Clark's defense stifles Chemeketa

Penguins win 87-77 to reach NWAACC quarterfinals

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The NWAACC's top-ranked team shut down the league's No. 1 scoring offense.

The Clark College men's basketball team topped Chemeketa 87-77 Saturday in the first round of the NWAACC Tournament at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

"Defense," said Clark coach Alex Kirk when asked what the key to the game was. "We wanted to make a statement with our defense and we did that."

Clark (25-1), winners of 23 consecutive games, advances to face Skagit Valley (19-9) in a quarterfinal matchup at 4 p.m. today.

The Penguins held Chemeketa (14-14) well below its 96.8 points-per-game average.

Sean Price and Collin Spickerman each scored 19 points for the Penguins. Price also had eight rebounds and three assists, and Spickerman had seven rebounds.

Max Livingston had 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds, and Frank Norman had 14 points and four assists.

Chemeketa was led by Bryce White's 21 points and 10 rebounds. White is the third leading scorer in the NWAACC at 27.5 points a game.

Still, the Clark players felt the effort could have been even better. They led by as many as 21 points in the second half.

"Our guys were kicking themselves some. They felt like they left something out on the floor," Kirk said. "They are a hungry bunch. We shot well from 3 in the first half, but missed some easy inside shots.

"It's going to take all we've got to beat Skagit Valley."

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