Junior colleges headed into the playoffs

Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges wrapped up their seasons last night, and the Division champs have been declared:

NORTH W-L PCT W-L

Z- Skagit Valley 15-0 1.000 23-1
X- Peninsula 12-3 .800 17-9
X- Whatcom 10-5 .667 14-9
X- Bellevue 9-6 .600 16-11
Everett 8-8 .500 9-17
Seattle 6-9 .400 7-18
Shoreline 4-11 .267 10-16
Olympic 4-11 .267 6-17
Edmonds 0-15 .000 0-22

EAST W-L PCT W-L

Z- Yakima Valley 14-0 1.000 23-5
X- Walla Walla 9-5 .643 18-6
X- Treasure Valley 9-5 .643 15-11
X- Columbia Basin 9-5 .643 17-10
Spokane 8-6 .571 15-11
Big Bend 4-10 .286 14-13
Wenatchee Valley 2-12 .143 7-20
Blue Mountain 1-13 .071 3-20

WEST W-L PCT W-L

Z- Centralia 14-1 .933 22-3
X- Lower Columbia 12-3 .800 15-11
X- Highline 10-5 .667 15-12
X- S. Puget Sound 9-6 .600 15-10
Grays Harbor 8-8 .500 8-15
Clark 7-8 .467 7-15
Tacoma 4-11 .267 8-17
Green River 4-11 .267 10-13
Pierce 0-15 .000 2-22

SOUTH W-L PCT W-L

Z- Umpqua 13-1 .929 26-2
X- Lane 12-2 .857 23-5
X- Clackamas 10-4 .714 19-7
X- Mt. Hood 8-6 .571 16-11
Linn-Benton 5-9 .357 9-16
SW Oregon 4-10 .286 9-17
Chemeketa 4-10 .286 8-18
Portland 0-14 .000 3-19
Z- Division Champion
X- Clinched Playoff Berth

Umpqua and Lane had perhaps the most hyped game and fierce rivalry. Umpqua’s only league loss this year had been to Lane Jan. 21, and Lane had beat the Riverhawks nine games in a row, in a winning streak that dated back to 2004. Last night Umpqua needed the win to secure the league title, and during the first half it didn’t sound like they were going to get there.

I listened to the first half online at work while getting ready to go to my high school playoff game. The Riverhawks fell behind by as much as 16 points, and starting point guard and Los Angeles native Mykiea Russell got three quick (total BS calls – the refs were horrible) fouls and was sitting by, I wanna say, the 12-minute mark. Things were not going their way. Coach Dave Stricklin, upset by the bad officiating was T’d up for talking to the ref. Umpqua trailed 38-46 at the half, when I departed.

According to Umpqua’s hometown newspaper, the News Review, this is what happened in the second half:

While Roseburg High graduate Kristi Fallin scored a game-high 37 points and sank six 3-pointers, Scheffelmaier made two big hustle plays late. With her team leading 82-80, the sophomore recovered her own missed attempt and called a timeout from the floor with 30 seconds remaining.

“When you are on the floor you just have to call a timeout,” Scheffelmaier said. “I was taught that you’ve got to be smart when it comes down to the end and make the big plays.”

On the ensuing possession, Lane had to foul Miranda Holenstein, who knocked down both free throws with 20 seconds left in the game. On the next Titan possession, Sheena Cole dribbled the ball off her foot and Scheffelmaier dived for it, forcing a jump ball that gave UCC the possession arrow.

Scheffelmaier calmly sank two free throws to seal the victory against a school she wanted desperately to bring down.

Some great pictures on this link, too:

http://www.nrtoday.com/article/20090226/SPORTS/902269954/1012/NONE&parentprofile=1056&title=Riverhawks%20beat%20nemesis%20Lane%2C%20win%20NWAACC%20titile

Regionals begin next week. Times have yet to be set, but I have sources that will keep me in the loop.

Teams of the National Junior College Athletic Association are still wrapping up regular season play. Current standings, as of last night, are here:

http://www.njcaa.org/sports_polls.cfm?category=Polls&sid=23&divid=1&slid=11

I emailed a rep of the California Community College Athletic Association last month about why the standings pages never work. He said I could go on each team’s page and see their record. I said no. They really need to get organized and have a more professional website like NWAACC and NJCAA.

Edit @ 10:30 a.m. Friday to add this link from Umpqua Coach Dave Stricklin’s blog:

http://davestricklin.blogspot.com/2009/02/southern-region-champions.html

I don’t know which part I like best – the picture, the fact that not one young woman on the team let up for a second, or that coach cares about his sophomores that much. A special place, Umpqua is. I will be rooting for them in the NWAACC championship.

Also, video game highlights: http://www.douglascountysportsonline.com/womens-basketball-lane-at-umpqua-2/25/09.html

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