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NWAACC Championships - Game Recaps Sunday, March 2

7 p.m. Men's Championship Game: 1st Place Yakima Yaks 66, 2nd Place Spokane Sasquatch 65

While the Sasquatch fans might've been outnumbered by the hometown Columbia Basin crowd at the women's championship game, they came out in force - and with sound - to cheer on the favored Spokane team as they took on the Yakima Yaks in the 2008 NWAACC Men's Basketball Championship game. However, even their fans couldn't protect Spokane from amazing performance of future tournament MVP Anthony Johnson.

For the Sasquatch, starting were first team Eastern region all-star guard Mathew Door, second-team all stars, guard Jon Clift, guard Eric Beal and guard Jordan Gregg, and forward Robert Lippman.

Kicking off the game for the Yaks were guard Jody Johnson, guard Nico Sandoval, Eastern MVP guard Anthony Johnson, forward Mario Allen and forward LeMar Anglin.

The first points of the game highlighted the ongoing struggle of both teams to provide defense without giving up fouls. From the line, LeMar Anglin knocked down one of his two free throws to give the Yaks the first score of the game. On the other end of the court, Spokane came on the board after Robert Lippman drilled down both of his free throw shots when a foul forced him to the line for the Sasquatch.

With both teams in the double bonus with more than five minutes to play in the first half, the Yaks outperformed on the free throw line, adding to their lead. However, Matt Dorr gave the Sasquatch an invigorating lift as he nailed a three at the buzzer, sending the teams into the locker room with a score of Yaks 37, Sasquatch 31.

Robert Lippman once again scored the first points of the half for the Sasquatch from the line. Jordan Gregg added another two for Spokane and a quick trade of baskets between the Yaks and Jon Clift found the Sasquatch only a field goal down, two minutes into the half. Two minutes later, a spinning basket from Lippman tied the score and a fast break lay-up from Dorr put Spokane ahead for the first time since the early part of the game with fifteen minutes still to play and a score of 43-41.

The teams proceeded to trade baskets, and with under 8 minutes to go, it was all tied up at 53. After a foul, the Sasquatch added one more. Matthew Door grabbed his own rebound from a three to drive it to the basket for two - and did it again after a score by the Yaks on the other end of the court. Anthony Johnson fought back for the Yaks, making most of his chances at the line and matching whatever Spokane had to offer.

Neither team could shake the other and with 2:35 remaining, the game was again a dead heat at 61 all when a foul sent Lippman to the line to shoot two.

Matthew Dorr's foul on Anthony Johnson saw him make the first basket and miss the second. A steal by Jody Johnson gave the ball back to the Yaks and Sandoval charged hard, adding two give the Yaks the lead with under 1:30 to play, 64-63.

A beautiful layup by Clift from the side of the basket retuned Spokane to the top, 65-64. However, he pushed off of Anthony Johnson on the other end, sending the MVP to the line to drop in two.

With a score of 66-65 and 35 seconds on the clock, Spokane inbounded the ball after the time out. Clift headed to the basket, sending LeMar Anglin to the ground and was chared with the offensive foul, ending his game and turning the ball over to the Yaks.

However, the Sasquash stole the ball with 16 seconds on the clock and had one more chance. Under heavy coverage, Matthew Dorr's last second shot bounced off the rim, sending the Yakima Yaks home with the championship in a score of 66-65.

Spokane ends their season 30-2 and with a second place trophy. Yakima finishes 25-7.

Leading scorers for the Spokane Sasquatch were Jon Clift with 18, Robert Lippman with 14, including 10 from the line, and all tournament team player Matthew Dorr with 9 points and 5 rebounds.

For the Yakima Yaks, leading scorers included tournament all-team player Jody Johnson with 11 points and 10 rebounds and tournament MVP Anthony Johnson with 29.

All-Tournament Team
First Team: Zach Henefin, WCC; Kenan Dizdarevic, UCC; Clay Greenland, PeC; Jody Johnson, YVCC: Jordan Gregg, CCS.
Second Team: Nico Sandoval, YVCC; Emmanuel Olekaibe, SOCC; Stephen Waltman, EVCC; Josh Monagle; Matt Dorr, CCS.
Most Valuable Player: Anthony Johnson, YVCC
Most Inspirational Player: Robert Lippman, CCS

4:30 p.m. Women's Championship Game: 1st Place Columbia Basin Hawks 49, 2nd Place Spokane Sasquatch 37

In front of a vocal hometown crowd for Columbia Basin and a slightly more subdued group of Spokane fans, the Lady Hawks took on the Sasquatch in the 2008 NWAACC Women's Championship game.

The starting lineup Spokane included point guard Ren Mallory, guard Eleaya Schuerch, guard/forward Liz Beardslee, Eastern region all-star guard Kelsey Stillar and forward Kellee Neal.

