Feb 27, 2012

Southern Region All-Stars

Southern Region All-Stars:

Player of the Year:
          Janelle Weiss- Chemeketa Community College

Coach of the Year:
Greg Sheley- Lane Community College

1st TEAM
          Kersey Wilcox- Lane Community College
          Lauren Codling- Chemeketa Community College
Sam McCloud- Clackamas Community College
Samantha Thornton-Umpqua Community College
Quynee Eharis-SW Oregon Community College

2nd TEAM
          Reed Levings- Lane Community College
          Jenny Johnson- Clackamas Community College
          Heidi Halemeier- Linn-Benton Community College
Megan Shields- Lane Community College
Deanna Tupai-Umpqua Community College

Sophomore All-Stars
          Janelle Weiss- Chemeketa CC
          Samantha Thornton- Umpqua CC
          Sam McCloud- Clackamas CC
          Lauren Codling- Chemeketa CC
Reed Levings- Lane CC
Heidi Halemeier- Linn-Benton CC
Deanna Tupai- Umpqua CC
Kristen Swim- Umpqua CC
Alicia Love- Linn-Benton CC
Makesha Bizon- Clackamas CC
Alt:  Kelsey George- SW Oregon CC
       Chantell Stanton- Chemeketa CC

          Kimberly Van Dyke-Chemeketa CC
          Chantell Stanton-Chemeketa CC
Kiara Berry-Portland CC
Katie Pagh-Portland CC
Ashleigh Anderson-Clackamas CC
MaKesha Bizon-Clackamas CC
Kelsey George-SW Oregon CC
Kristen Swim-Umpqua CC
Alicia Love- Linn-Benton CC
Emily Burch- Mt. Hood CC

Freshman of the Year
            Kersey Wilcox-Lane Community College

All- Freshman Team
          Quynee Eharis- SW Oregon CC
          Jenny Johnson- Clackamas CC
Megan Shields- Lane CC
          Kimberly Van Dyke- Chemeketa CC
          Kiara Berry- Portland CC
          Katie Pagh- Portland CC
          Ashleigh Anderson- Clackamas CC
          Jordan Klebaum- Chemeketa CC
Megan Feldman- Clackamas CC
Joleen Chanco- Lane CC

Defensive Player of the Year
          Sam McCloud- Clackamas CC 

All-Defensive Team: (Tie in voting)
          Joleen Chanco- Lane CC
Kailiawa Pua- Umpqua CC
Quynee Eharris- SW Oregon CC
Kimberly Van Dyke- Chemeketa CC
Reed Levings- Lane CC
Emily Burch- Mt. Hood CC

Feb 17, 2012

Whatcom still on top as NWAACC gets wild

NWAACC Men's Basketball
The Racin' to the Basin is definitely on, as the NWAACC tournament is now only about two weeks away. Things have gotten tight in the Western region with a pair of teams battling for the top spot, Whatcom continues to whether the numerous runs made at then in the North, and Clackamas is beginning to make things interesting in the Southern Region. At this point only seven of the sixteen playoff seeds are spoken for, meaning that this year's tournament is still largely up in the air. Here's how things look from Joward's perspective: Coaches rankings are in italics under each team's record.

1. Whatcom (20-3, 12-1 North)
#1 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 1, No. 2 Coaches 

Early in the season, most of the attention was on Bellevue and defending champion Peninsula. While  Whatcom was once the dark horse that came somewhat as a surprise, everybody knows about them now. In just the last two weeks, Whatcom has defeated Bellevue, Shoreline, and Peninsula, the closest victory being 88-80 (box) at home over Peninsula. Time and again, Whatcom has proved their prowess, both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. They are third in scoring in the league (89.55 ppg) and second in rebounding (44.36 rpg), and haven't lost since late January. 


2. Tacoma (20-4, 12-1 West)
#3 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 6, No. 5 Coaches

Tacoma won of what may have been one of the biggest games for the NWAACC men this season when they went on the road to take on Clark and went home with a 74-71 victory (box). The victory pulls Tacoma into a tie for first in the West, a tie that will be broken when Tacoma visits Clark on February 18th. The number one seed in the west will more or less be on the line in that game, as no other team has a real chance of catching the two programs before the season ends. Tacoma continues to be led by one of the NWAACC's best guards in Mark McLaughlin, who leads the league in scoring with just under 28 points per game. 


3. Clark (22-2, 12-1 West)
#2 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 2, No. 1 Coaches

Clark continues to be one of if not the most efficient team in the league, averaging 18+ assists on 30 made baskets per game. They are also impressively balanced, with five players averaging in double figures, and no player averaging over 16 points per game. However, their fantastic season may be ruined by Tacoma if they can't beat them on the road. It'd be a shame to see such a strong team not win their own region, but things are that tight at the top of the West.


