By Jeremy McDonald
OLYMPIA, Wash.– It was a game to forget for the Tacoma Community College Men’s Basketball down the road from home versus South Puget Sound Community College Saturday afternoon.
After a great start against the Clippers, something happened to the Titans as SPSCC outscored 71-40 in the 84-54 victory to stay undefeated in the NWAC West Region.
“It was very frustrating just that we weren’t able to respond to adversity and the fact that we cracked first,” said Head Coach TJ Caughell. “I mean we got frustated early in the game and we weren’t able to stick with what we were hoping to do which was stay patient offensively and move the ball and probe inside and out and good shots.
“We started to take quick shots early in the game and it broke down our defense as well because there were a lot of long rebounds that went the other way in transition.”
The Titans offense struggled as they found themselves giving up 26 rebounds to the Clipper defense to nine offensive rebounds themselves on the offensive end as they shot 32-percent overall from the field something that contributed to the big momentum swing halfway through the first half.
To start the game though, TCC battled through some minor hiccups and took a 14-13 lead following a Ravion Bell converted an ‘And-One’ as the sophomore complied a 11 point, 10 rebound, two block performance in the game.
“I loved it, I thought we came out with a lot of energy and guys emotionally were ready to go, but we weren’t mentality ready to go and we weren’t able to weather any storm. We weren’t able to respond to any adversity. So it was really frustrating,” said Caughell.
A minor let-down in their mentality that resulted in turnovers allowed momentum that was up in the air already, to go in the favor of the Clippers as they slowly built a 47-31 lead by the halftime break behind their strong play.
SPSCC carried that momentum into the second half to keep in full control of the game to hand Tacoma Community College their third NWAC loss and drops them to 10-10 overall and 3-3 in league.
But, as they look to face Highline Wednesday and to start the second loop of league here within the next week or so, Caughell hopes that this game inspires his team to do well as knows that they are capable of doing.
“I hope it inspires us,” he said. “I hope that we play better moving forward. This point of the year, it’s frustrating, but all you can do is really wipe it and move on.
“I think we need to forget about it and refocused Monday at practice and be ready to go and see how well we can play on Wednesday in a very important game for us with playoff implications.”
TCC will play host to Highline Wednesday at 8pm. The Thunderbirds are coming off a 93-52 loss to Pierce Saturday.
TITAN SCORERS-Wyatt-12. Bell-11. Beatha-7. Thompson-6. Powers-6. Shaw-5.Pascua- 3. Carter-2. Moore-2.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL- Down 52-39 early in the fourth, the Lady Titans roared to life as they cut it to three late with 6.7 seconds left in the game, but the Clippers of SPSCC iced the game with free throws following an intentional foul by Tacoma.
Bobbi Westendorf helped lead the charge as she scored 24 points and hauled in six rebounds as the the sophomore filled up the stat sheet Saturday afternoon with two blocks, three steals and two assist as well. Aubre Mitchell added another 14 points with a team-high five steals in the 65-60 loss.
Tacoma will too host Highline (7-13, 4-2) Wednesday night at 6pm as they look to break out of a two-way tie for third with the Thunderbirds in the conference standings.
TITAN SCORERS- Westendorf-24. Mitchell-14. Roiko-5. Vega-5. Gilber-4. Kelly-4.Malik-2. Prichett-2.