Eastern region MVP Nikki DePeel started for the hometown Hawks, after taking a hard hit to her nose yesterday against the Walla Walla Warriors. She was joined by point guard Nikki DePeel, guard Alexandria Allen, forward Lindsey Begaii, guard Karli Thomas and forward Brittany Cherry.

East first team all-star Brittany Cherry drew the first blood for the Hawks, while DePeel caused the first foul.

The Sasquatch's first points went to Kelsey Stillar who took the three from the top of the key. Kellee Neal followed it up with another three 10 seconds later at the same spot. The Hawks played the inside aggressively, forcing the Sasquatch to take their early shots - unsuccessfully - from the outside.

A series of traveling calls, thrown away balls, fouls and poor shooting resulted in a low scoring game and double bonus shots as the time wound down in the first half. Hawk Dora Brings Yellow took the final shot he final shot in the half, missing and sending the teams into the locker room for halftime with a score of Spokane 22, Columbia River Basin 19.

Coming out of halftime, Hawk Nikki DePeel tied it up with the first score of the second half and Hawk Kellie Neal - who shot 100% from the line, the three and the inside for the first half and contributed 8 of Spokane's 22 points - was pulled out of the game one minute in for garnering her fourth personal foul.

A field goal shot from the Squash rattled around the basket and dropped in, giving Spokane back the lead. It was short-lived, however, as DePeel was fouled on next her next successful drive to the basket. Quick scores from Lindsay Begaii and another from DePeel grew the lead to six.

The Hawks worked to keep the lead with a steal and a score by Rondell Guthrie and a driving layup by Alexandria Allen. Spokane fought back with rebounds and jumpers from Ren Mallory, despite back to back traveling calls on Richelle Daily to bring it back within three with under ten minutes to play.

DePeel took control again of the game for the Hawks, scoring another six points, and the Hawks hustling defensive play gave them the chance to kill the clock while extending their lead. The Sasquatch found themselves down by 11 with under four minutes to play, having not scored a point for six minutes.

Ren Mallory broke the cold spell with a jumper in the paint to diminish the Hawk's lead to the single digits with 3:13 left in the game. That was as close as they would get, however, as the Brittany Cherry responded with two of her own on a fading jumper and the Hawks continued to pull away with baskets from Begaii and successful foul shots from DePeel.

The Columbia Basin Hawks win the 2008 NWAACC Basketball Championships 49-37 and complete a successful season with a 28-3 record. Second place Spokane closed out their season 22-8.

Tournament MVP Nikki DePeel was the highest scorer of the game with 18 points for the Hawks. For the Sasquatch, Liz Beardslee had 9 while Mallory and Neal each had 8.

All-Tournament Team

First Team: Andrea Blodgett, YVCC; Kayla Bennett, NSCC; Mercedes Alexander, Lane; Kellee Neal, CCS; Brittany Cherry, CBC
Second Team: Amanda Atcheson, CENC; Kristina Schumacher, EVCC; Brittany Toone, WWCC; Liz Beardslee, CCS; Alexandria Allen, CBC
Most Valuable Player: Nikki DePeel, CBC
Most Inspirational Player: Ashlee Michelson, CCS

Men 2 p.m. 3rd Place Umpqua Riverhawks 84, 6th Place Southwestern Oregon Lakers 81

In a game fought tooth and nail, the Riverhawks and the Lakers dragged the drama out to the end.

With 45 seconds to go, and the Lakers down by two, they stole the ball and headed downcourt. In the ensuing fracas under the basket, a foul and an the errant ball nailed South second team all-star Jarrad Childs in the nose, sending him out of the game and South first team all-star Emmanuel Olekaibe to the line to shoot - and sink - two.

With the game tied 81-81 with 28 to go, Umpqua ran down the time on the clock, finally handing the ball off to first team all-star Joseph Foster who shot a three as time almost expired, finding the net with .8 seconds left on the clock and boosting the Riverhawks over the Lakers, 81-64.

All-stars Olekaibe and Joseph Foster lead the Lakers in scoring with 16 points. Matt Dance fielded 11 rebounds.

Riverhawk Kenan Dizdarevic brought home 30 points, but the leading scoring title went to on-fire Tyler Barnes who made 13/15 from the field and 100% of his five free throws for a total of 31 points.

After capturing first place in the Championship, the Riverhawks finish their season 25-7. The Lakers end competition in 6th place with a 22-11 record.

Women 2 p.m. 3rd Place Lane Titans 63, 6th Place Walla Walla Warriors 58

After Saturday's brutal battle against Columbia Basin, a battered Warrior team took to the court against the winningest team in the regular season without Eastern region all-star, Layne Tucker, who exited the game yesterday with a broken finger, and starter Allie Dreadfulwater, who left the same game with an injured knee. However, Warrior Sydney Gossard stepped up, keeping the team close with a series of three-pointers and the team headed into hafltime down by one and even garnered a lead of 5 in the early minutes of the second part of the game.