4. Spokane (19-4, 8-2 East)
#4 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 8, No. 8 Coaches

Things got a little interesting when Spokane dropped off the face of the earth for a few games following the streak of terrible weather in eastern Washington. Since then, Spokane has definitely gotten back on track. Before falling 80-77 (box) to Walla Walla on the road, Spokane had won eight in a row, reclaiming first place in the East. Spokane has improved dramatically in scoring, now averaging more than 84 points per game. Of course, the 114 points that they put up on Blue Mountain may have helped with that...


5. Big Bend (19-4, 9-3 North)
#3 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 3, No. 8 Coaches

Big Bend has won eight of their last ten, the two losses being reasonably close losses to Spokane and Walla Walla on the road. They have asserted themselves as one of the better offensive teams in the league, averaging a steady 48% from the field and putting up 88.48 points on average. At this point, Big Bend still has hope of a region championship if they win out.


6. Peninsula (20-4, 10-3 North)
#5 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 5, No. 3 Coaches

Much of the hype surrounding the super team from Port Angeles has faded now that they've failed to beat Whatcom twice. The team that wowed during the preseason has come down to earth, but just barely. There's no doubt that Peninsula has the talent to make another run at the NWAACC finals, it's just a matter of whether they can get things together and make it there. Peninsula's offense continues to be led by the league's second leading scorer in J.T. Terrell.


7. Shoreline (15-9, 9-4 North)
UR Coaches
Previous Ranking: UR, UR Coaches

Shoreline's stats are downright ridiculous. As their motto is "40 minutes of fast break basketball with defense as an afterthought" it makes perfect sense that they lead the NWAACC in scoring by a wide margin. They also lead in assists, rebounds (offensive, defensive and total), turnovers and are second in steals. Their breakneck pace has translated into flashy stats, but also into wins. Shoreline has simply run away from nearly all their opponents with the exception of Peninsula and Whatcom. While defense does win championships, defense would get quite a test from a team like this. 


8. Clackamas (13-10, 7-4 South)
UR Coaches
Previous Ranking: UR, UR Coaches

This ranking would make no sense if you simply look at the standings in the Southern Region. Clackamas is third, behind Mt. Hood and Chemeketa. Then you look at Clackamas' record as of late and you begin to realize that they're a lot better than their record might say. They've only lost twice in the last seven games, and one of those two losses was on a score keeping error on the road against Chemeketa and a two point loss to Mt. Hood at home. Since the 74-73 (box) loss at Chemeketa, Clackamas has more than bounced back, beating Linn-Benton before traveling to Mt. Hood and blowing out the Saints 67-46 (box). According to Clackamas head coach Clif Wegner, he and his team believe that they're the "best team in the south." They just might be right. 


Teams moving up: Tacoma, Spokane
Teams added: Shoreline, Clackamas
Teams moving down: Big Bend, Clark, Peninsula, 
Teams dropped: Bellevue, Clackamas

Columbia Basin women lead February Madness

NWAACC Women's Basketball
As the NWAACC Tournament looms ever closer, the focus starts to switch from which teams have the best record to which teams are playing the best right now. Eleven of the sixteen tournament seeds have already been claimed, but teams are still jostling for positioning, which leads to several huge match ups in the next several weeks. Lane will travel to Clackamas, likely to decide the Southern Region champions. Clark will travel to Centrailia in a similar game. Skagit Valley and Bellevue, who are tied at the top of the Northern Region standings, have split their two meetings and are both looking to win out. In this part of the country, we know it as February Madness. Coaches rankings are in italics under each team's record.

1. Columbia Basin (22-2, 10-1 East)
 #1 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 4, No. 1 Coaches

The Hawks have won seven in a row since losing to Yakima Valley, including a 65-60 (box) victory over the very same YVCC Yaks that hammered them only a few weeks earlier. Guard Andrea Bland  is still on the bench, but Columbia Basin has made do without her and many others for that matter, playing only seven players in their last two consecutive games. Columbia Basin might be playing good now, but they'll have trouble competing in the tournament unless they get some of their players back in action.


2. Lane (20-4, 10-1 South)
#2 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 7, No. 5 Coaches

Like Columbia Basin, Lane hasn't lost in quite a while. Their streak goes back eight games, dating back to their loss at home to Chemeketa on January 14th. Since then they've had quite the run. They've had three games where they scored 98 points or more, and on all three occasions, they won by more than 45 points. Lane's biggest win by far was their 71-68 defeat of Clackamas (box) at home. Lane will travel to Oregon City to face Clackamas on February 18th in a game that will feature the two top scoring teams in the NWAACC, and a game in which the winner will most likely win the southern region's #1 seed in the league.

