Mount Hood

Women’s basketball earns home split

Emilie Howey (32) looks to pass the ball to a teammate during their game against Western Washington University. PHOTO BY STEPHANIE BLAIR | Staff Photographer
Emilie Howey (32) looks to pass the ball to a teammate during their game against Western Washington University. PHOTO BY STEPHANIE BLAIR | Staff Photographer
 Staff Writer

The women’s basketball team returned home from a three-game road trip this past weekend to host Simon Fraser University and Western Washington University. The Wolves came away with a split as they defeated Simon Fraser 68-45 on Thursday but fell to Western Washington 81-48 on Saturday.

On Thursday, Feb. 12, the Wolves put together their best shooting performance of the season, shooting nearly 60 percent from the field, including a sizzling 68 percent in the second half to handle Simon Fraser 68-45. Led by forward Dana Goularte’s 15 points, the Wolves (6-15, 3-10 GNAC) were able to take advantage of the absence of Simon Fraser’s second leading scorer, Meg Wilson (13.4 ppg), and dominate down low, outscoring the Clan (12-10, 8-6 GNAC) 38-22 in points in the paint.

“Beating Simon Fraser gave us a confidence boost knowing that we can play with and beat any team in our conference,” said guard Jordan Mottershaw. “Our goals for the last few games are to execute all of the game plans and really focus on controlling everything we can control. If we do that, I know we can get a few more wins.”

Western opened the game with an 11-2 scoring run and never looked back en route to a commanding 33-15 halftime lead. The Wolves were able to add suffocating defense to their hot shooting as they held Simon Fraser to just 27 percent shooting as well as 20 percent from behind the 3-point line, which included a 1-11 performance in the first half.

“We played as a team,” Goularte said. “We offensively shared the ball well and defensively played team defense. We are concentrating on playing to our best ability as a team.”

On Saturday, Feb. 14, Western Oregon was unable to continue their hot shooting against the conference’s third best team, Western Washington, shooting just 39 percent from the field including 28 percent from behind the 3-point line to lose 81-48. The team’s leading scorer, Goularte once again led the team with 12 points and seven rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as Western Washington (17-7, 11-4 GNAC) shot nearly 50 percent from the field and went a perfect 10-10 at the free-throw line.

The Wolves (6-16, 3-11 GNAC) wore pink jerseys to support the Play4Kay breast cancer research foundation in honor of Kay Yow, the women’s basketball coach at NC State who died in 2009.

Western faces a daunting road trip next week as they travel to Billings, Mont. on Thursday, Feb. 19 to play Montana State-Billings before traveling to Seattle to play Seattle Pacific University on Saturday, Feb. 21.

Track hits more NCAA qualifying times

 Staff Writer

The Western track team traveled to Seattle Feb. 13-15 to compete in a pair of meets in preparation for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships next week.

On Friday and Saturday, the Wolves competed in the Husky Classic, a prestigious meet that combines runners from across the country from both Divisions I and II and the Husky Open on Sunday.

During the Husky Classic, Brady Beagley and Sam Naffziger hit NCAA provisional qualifying times in the mile and 800-meter, respectively. Beagley posted a time of 4 minutes, 10.6 seconds to put him just seven seconds away from an automatic qualifying time while Naffziger’s time of 1:53.37 was just inside the provisional mark and was also good for a new personal best in the event.

“Going into the race I had a lot of confidence in myself, and I felt like I was ready to run fast,” said Naffziger. “I was also in a fast heat which definitely helped me run the time I did.”

“Another huge factor that helped me is the people I train with; they bring it every day and push me to get faster. Having a provisional is great because all the hard work is paying off, but also motivates me to continue to work hard and get into the national meet,” Naffziger said.

Badane Sultessa, Aaron Whitaker, Josh Hanna, and Beagley competed in the distance medley relay, finishing third overall with a time of 9:59.24, just three seconds shy of first.

“Getting to compete in the Husky Classic was important to me because it gave me a chance to race in a really competitive atmosphere,” Whitaker said. “As for getting ready for conference, I think that keeping that same energy and intensity that we had at the Husky Classic will benefit us as we prepare
to go to conference this weekend.”

On Sunday during the Husky Open, Western runners began strong with Dustin Camarillo and Rihei Grothmann both posting personal bests in the 60m hurdles with times of 8.92 and 8.95 respectively.

There was a trio of seasonal bests in the 800m run as Josh Dempsey (1:56.68), Chris Stash (1:58.39), and Parker Marson (1:58.97) each came within five seconds of hitting the NCAA Division II national provisional qualifying time.

For the women, Laura Patrick ran a season best time of 26.82 in the 200m dash as well as a personal best time of 8.13 in the 60m dash to cap an impressive day.

“No matter if it’s conference or any time of year, a PR gives you confidence going into the next meet and raises the excitement level,” Patrick said. “As a team going into conference, I think the goal is to just get better. We have a lot to learn and a lot to improve on. Win or lose, we can walk away with something to make us better for the next time we step on the track. The goal is to come home with some victories, whether they are big or small.”

In the high jump, Cherise Kirkpatrick (1.53) and Sam Moore (1.48) finished third and fifth, respectively, while also posting new personal records. Suzy Van Der Grift took home first place in her heat of the 600m run with a new personal best time of 1:39.56 while Rachel Crawford narrowly missed out
on the provisional qualifying time for the 800m run, finishing third in her heat with a time of 2:20.43, just five seconds away from qualifying.

