By Katie Patton in Sports
The Penguins (16-9) defeated the Warriors (21-6) 61-60 in the first round of the Northwest Athletic Conference tournament in Kennewick, Wash., Saturday morning.
To start the game, Clark played with a possession minded offense, bringing the shot clock down within five seconds multiple times. The Penguins headed to the locker room with a 37-24 lead, shooting 46.7 percent and only turning the ball over twice.
“We came out red-hot in the first half,” Head Coach Al Aldridge said. “Our shooting was outstanding, but that can sometimes come back to bite you later on in the game.”
In the second half, the Penguins gave the Warriors some room to fight back. Five minutes left in the game, Walla Walla took it’s first lead. Guard Courtney Davis of Walla Walla was able to sink a 3-pointer, bringing the score to 55-54 Warriors.
Then with a minute left in regulation Clark guard Bryn Tennyson hit a 3-pointer to seal the win for the Penguins.
“It’s really not just about one player, if it wasn’t for my teammate (Alexa Orcutt) who got the assist I would have never got the chance to score,” Tennyson said. “We run drills like that in practice all the time. I felt completely relaxed taking it.”
Orcutt and teammate Michaela Bitanga led the team with 16 points, while Orcutt chipped in five rebounds, six assists and two steals.
“Winning this game really meant a lot to our team,” Orcutt said. “It also really meant a lot to me personally, my team lost in the state championship game last year, so this was a game of redemption for me.”
The Lady Penguins will play the Southwestern Oregon Lakers tomorrow at noon.
“(The Lakers) are a tough team. From this morning I saw a good rebounding team,” Aldridge said. “At this point in time, in this tournament, there are no easy match ups, but this is a team that we will be able to compete with tomorrow.”
SW Oregon played the early game Saturday morning, defeating the Bellevue Bulldogs 70-69.