3. Clackamas (20-3, 9-2 South)
#3 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 1, No. 2 Coaches

Clackamas being a team that has a particular disdain for jump shots, they live and die on their ability to shoot the three pointer and get layups. If the threes aren't falling, Clackamas has a tendency to play horribly overall. They've been bit by their mistakes only a few times this season, one being a heartbreaker on the road against Lane (box), one being a 28 point embarrassment on the road to Chemeketa (box), and the other being a 20 point loss to Yakima Valley during the preseason. Guard Ashleigh Anderson has continued to look good for Clackamas, who leads the league in scoring with just over 79 points per game.


4. Bellevue (19-4, 11-1 North)
#7 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 6, No. 8 Coaches

At ten games, Bellevue sports the longest active winning streak in the NWAACC. The Bulldogs avenged their only loss in their region on February 8th when they marched in to Skagit Valley and came away with an 82-69 victory (box), tying the northern region standings. Not much remains on the schedule for Bellevue, who will play three of the bottom four teams in the north before the season is up, including 0-20 Edmonds, who averages only 44 points per game.


5. Yakima Valley (17-6, 7-3 East)
#6 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 3, No. 4 Coaches

As up and down as teams come, Yakima Valley has their hands in some of the most impressive victories that the NWAACC has seen all season. They knocked off host Clackamas at the Clackamas Crossover Tournament in the preseason, and dealt Columbia Basin a crushing defeat on January 21st. Yakima Valley has been fairly consistent as of late, putting together a streak of six wins before falling 69-47 to Walla Walla on February 8th (box) and  pushing Columbia Basin to the brink (box) on February 12th. Yakima Valley has done a decent job of bouncing back from the loss of their leading scorer, but doubts still linger as the tournament looms.


6. Skagit Valley (16-6, 11-1 North)
#9 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 2, No. 7 Coaches

Skagit Valley had won 12 games in a row before dropping a game at home 82-69 to Bellevue (box). While that win streak included some of the NWAACC's bottom feeders, they are still one of only three teams to accomplish such a feat. Statistically, Skagit Valley hasn't looked quite so good lately, a run of slower offensive nights has bumped their points per game down to just over 73.


7. Walla Walla (17-6, 8-3 East)
#4 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 5, 4 Coaches

Along with some their eastern region companions, Walla Walla has been up and down. They had an impressive win over the aforementioned Yakima Valley (box) on February 8th but turned around three days later and lost to 8-14 Wenatchee Valley 67-59 (box). The loss at Columbia Basin was expected, and the win over Yakima Valley could and should have been used as a springboard to finish out the season. However, it seems that the Warriors, who continue to lead the league in 3 pt shooting, have fumbled the opportunity away.


8. Clark (19-4, 12-1 West)
#5 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 7, No. 6 Coaches

Clark may have moved up in the rankings had things continued the way that they were. They were riding a 16 game winning streak, were undefeated in league, and were running away in every game that they played. That all came to a halt when Clark dropped a game at home 71-61 to Peirce (box), breaking the NWAACC's longest streak so far this season for both the men and the women. All their hard work aside, Clark could lose the #1 Western seed if they don't win against Centrailia on February 22nd. Even with that win, Clark will have to work hard to keep ahead.


Teams moving up: Lane, Bellevue, Skagit Valley
Teams moving down: Clackamas, Yakima Valley, Walla Walla

Feb 1, 2012

Whatcom men climb to NWAACC's No. 1

NWAACC Men's Basketball
Now that the regions have gotten some play under their collective belts, things are beginning to get rather mixed up. The powerful NWAACC North is now battling against itself, meaning that many of the teams at the top have been falling as of late. New to this week's rankings is the South-leading Mt. Hood, the only team from the Southern Region that has made the list. Mayhem is sure to continue as the regular season unfolds, but here is how things have shaken out so far:  Coaches rankings are in italics under each team's record, and will be updated when they are made available.


1. Whatcom (15-3, 7-1 North)
#2 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 2, No. 4 Coaches 

Forget for a moment that Whatcom lost to Seattle on January 28th, and get a good look at their accomplishments over the past few weeks: They outscored the NWAACC's highest scoring team, Shoreline, in a 120-97 affair. They have victories over both Bellevue (box) and Peninsula (box) on the road. And before their 70-62 loss to Seattle on the road, they had won nine straight games. Behind an incredibly balanced scoring attack (six players averaging 10 points or more, three players have scored 29+) Whatcom is looking more and more like a championship contender out of the heavyweight Northern Region.


