SHERIDAN — Sheridan College men’s basketball team defeated Northwest College 96-82 Wednesday night in the Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome.
The Generals maintained their lead for most of the game with the Trappers close on their heels.
Head coach Cody Ball said Northwest might not have the best record this year but they are a tough team that remains close in almost every game.
Even with a double-digit lead at a minute left, Ball knew the game was for from over.
“They are tough to put away but we eventually did it,” Ball said.
Sheridan built a 10-5 lead in the first five minutes of the game with an 8-foot jumper from freshman Tristan Bowers and 3s from JoVon McClanahan and Jaren Fritz.
The Generals had a 20-15 lead during the media timeout with 9:06 left in the half.
Sheridan entered halftime with 43-41 lead.
The Trappers made 14 shots in the first half and eight of them were from beyond the arc. Northwest was 50% from the field and 47.1% from 3-point range
The Generals trailed early in the second half, 48-46.
A converted 3-point play opportunity by Bowers gave the Generals a 10-point lead with 8:18 left in the game.
Sheridan maintained the lead for the rest of the game on its way to a 14-point victory.
The Generals stepped up their effort of the defensive side of the ball. McClanahan said the team knows their offense will always be there but they need to step up defensively.
Sheridan allowed only five 3-pointers in the second half. Ball said the team did a better job of closing out and taking away 3-point opportunities.
The Generals dominated the boards, pulling down 45 rebounds as a team with Northwest pulling in 31. The Trappers only had two offensive boards while the Generals had 14 in the game.
The starting five for the Generals played the entire second half excluding the final 15 seconds of the game, and each player ended the game with double-digit scoring.
“That is big time; that shows we are playing as a team,” McClanahan said.
McClanahan said he wants to involve everyone in the game and if he can help the other starters reach double-digit points, he is going to do whatever he can.
Ball left the starting five in the second half because he did not want to mess with what was working and the players did not show signs of fatigue. Ball utilized his bench in the first half, and stoppages between fouls and timeouts in the second half left starters rested and ready to play.
Ball tells his starters before every game that everyone needs to be a threat to score on the court. The Generals have struggled when only one or two players fill that role.
Ball said it is tough to beat a team when all five starters score in double figures.
McClanahan led the team with a triple-double, recording 25 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists. He was 7-18 from the field and 9-10 from the free-throw line.
Ball said McClanahan had a rough start to the game with three turnovers in the first half. McClanahan rarely turns the ball over.
McClanahan distributed the ball well when driving to the basket. Abdul Shanunu received few of the dishes.
Shanunu earned 22 points on 8-9 shooting from the field and pulled down 16 rebounds, including seven offensive rebounds.
Bowers set a new career record for points with 17 shooting 7-16 from the field. He played all 40 minutes of the game.
Bowers made his second consecutive start against Northwest. He said it was nice to have more playing time but it was nerve-racking at the same time. It felt good to play an entire game, he said.
The Sheridan product has adjusted to the speed of the game and is more comfortable on the court. Bowers said it was nice to hit shots and get into his rhythm.
Markel Aune scored 13 points and Hayden Peterson earned 14 points.
The Generals host Casper College Feb. 22 for the final game of the regular season.