Clark teams split finale against Pierce College

Both Penguins squads bound for postseason tourney

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A year later, the end result was still the same.

But there is one difference for the Clark College men’s basketball team — the season is not over.

Pierce College edged out the Penguins with a last-second shot 61-60 Saturday at the O’Connell Center in the regular-season finale of Northwest Athletic Association of Communitiy Colleges West Division play.

Pierce did the same to Clark last year, winning by one in the final game, 68-67. Clark was already out of postseason contention by the time it played that game.

This year, Clark had already booked its spot in the NWAACC Championship at the Toyota Center in Kennewick next week. The Penguins (15-10, 9-7 NWAACC West) will go as the West’s No. 4 seed.

Clark led 33-24 at the half against Pierce, and actually shot better in the second half but gave back the advantage due to missed free throws and lack of rebounding.

Pierce outrebounded Clark, 48-27.

“I told our players after the game that we just took the seventh-ranked team in the NWAACC down to the wire and just didn’t get it done,” Clark coach Mike Arnold said. “The result was disappointing, but I was pleased with our defensive effort.”

Arman Kalan had a double-double for Clark with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Dan Anderson led the Penguins in scoring with 11 points, and Stephon Hopkins added 10 points.

Clark is scheduled to begin tournament play at 6 p.m. Saturday against Clackamas, the top team from the South division.

Women: Clark 66, Pierce 62 — Solid free-throw shooting by the Penguins and a season-high 27 points from Clara Russell helped get Clark past Pierce in the regular-season finale.

Russell, a Heritage High grad, was 9 of 18 from the field and 8 for 10 from the free-throw line.

Clark shot 85 percent from the foul line (23 of 27) including a perfect 9 for 9 in the first half.

“We played a smart game ... a better team game,” Clark coach Nancy Boone said. “And we made our free throws.”

Deborah Simmers added 14 points, and Lacey Kruse had 10 points and seven rebounds for Clark.

The Penguins (13-11, 11-5 NWAACC West) are the No. 3 West seed for the NWAACC Championship, which begins Saturday at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

Clark, which is making back-to-back appearances in the tournament for just the second time, is scheduled to begin play at 10 a.m. Saturday against Lane, the South No. 2 team.