Clark men, women claim tournament titles

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The Columbian

Not a bad couple of weeks for the Clark College basketball programs.

Both the men and women wrapped up the weekend with tournament victories on Sunday.

The Clark women won their own tournament by beating NWAACC No. 2-ranked Walla Walla, 70-61.

The Clark men went 3-0 for a second tournament in a row by winning the Wenatchee Valley crossover 81-71 over fourth-ranked Tacoma.

Women

The Clark women can now claim they have defeated the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in the NWAACC this season after knocking off No. 2 Walla Walla.

Earlier this season, Clark won at then-No. 1 Yakima Valley.

Sunday’s win capped a 3-0 weekend at the Clark College crossover.

“We played really good defense, had balanced scoring, and just came together,” Clark coach Nancy Boone said of Sunday’s victory.

Tournament MVP Chelsea Dyson led all scorers with 25 points and eight assists for Clark (6-3).

Deborah Simmers had 13 points, Clara Russell 12 points and five assists, and Macy Mukensnabl, named all-tournament, had 10 points and six rebounds.

Boone said she told her players they would need to play disciplined and flawlessly to beat Walla Walla, which already had an 84-66 win over the Penguins back on Dec. 4.

“I said we’ll have to play like them, and go have fun,” Boone said. “The kids were ready for them.”

Clark led 31-20 at the half, and scored 14 points off turnovers in the game.

Men

Coming off a 3-0 trip in Iowa, Clark (8-0) played strong at Wentachee to claim the title.

Clark coach Mike Arnold said it was just fundamental basketball that pulled his team through.

“It was our team defense,” Arnold said. “We are starting to work harder and better. Today we were back in a rhythm like we were in Iowa.”

Austin Bragg, an all-tournament selection, had a double-double for the Penguins with 17 points and 14 rebounds. He made 8 of 11 shots.

Derek Owens, also named all-tournament, had 15 points and eight assists, Daniel Anderson scored 11 points, and Durham Rosser scored 10 points.

Clark had a solid first half, leading 47-31 thanks to 57 percent shooting.

The Penguins host their own eight-team tournament, Dec. 27-29 at the O’Connell Center.