Penguins Prevail to Move On to NWAC Final Four

By Katie Patton in Sports

The Clark College men’s basketball team battled back and forth with Bellevue College and came out with the 54-51 win.

The Penguins had their hands full with the 25-4 Bulldogs at the Northwest Athletic Conference tournament Sunday afternoon. Head Coach Alex Kirk even went as far to call Bellevue the toughest team they were to face during this tournament.

“Bellevue could win a championship,” Kirk said. “(The Bulldogs) are a high caliber team, they are deep and they showed it all game. We were never able to get away from them until the final buzzer.”

The highest lead for Clark came in the beginning of the second half, with a 12-point differential. With 7 seconds left in the game the Bulldogs were within two points. Clark Forward Antony Dunn was sent to the line to shoot two free throws and sunk both, sealing the win for his team.

Both teams struggled to make their shots, shooting under 36 percent for the game. According to Evan Garrison, the win had everything to do with their defensive effort. Garrison had eight points, five rebounds and four assists. Orlando Vance and Bryan Berg also contributed eight points each.

“It was ugly, but it was a win,” Garrison said. “The great thing about these guys is that we are a team, and we know when it’s time for us to step up.”

Darrius Mathis led Clark with nine points in the win over Bellevue.

“When we recognize that we have been missing our shots, that’s when we start to step up and help one another out,” Mathis said. “We have come this far and realize what it takes to win.”

The Penguins play Monday at 8 p.m. against the winner of the Lane vs. Green River game.

“We know Green River really well because they also play in the West, but we aren’t as familiar with Lane (South Division),” Kirk said. “We are going to watch the teams play to give our guys the best chance for tomorrow.”

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