South MVP, Titan Mercedes Alexander, showed why she's earned the honor by keeping her team in the game, making key shots and putting Lane up for the first time in 15 minutes with under two to play.

With a Lane leading 57-55, Gossard turned the ball over to the Titans. Her subsequent foul on Sheena Cole’s successful drive to the basket put Cole on the line. Although she missed her free throw, the Titans recovered the ball and Alexander offered a hook to put Lane up 61-55 with under a minute to play.

Brittanie Toone responded with a nothing but 'net three from the top of the key, putting the Warriors back in striking distance with a score of 61-58.

On the other end of the court, Toone fouled Stephanie Stephens who made her shots to extend the lead to 63-58 with 17 seconds to play.

With the ball back in the Warrior hands, Toone tried again for the three, but the ball swished under the net and the Titans reclaimed the ball and the win.

Alexander lead the victorious Titans in scoring and rebounds with 24 points and 12 boards. She was supported by all-star teammate Stephanie Stephens and Sheena Cole's additional 14 points each.

For the Warriors, Eastern all-star Katie Strunk lead the charge with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Toone added 13 and Goassard contributed 12.

The Lane Titans win 3rd place in the 2008 NWAACC Basketball Championship game with a score of 63-58 over the Walla Walla Warriors, completing their season 29-4. The Warriors end their season 23-8 and with 6th place in the NWAACC tournament.

Men 12 p.m. 4th Place Peninsula Pirates 60, 7th Place Bellevue Bulldogs 44

In a game that was much closer than the score implied, the Belleview Bulldogs and the Peninsula Pirates battled fiercely until four minutes to play. With the Pirates up by 5, Peninsula drilled a three - and Bellevue's energy with it.

An ensuing series of sloppy play by the Bulldogs and inspired scoring by the Pirates drove the score up as the time wound down, earning the Pirates 4th place in the Championship and a season record of 25-8.

Pirates top scorers were Clay Greenland with 18, North all-star Dominick Lozano with 12 and Cody Smithson with 11. Jesse Bean set up his teammates well with 6 assists.

Bulldog North all-stars Josh Monagle and Steve Wiseley lead the Bulldogs in scoring with 12 and 8 points each. Michael Duty contributed 9 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bellevue Bulldogs end their season with 7th place in the tournament and a record of 22-10.

Women 12 p.m. 4th Place Yakima Yaks 84, 7th Place Centralia Trailblazers 66

After losing to Lane on Friday, the Yaks rolled over the Red Devils from Lower Columbia on Saturday and continued their domination on Sunday against the Trailblazers, winning 84-66.

Yakima East all-stars Alex Moore-Porter, Tana Stickney and Andrea Blodgett lead the Yaks in scoring with 32, 23 and 11 points, respectively. Moore-Porter dragged down 13 rebounds and Blodgett set up shots with 6 assists.

Centralia starters Amanda Atcheson and Deanna Riffe shot the best for the Lady Blazers, with 27 and 10 points.

The Lady Blazers end their season with a 7th place finish in the tournament and a 25-8 record. The Yaks finish with a 4th place title and a 26-5 record.

Men 10 a.m. 5th Place Whatcom Orcas 86, 8th place Everett Trojans 72 OT

The Trojan met were able to muster enough energy to force the game into overtime, however, there they struggled, scoring only two points against Whatcom's 16 as the Orcas went on to win 5th place in the 2008 NWAACC Basketball Championship.

The Orcas were lead by Mike Bagby with 17 points and Steven Webb and Cory Hendricks, each with 13. Ryan Christensen posted 11 points of his own and pulled down 10 rebounds.

Chris Grounds drove the Trojans with 27 points. His teammates David Griffiths and Stephen Waltman included a dozen points of their own. Waltman also made some big rebounds, pulling down 16 in all. The Trojans finish the tournament in 8th place.

Women 10 a.m. 5th Place Seattle Storm 80, 8th Place Everett Trojans 50

While the Trojan men battled their way into overtime on the court next store, the Trojan women just worked to survive after heading into halftime down by 24. Unfortunately, the lead only grew in the second half of the game and the Seattle Storm whirled on to take 5th place in the 2008 NWAACC Basketball Championship.

Leading the Storm charge was Kayla Bennett with 24 points while Candace Grettenberger dropped in 14 and pulled down 10 boards. Also contributing were Sherika Puckett with 11 points and Chiaki Nakamura with 10, respectively.

For the losing Trojans, Kristina Schumacher offered up 14 points. Her teammate Bryna Trescott was close behind with 13, while Keena Hopkins had 10 of her own.

The Trojans finish the season in 8th place.

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