Clipper men clinch West Region title

Published: 
Friday, February 24, 2017

Article from The Olympian
By Dave Weber

No one has beaten South Puget Sound Community College in the NWAC West Region so far. It became obvious very quickly Wednesday night that Grays Harbor wasn’t going to be the first as the Clippers raced away to a 98-60 home victory over the Chokers.Player stand atop a ladder to cut the basketball net down

The victory secured SPSCC’s first region championship in the 24-year history of the Clippers program, giving SPSCC (21-4, 12-0 in the West) a three-game lead over Pierce and Tacoma with two games left.

Dez Stoudamire paced the Clippers with 22 points, Buay Kuajian contributed a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, Olympia High grad Nolan Black had 16 points and eight rebounds, and point guard Luke Chavez’s diverse statistical line was 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Guard Jordan Phillips led Grays Harbor with 18 points—including a trio of 3-pointers in a 90-second span of the second half. John Robinson added 14 points and Malik Redmond had 10.

The Clippers scored the first five points of the game on free throws by Stoudamire and Kuajian, and the Chokers (7-20, 3-9) never got any closer.

After Grays Harbor’s Redmond converted a fast-break layup to cut his team’s deficit to 19-13, SPSCC held the Chokers, who shot 17.9 per cent from the field during the first half, scoreless for six minutes. The Clippers put together a 19-0 run to grab a 38-13 edge before Redmond broke the drought with a pair of free throws.

Coach Aaron Landon shows number one with his finger alongside college president Tim StokesBut SPSCC scored the next six points to take its largest lead of the first half, 29 points, and later went into the locker room up 45-17. Stoudamire already had 16 points and Chavez had 12 on 3-of-5 three-point shooting.

Though SPSCC shot only 37.8 per cent before halftime thanks to a 4-for-14 three-point percentage, the Clippers made 13 of 14 free throws.

After intermission, the Clippers survived Phillips’ outburst thanks to 60.6 percent shooting, 50 percent from beyond the arc. SPSCC’s largest lead was 39 points, which it held twice, the final time at 89-50 after a floater off the glass by Blake Hampton.

Twelve players saw action for the Clippers and 11 scored. Next up for SPSCC is a visit to Tacoma at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Clipper men celebrate taking the west region title