Penguins fall in NWAACC tourney

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The Clark College men’s and women’s teams were both sent into the consolation bracket at the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Basketball Championships with losses Saturday at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

Clark’s men fell 56-53 to Clackamas Community College, and the women lost 80-59 to Lane Community College.

MEN: Clackamas 56, Clark 53 — The Penguins went down to the wire against the top-ranked team from the South Division. Clark was 1 of 13 from three-point range, the last miss allowing the Cougars to hold on.

Austin Bragg had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Clark, while Arman Kalan added 10 points.

The Penguins outrebounded the Cougars 47-34 and had more assists, blocks and steals with only one more turnover than the Cougars. With nearly identical free throw numbers, it came down to shooting from the floor. Clackamas, led by Kirby Hawkins’ 14 points, was 21 of 54 and 7 of 16 from three-point range. Clark was 22 of 61 overall.

“We played very well and did a lot of things well,” Clark coach Mike Arnold said. “The only thing we didn’t do well is shoot the ball. I think we missed 11 layups, and we missed four in crunch time. In many ways we played very well. We just couldn’t find the basket tonight.”

Clark will play Skagit Valley College at noon today.

WOMEN: Lane 80, Clark 49 — Ashley Smith and Brittany May each scored 26 points and Smith grabbed 14 rebounds as the Titans had a 53-33 advantage on the glass.

“We ran into a buzzsaw,” Clark coachNancy Boone said. “We didn’t play good defense, and they can just shoot the ball. We played well in spurts, but we couldn’t put 40 minutes together.”

Lacey Kruse scored 16 points and Clara Russell added 13 for the Penguins. Deborah Simmers had nine rebounds for the Penguins, who will face Everett Community College at 10 a.m. today.