Feb 13, 2013

Edmonds men lose ground, stay No. 1

NWAACC Men's Basketball

With a double-digit loss to Whatcom, Edmonds lost even more ground to Pierce and Big Bend this week, but for now that seems to be more of a fluke than a flaw. The top seeds from the North, East and West are able to more or less stand out ahead of their compatriots, but the Southern Region is still somewhat up for grabs. SW Oregon and Chemeketa will play once more in a game that could very well decide the Southern Region title in the regular season finale. 

Be sure to check back in a week's time for Full Court Press, a bi-weekly roundup of NWAACC basketball action to fill in the gaps. Next week will give an update on the playoff race in each region, as well as detail some of the biggest match ups. Coaches rankings are in italics under each team's record. If you have a question or a comment feel free to leave it below, respond via twitter or send me an email

Full Court Press: Dark Horse Week is now live online! Do you have a dark horse prediction?


1. Edmonds (19-3, 9-1 North)
No. 3 coaches
Previous ranking: No. 1, No. 1 coaches

While Edmonds tripped up in a game against then No. 7 Whatcom for their first loss in region play, that doesn't do much to dampen the season they have had so far. They are the best in the league at taking care of the ball, averaging just 12.15 turnovers a game. That, combined with their 2nd best shooting percentage at 49% and the offensive brilliance of forward Shaq McKissic, makes them an incredibly tough contest. With just four more games remaining and a one game lead on Whatcom, Edmonds will most likely stay on top and win the North's No. 1 seed in the upcoming tournament.


2. Big Bend (21-4, 10-1 East)
No. 1 coaches
Previous ranking: No. 4, No. 4 coaches

Big Bend's Jan. 30 victory over a resurgent Yakima Valley did more than slow a potential challenger. It widened the gap, and with three more wins in the last two weeks, the Runnin' Viks have now clinched the region championship. They have won their last ten contests, and 13 of their last 14 games. One question coming in to the season might have been how to replace the scoring and heroics of last year's first-team all-tournament star Blake Skidmore. Now, it seems as though Big Bend has a new leader in freshman guard Brendan Westendorf, who is the only player in the league to average at least 20 points, five assists and seven rebounds, with just over two steals a game thrown in for good measure. 


3. Pierce (20-4, 17-1 West)
No. 2 coaches
Previous ranking: No. 8, No. 5 coaches

Just one more win guarantees the Raiders a Western Region title, helped along by their 78-72 victory [box] over No. 6 Tacoma on February 2nd. Tyrell Lewis, the league leader in steals with 88, lit up the scoreboard for 29 points and 17 rebounds in that game, continuong a streak that has now reached seven games in which Lewis has scored 16 points or more. Lewis' total was also just one point shy of his season high of 30, and he set a new season high in rebounds. Lewis isn't the only star, however. Pierce still holds the highest shooting percentage in the league, and takes very, very few three pointers, putting a majority of their scoring up close and personal.


4. Whatcom (16-6, 8-2 North)
No. 4 coaches
Previous ranking: No. 7, NR coaches

If you combine the total point differential in Whatcom's two northern region losses, you don't end up with much: just six points. That's why it shouldn't be much of a surprise that the team who held their own with No. 1 Edmonds on the road would be able to take them back home and hand them their first loss of the regular season. Whatcom's 90-80 triumph [box] also served to bring the Orca's just that much closer to Edmonds in the standings, meaning that should Whatcom win out, they still have a chance of catching Edmonds for the top seed. 

5. Chemeketa (15-6, 8-2 South)
No. 5 coaches
Previous ranking: NR, NR coaches

Chemeketa appears to be somewhat back on form since their little rough patch a few weeks back. A beatdown of Umpqua, a survival against a feisty Clackamas team, and a big win over No. 8 Lane were enough to give Chemeketa a two game cushion over Lane for the top seed in the Southern Region, which is still largely up for grabs. Looking ahead, Chemeketa will have to play two teams, Mt. Hood and No. 7 SW Oregon, that are desperately fighting for playoff positioning, meaning that if the Storm get caught sleeping, they could easily see their boat rocked.


6. Tacoma (16-7, 9-3 West)
No. 6 coaches
Previous ranking: No. 4, No. 5 coaches

A close loss to one of the league's absolute best on the road could go either way. One, a game like that can be somewhat of a measuring stick and a learning experience. That, or a devastating loss can get inside the head of a team, and they trip up again. Fortunately for the Titans, it seems as though they have chosen the former after their six point loss to No. 3 Pierce. They started by blowing out Grays Harbor by 18, then Centralia (15-9, 9-4 West) by nine, and finished off their week by absolutely demolishing Highline 90-51 [box] in their highest scoring affair of the season.


7. SW Oregon (12-10, 7-3 South)
NR coaches
Previous ranking: No. 8, NR coaches

SW Oregon's next game will be a crucial one. The 15 point loss to Clackamas (12-12, 4-6 South) with their leading scorer off the court dropped them out of a tie for first place in the Southern Region, and they sit just one game ahead of Lane with four games remaining. A win in that match up would give SW Oregon enough of a cushion that it would almost guarantee the Lakers the 2nd seed in the South, and would give them a chance to catch Chemeketa with a win in the season finale.


8. Lane (18-6, 6-4 South)
No, 8 coaches
Previous ranking: No. 5, No. 4 coaches

Lane, after starting off the season so strong, has found themselves in a bit of a tailspin as of late. They have lost three of their last five, and four of their last eight, dropping them into third place in the South, just one game above Mt. Hood and Portland and two games above Clackamas. The Titans will have to play both Portland and Clackamas once more, in addition to facing SW Oregon. Their road going forward will be extremely tough, as all but one of their opponents has something to fight for.



  1. hey you got the chemeketa description mixed up....they arent lane and didnt lose to sorry ass umpqua

  2. You're quite right. That will be updated as soon as possible. Thank you.