2. Clark (17-1, 7-0 West)
#1 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 3, No. 2 Coaches

Clark hasn't lost in over a month, and in that time they've only had one game where they won by less than ten points. They've won seven straight since their loss to Snow College back in December, and are proving to be one of the better rebounding teams in the league, averaging  just over 45 a game. Clark is also near the top of the NWAACC in assists with 17.61 per game. Interestingly enough, Clark is second in both categories to Shoreline, which is a team that easily leads the league in scoring because of their ridiculously fast pace and their refusal to play defense.


3. Big Bend (15-3, 5-2 East)
#7 (tie) Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 7, No. 6 Coaches

Big Bend is a classic example of a team that has their ups and downs. Normally a squad that averages just under 90 points a game, there are two games that stick out: a 94-76 embarrassment to unranked Yakima Valley, and a 74-69 loss to unranked Walla Walla. Those two games are the only times since late December that Big Bend has scored less than 90, and those are their only two losses. Both games were on the road, and so Big Bend can only hope that this won't become a habit. Those two losses aside, Big Bend is still tied for the best overall record in the East, something that may change when Spokane starts to make up the games they missed due to weather. 


4. Bellevue (16-2, 6-1 North)
#4 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 1, No. 1 Coaches

Bellevue's 94-84 win over the flashy and high-flying Peninsula might have been more impressive had it not come on the heels of back to back losses. First Bellevue fell dropped a 77-75 nail biter at home to Whatcom, and then went on the road only to get winded by Shoreline 101-93. That said, Bellevue can still pack quite a punch: They are tied for first in the NWAACC in field goal percentage, and average better in assists, steals, and blocks than #1 Whatcom. 2nd place in the leagues toughest division isn't too bad of a place to be, but Bellevue will need to put those stats to work when they visit Whatcom on February 15th.


5. Peninsula (16-3, 6-2 North)
#3 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 4, No. 3 Coaches

What started out as a magical season coming off an NWAACC Championship has turned a little sour in perspective. In the last few weeks, the Pirates have losses to Bellevue and Whatcom, two teams that they trail in the Northern Region. Those losses can be excused, however, in comparison to the narrow victories over unranked teams like Olympic (5-12, 2-5 North), and Edmonds (1-14, 1-6 North). Peninsula is still blowing opponents out, but they are beginning to show their weaknesses in not winning the big games and by  letting some weaker teams stick with them. Make no mistake, 3rd place in the North is no consolation after winning a league championship the year before.


6. Tacoma (14-4, 6-1 West)
#5 Coaches
Previous Ranking: No. 5, No. 5 Coaches

Tacoma had been doing fairly well this season until the puzzling loss to Lower Columbia. Make no mistake, Lower Columbia (11-7, 5-3 West) is a decent team, but Tacoma should be on a different level, given their talented scorer Mark McLoughlin, who now leads the NWAACC with 28.28 points per game, and their track record this season. Tacoma has mopped up against most of the inferior opponents they've faced and fought hard against the top teams in the league. Before the loss to Lower Columbia, Tacoma's losses were only to then #1 Peninsula, #2 Clark, and then #3 Clackamas. Tacoma and #2 Clark College will meet on February 6th for one of two more meetings before the regular season is over, a match up which will shed light on both programs.


7. Mt. Hood (15-6, 6-1 South)
#7 (tie) Coaches
Previous Ranking: UR, No. 8 Coaches

Before falling to Chemeketa 89-77 on the road, Mt. Hood had won eight in a row and nine of ten. Mt. Hood leads the Southern Region, which isn't the region that it used to be. However, the Saints have picked up wins in several difficult gyms, including a 61-59 victory over rival Clackamas. Mt. Hood is one of the best shooting teams in the league at 49%, and leads the NWAACC in 3 point percentage. Chemeketa, as the only Southern team to have defeated Mt. Hood, looks to be the only probable challenger to Mt. Hood for the division title.


8. Spokane (15-6, 6-1 East)
#6 Coaches
Previous Ranking: UR, No. 8 Coaches

Dropping Spokane is a little unfair, given that they've hardly played in the last few weeks due to bad weather conditions. Looking at the games that Spokane has played, however, the Sasquatch have looked strong in region play. Their one loss is to #3 Big Bend, and now Spokane has had an extra week of rest, something that they may need of they're going to make up the missed games before the regular season concludes. Spokane continues their steady boycot of flashy statistics, their best category being free throw percentage, at which they are tied for 1st in the NWAACC with 74%.


Teams moving up: Whatcom, Big Bend
Teams added: Mt. Hood
Teams moving down: Tacoma, Chemeketa, Peninsula, Bellevue
Teams dropped: Spokane