Clark hoop teams clinch postseason

Penguins sweep Lower Columbia



The Clark College men’s and women’s basketball teams clinched NWAACC Tournament berths on Monday with wins over Lower Columbia at the O’Connell Center.

The Clark women (19-3, 12-0 NWAACC West Division) won their 15th consecutive game, 73-52 over LCC.

The No. 1-ranked Clark men (21-2, 11-1) followed with an 88-71 win over the Red Devils.

With four division games to play, seeding into the 16-team NWAACC Tournament remains up for grabs. The tournament runs March 3-6 at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

MEN: Clark 88, Lower Columbia 71 — Five Clark players scored in double figures as the Penguins got past third-place LCC and maintained a first-place tie in the division with Tacoma.

Austin Bragg had 19 points and eight rebounds for Clark. Dominique Giles added 19 points off the bench.

Also for Clark, Lucas Swanson had 17 points, Blake Bowen had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Derek Owens had 10 points and seven assists.

“We were outrebounded, but numbers don’t tell the whole story,” Clark coach Mike Arnold said. “(LCC) takes you deep into the shot clock. I was pleased with how we stayed focused on defense.”

Union grad Caden Skelton had 18 points for LCC (15-8, 9-4), and Aaron Alston led with 19 points.

WOMEN: Clark 73, Lower Columbia 52 — Deborah Simmers led three Clark players in double figures with 23 points in the Penguins’ 15th consecutive victory.

Clark maintained a two-game lead in the division over second-place Centralia.

Chelsea Dyson had a solid game with 19 points, nine rebounds and nine steals. Clara Russell added 11 points.

Caitlynn Jackson led Lower Columbia (7-15, 6-7) with 11 points.

Pierce visits Clark on Wednesday. The women play at 6 p.m. and the men at 8 p.m.