defense and, unlike the night before, had a hard time hitting the 3-pointers.
However, NWC pulled together in the second half.
“We were doing more of what our game plan was,” Erickson said of the second half.
With about a minute left, Koud passed the ball to Zabriskie, who sank a 3-pointer that would become the game-winning shot for the Trappers.
Throughout the game there were three lead changes, and four times the game was tied.
NWC shot 94.7 percent from the free throw line, 34.8 percent on 3-point shots and 38.7 percent from the field; Eastern Wyoming went 63.6 percent on free throws, 36.4 percent on 3-pointers and 40.8 percent from the field.
Hinze again led the Trappers with 22 points, followed by 12 from Koud and 11 from Londole. Redshirt sophomore Damon Leach led in rebounds with 10, collecting seven defensive and three offensive.
Morgan had six assists.
For steals, Hinze, Seth Bennett and Zabriskie each collected two steals apiece.
After the game, Erickson said he told the team it was their victory.
“They were the ones who changed their attitude, their work ethic,” he said. “They deserve that win.”
The NWC men played Dawson Community College on Tuesday and Yellowstone Christian College on Wednesday.
The Trappers will stay at home next week. They’ll host North Idaho College at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15 and face an All Star team at noon on Saturday, Dec. 17 before heading into the Christmas break.