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Men upset LCCC, fall in quarters

Posted by: NWC Athletics — March 6, 2014
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By DANTE GEOFFREY Tribune Sports Writer Courtesy of the Powell Tribune

The Northwest College men’s basketball team was eliminated from the Region IX Tournament in Sterling, Colo., ending the Trappers’ 2013-14 campaign. 

The season came to an end Monday evening when the Trappers lost 82-75 against Sheridan. It was the third time Northwest suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of the Generals this season. 

The Trappers lost 90-85 in Sheridan Jan. 11 and fell 79-78 at home Feb. 12. 

Sheridan (27-6, 13-3) led by double digits late in the second half, but the Trappers cut their deficit to three with about two minutes remaining but were unable to get any closer. 

“We had our chances but just couldn’t make enough plays at the end of that stretch,” said NWC head coach Brian Erickson. 

Sophomore Jonothan Newsom and freshman Colin May helped to spark the late-game push. 

Erickson said Newsom scored more than 20 points and May was 4-for-9 from the 3-point line. 

Complete stats from the Sheridan game were not made available by Wednesday at press time. 

The Trappers battled injuries that cost them valuable minutes from key players. 

Sophomore post player KJ Rech dislocated his kneecap during a practice Feb. 28 and sophomore point guard Gary Gordon injured his knee in the opening minutes of the Sheridan game. 

“We went to eight guys in the second half but we had (sophomore forwards Lawrence Fejokwu and Franklin Uzonwanne) in foul trouble,” Erickson said. “It hurt us defensively, we just couldn’t get a stop. We didn’t quite have the size to play like we usually play.” 

May manned the point in Gordon’s absence. 

“We had Colin May play unbelievable but he had to play 38 minutes,” Erickson said. 

The coach said Newsom also played upward of 38 minutes and it was apparent fatigue became a factor late in the second half. 

“I was more proud of them because we kept fighting with what he had,” Erickson said. 

The sixth-seeded Trappers took down No. 3 Laramie County Community College (18-13, 9-7) 85-76 in the first round on Sunday evening. 

“The seeds really didn’t matter, so it’s not so much of a huge upset,” Erickson said. “We were still a pretty good team and LCCC was a pretty good team.” 

Sophomore Gabe Solarin scored a season-high 27 points to lead the Trappers past the South’s Golden Eagles. 

“I’d say even the last five regular season games he started playing like that, where he started to understand taking better shots, and he was making better shots,” Erickson said. 

Newsom added 20 points, Gordon had 13 and Fejokwu had 10. 

But Erickson said it was Northwest’s defense that really impressed him. 

Laramie’s star duo of Deon Edwin and Deshon Portley was held to 23 total points after scoring a combined 101 points during two regular season games versus the Trappers. 

Fejokwu had a team-high four blocks to give Northwest a defensive presence in the lane. 

Uzonwanne led the Trappers with eight rebounds. Solarin had seven, freshman EJ Hubbard had six and Fejokwu added five. 

The Trappers shot 48.4 percent from the floor and were 8-of-19 from the 3-point line. 

Northwest finished the season 19-14 overall, 7-9 in conference during the regular season and 1-1 in the playoffs.

 
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