The statistics don’t jump out in the box score next to any one player’s name.
Last Saturday’s 67-58 triumph over Central Wyoming was more of a taking-turns performance, individuals starring for a few minutes at a stretch.
A beauty pageant winner? No. But the Lady Trappers are now 14-4, have won eight straight games and are 2-0 in Region IV.
“One of the nice parts of our team is that anyone can step at any time,” said sophomore Dani McManamen who did just that with 8 points and 6 rebounds.
No player would particularly want her name associated with the messy first quarter, although Northwest still led 15-12. But the shooting, the hustle, the defense and overall smoothness got better as the game went on.
“At halftime [coach Janis Beals] always emphasizes taking care of the ball,” McManamen said. “We didn’t make some of our best passes. But we really picked up our defense in the second half.”
Tayla Sayer came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers at the end of the first quarter. Six different players scored in the second quarter.
Dallas Petties’ low-post moves freed her for some critical inside shots at the beginning of the third quarter. And Kaylee Brown and Kira Marlow put their stamp on the fourth quarter.
“Every game we have people who step up,” said Sayer, echoing the everybody-contributes theme.
Petties said the offensive scheme features throwing the ball inside and then passing it out for a jumper, but the failure to complete so many passes wore on the team.
“We were all frustrated,” she said.
While this win was obtained despite some herky-jerky play, a few days earlier the Trappers opened league play with a devastating domination of Western Wyoming, holding the visitors to 27.1 percent shooting in a 95-36 decision.
Northwest put five players in double figures, led by Tala Aumua-Tuisavura and Savanna Savage with 13 points each. Julynne da Silva Sa scored 11 and Marlow and Brown each added 10.
“I like Wednesday better,” Beals said comparing the victories. “We had so many tips or steals that created offense.”
McManamen said the way Northwest handled Western Wyoming “was a lot of fun. We needed to do that. Everything in that game went well.”
One does not need a microscope to determine what did not go so well against Central. The Trappers committed 24 turnovers.
“I think we underestimated them,” said Marlow, whose 11 points equalled the team high with Petties. “You want to make a miracle pass or go, ‘Oh, I want to thread the needle.’ Not every single game is going to be perfect.”
Against Central, Northwest led just 39-38 with about 3/12 minutes to go in the third quarter. A McManamen lay-up, followed by her making a three-point play and Marlow a driving shot, quickly moved the score to 46-40.
Then Brown pumped in five quick points at the start of the fourth quarter and that gave the Trappers the 11-point cushion needed to ride things out.
“We withstood their runs pretty well,” Marlow said.