Clark men clinch West Division title

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As the top team in the NWAACC, opponents have been aiming to knock Clark College off its perch.

On Monday, Clark had its own target in mind and that was the West Division title.

The Penguins put a big stamp on its season by rallying for an 81-68 victory over Pierce College at the O’Connell Center to claim the West Division.

“(Pierce) came in with a ton of energy and our guys just weathered the storm,” Clark coach Alex Kirk said. “Our guys did a nice job in hanging in there until it clicked.”

It was Clark’s 20th consecutive victory as the No. 1-ranked team in the NWAACC improved to 22-1 overall, 14-0 in the division.

Sean Price scored 15 points to go with 12 rebounds as all five Penguins starters scored in double figures.

Max Livingston led the Penguins in scoring with 18 points. Kyle Thurston and Josh Hall each scored 14 points, and Collin Spickerman had 10 points and nine rebounds.

Pierce led 30-29 at the half, and Kirk said the play from Thurston and Frank Norman was key in pulling away for the win.

Kirk said that Norman kept the Penguins in the game in the first half by attacking the Pierce pressure. Thurston made some timely 3-pointers in the second half.

“We hit them with a barrage of energy (in the second half),” Kirk said. “All season, different guys have stepped up for us.”

As the No. 1 team from the West, Clark now knows it will play its first NWAACC Tournament game at 6 p.m. on March 1 against the No. 4 team from the South Division at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

Before that, Clark closes out its home schedule on Wednesday by hosting South Puget Sound at 8 p.m.

(CLARK 81, PIERCE 68: Click here for complete boxscore)