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NWAC Men's Basketball Elite 8 Recaps

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In the final game of the day to see who moves on to the NWAC Final Four next week, the Lower Columbia College Red Devils defeated the Mt. Hood Community College Saints 85-78.  

In a closely contested first half in which LCC led most of the way, the Saints battled back from a 9-point deficit to take a 38-36 half-time lead.    The Saints were led in the first-half by Elijah Fuller with 9 points followed by Cody Thompson with 7.  LCC was paced by Keun Palu-Thompson with 9 points along with Spencer Sweet and Brandon Cotton with 7 points respectively.

Lower Columbia started the second half with a 10-1 run to take a 7-point lead.  But the Saints responded with a 7-0 run to tie the game at 15:13 mark.  LCC continued to execute their offense effectively in the second half while maintaining their tough half-court defense keeping MHCC at bay for the rest of the game. 

With the Red Devils victory, they claimed the fourth and final spot to the NWAC Men’s Basketball Final Four Championship Tournament next Saturday against the Walla Walla Warriors, 8pm at Everett Community College. 

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Game 3 of the Elite 8 showcased the Walla Walla Warriors and the Whatcom Orcas with the Warriors punching their ticket to next week’s NWAC Final Four.   

Right from the opening tip the Warriors starting draining 3’s from all over the court, shooting 52% from the arc in the first half. 

Led by Dalton Thompson who was 5 of 8 and Gabe Porter who was 4 of 8, the Warriors jumped out to a 66-28 half-time lead, while the Orcas struggled to get anything going offensively shooting 21% from the field.

WCC put together a 21-3 second half run to try and get back in the game while the Warriors helped the Orcas with a dismal 11% 3-point shooting. 

WWCC eventually righted the ship and won 100-80. 

The Warriors had five players in double figures, Dalton Thompson (22pts), Caulin Bakalarski (21pts), Gabe Porter (16 pts) and Brandon Porter (16 pts).  WWCC also had 4 players with 7 or more rebounds.

Leif Anderson led the Orcas in scoring with 29 points, shooting 7/12 from the 3-point line.  Daulton Lootens added 13 points along with 12 rebounds.

The Warriors move on to the NWAC Men’s Basketball Final Four next Saturday and await the winner of the Mt. Hood Community College Saints vs. Lower Columbia College Red Devils.

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Game 2 of the NWAC Elite 8 Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament matched the Umpqua Community College Riverhawks vs. the Clippers of South Puget Sound Community College. 

The Riverhawks started hot by attacking the zone defense of the Clippers while playing a stifling defense keeping the Clippers at 7 points for close to 5 minutes. 

Umpqua went into halftime leading the Clippers 38-19, shooting 50% for the half.  Darrin Gethers (UCC) led the charge with 9 points.  The Clippers unfortunately shot 21% for the half.

The Clippers made a run in the second half to cut the lead to 9 at the 6:45 mark.  Their offense was spurred on by forcing turnovers with their half-court trapping defense. 

UCC though, continued their staunch defense forcing the Clippers into critical turnovers and holding the SPSCC leading scorer Dez Stoudamire to five points all in the second-half.

The Riverhawks had balanced scoring with Gethers and Daniel Reno scoring 12 points respectively while Grant Ellison added another 11. 

UCC shot 87% at the free throw line. 

South Puget Sound was led in scoring by Luke Chavez with 15.  SPSCC shot 29.5% from the field and 11% from the 3-point line.

Umpqua will take on the Tacoma Community College Titans in the Final Four next Friday at 6pm.

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Game #1 of the NWAC Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament Elite 8 featured the Tacoma Titans vs. the Peninsula Pirates.

The Pirates started out on fire scoring the first 13 points of the game led by the stellar play of Jalon McCullough (12 points) and Omar Lo (8 points).

The Titans did not score their first basket until the 14:49 mark of the first half.   Tacoma as they did yesterday in their defeat of #1 North Idaho, weathered the Pirates storm and worked their way back from a double digit deficit to trail 36-29 at the half. 

Dayton Pasqua paced the Titans in the first-half with 9 points.  Khalil Thompson who led the Titans with 28 points in yesterday’s victory was held scoreless in the first-half.

Tacoma tightened up their defense sparked by Ravion Bell’s 4 blocked shots and with better ball movement took their first lead of the game midway through the second half. 

Baskets by Thompson, Wyatt, and Bell gave the Titans a five-point lead. 

Peninsula made a push with less than 7 minutes and cut the lead to 55-54 at 4:33 of the second-half.  Khalil Thompson scored all of his 20 points in the second half to lead the Titans to a 75-64 victory. 

Kahliel Wyatt added 15 points and 14 rebounds, and Ravion Bell added 9 points and 14 rebounds. 

Leading the Pirates was Jalon McCullough with 16 points, Omar Lo followed with 15 points and Trent Warren finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds. 

The Titans punched the first ticket to the 2017 NWAC Final Four and will play the winner of the South Puget Sound Community College and Umpqua Community College. 

The Men's Final Four begins Saturday, March 18 at 6pm.  This will be the Titans first appearance in the Final Four since they won the title in 2012.

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