Saturday, March 1, 2014

Tritons Stun Treasure Valley in NWAACC Opener

box score

KENNEWICK – The EdCC men’s basketball team upset second-ranked Treasure Valley 77-70 in opening round of the NWAACC Championships at the Tri-Cities Toyota Center on Saturday. The victory propels Edmonds into the second round of the winner’s bracket and into a noon meeting with fourth-ranked Pierce on Sunday. Pierce defeated Southwest Oregon 86-75 earlier in the day.

The Tritons, runners up in 2013, entered this year’s tournament as a No. 4 seed while the East champion Chukars entered as a No. 1 seed. Rankings made little difference to EdCC which has proved that they can compete with—and beat—anyone. The going against TVCC wasn’t easy, however. 

The two teams combined for 13 lead changes in the first half, going into the locker room at a 35-35 tie.  The game was no different in the second, with the teams entertaining the crowd with 10 ties and 19 lead changes. 

Both teams shot under 40 percent from the field and neither did much from beyond the arc or at the free throw line. What eventually swung the win to Edmonds was rebounding a defense. The Tritons pulled in 60 boards compared to just 38 from TVCC. Because of this advantage, EdCC was able to score 18 second-chance points, while the Chukars managed just two second-chance points.

A tight contest throughout, the two teams entered the break even at 35. Edmonds staggered out of the break, though, and trailed by five, 42-37 at the 15-minute mark. The Tritons slowly started to build momentum and closed to within a point (50-49) at 9:00. With 7:30 remaining it was Edmonds leading 54-53.

EdCC built its lead to four points and was up by six with a minute remaining. The Tritons finally started sinking their shots at the stripe and managed to stay out in front when TVCC was forced to foul late.

Center Payton Pervier had 15 points and 23 rebounds to lead Edmonds’ balanced attack. Sam Omondi contributed 14 points and 8 rebounds with Badhasa Margarsa, Ramsey Rosales and Zach Pederson each adding 9 points. Margasa and Philip Maxie each dished out 4 assists.

The Tritons improved to 18-10 on the year and dropped Treasure Valley to 18-9. The Chukars play Southwest Oregon at 8 am Sunday in a loser-out game.

Edmonds and Pierce (21-6) played earlier this season with the Tritons coming out on top in Seaview Gym 85-82. Margarsa had 20 points in that contest with Pederson scoring 17. Gary Jacobs and Chris Parker led the Raiders with 20 and 17 points respectively. 


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