The Wolves are traveling to Nampa, Idaho to compete at the GNAC conference meet Feb. 20-21.

Wolves fall in Alaska during three-game road trip

 Staff Writer

The women’s basketball team traveled far north this past weekend to take on the pair of Alaska schools. On Thursday, Feb. 5, the Wolves suffered a tough defeat at the hands of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, falling 60-47.

“The two losses in Alaska have made our team really motivated to get wins at home this week,” said guard Jordan Mottershaw. “We have to refocus and take care of our home court. We know from our last two games that we need to put more emphasis on rebounding.”

Western (5-14, 2-9 GNAC) started slowly and trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half before battling back behind the duo of forward Dana Goularte and Mottershaw (11 points each) to cut the deficit to three points early in the second half.

The Wolves, however, would never get closer as the Nanooks (13-9, 5-7 GNAC) used a 20-point performance by Benissa Bulaya to pull away and secure the victory.

“We’re working on controlling what we can control and playing together,” said forward Sami Osborne. “We’re striving to finish these last few weeks off strong, fighting our way up for the sixth spot and working towards playing to our full potential as a team.”

On Saturday, Nov. 7, the Wolves faced one of the best teams in the country, No. 2 ranked Alaska-Anchorage. The Seawolves (22-1, 12-1 GNAC) flexed their muscles from the opening tip, jumping out to a 19-0 lead in the first six minutes of the game en route to a 77-51 victory.

Goularte and Mottershaw led Western (5-15, 2-10 GNAC) in scoring for the second straight game, scoring 10 points each while Osborne pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Alaska-Anchorage got a major boost from their bench as Sierra Afoa and Jenna Buchannon scored 15 and 14 points respectively in reserve.

“Anchorage is one of the best teams in the nation and I credit that to their work ethic and mental toughness,” said head coach Holli Howard-Carpenter. “A takeaway from that game is that we have to do everything with a purpose: cut hard, set solid screens, make the extra pass, finish every play with a box out.

“It really is about how well we can execute the “little things” and also being mentally tough when faced with adversity. Basketball is a game of runs and we must focus on limiting our opponent’s runs and extending our own,” Howard-Carpenter said.

The Wolves return home to host Simon Fraser University on Thursday, Feb. 12 and Western Washington University on Saturday, Feb. 14 for the Play4Kay game to raise Breast Cancer Awareness.

Baseball annihilated in San Diego tournament 1-7

 Sports Editor

Baseball finished out their eight game tournament in San Diego 1-7 before starting another three game series in Seaside, California, Saturday Feb. 13-15.

The Wolves met Point Loma Nazarene University of San Diego on Thursday, Feb. 5 for their four game match-up, tied at three after nine innings, the match-up would be resumed on Friday. After two extra innings, the Wolves fell 4-3 after a
walk-off home run with two outs in the bottom of the 12th before the next nine innings of game two.

“The team is really focusing on trusting the process and the plan our coaches have set for us,” said infielder Garrett Harpole.

During Friday’s game, the Wolves out-hit PLNU 14-10 but despite statistics, PLNU was able to score five runs in the second inning, giving them a 9-4 edge at the end of nine innings.

Western was led by infielder Marcus Hinkle who went 4-for-4 and two runs. Outfielder’s Matt Taylor and Cody Sullivan had three hits each while first baseman Nathan Etheridge batted in two PLNU players.

Lefty pitcher Clark McKitrick started early for the Wolves, only allowing six runs, two earned, on two hits. Pitcher and lefty pitcher Michael Bennett and Spencer Trautmann added 6.1 innings together only allowing three runs on eight hits, striking out five.

Hinkle would put the Wolves on the board in the top of the third after Etheridge’s single to bring him home from third. Sullivan went to hit a double
in the top of the seventh, bringing in Etheridge from second. The last two runs came in the top of the eighth with a single by Taylor, bringing in Harpole and Hinkle off a sacrifice fly by Etheridge.

The doubleheader was played on Feb. 7 where the Wolves won 17-0 and then lost the last game 2-0. In the first game, Taylor led the Wolves with a 4-for-6 performance at the plate. Harpole had six runners batted in and went 3-for-4 while Hinkle also added three hits in the first game victory.

The second game of the double header did not see the same scoring abilities from the Wolves, unable to capitalize in the top of the second in scoring position and PLNU unable to score until the sixth inning, the second game of the doubleheader and the last game in the eight game tournament ended 2-0 in favor of PLNU.

“We obviously didn’t get off to the start that we were looking for,” said head coach Kellen Walker. “This is a tough group. We will make the adjustments that we need to in order to get this thing where it needs to be.”

The Wolves will travel back to California on Friday, Feb. 13 for a four-game series in Seaside against California State University Monterey Bay starting at 2 p.m.

“I think going into this weekend we need to understand that as much as this is a team sport, we individually need to have success in crucial situations,” Taylor said. “Offensively, we need to get guys on and manufacture runs by moving runners over early in the game. Defensively, we need to take care of the ball and throw
strikes. We are confident we are the better team, we just need to show up from pitch one.”

Track and field prevails at Washington State University Indoor meet

The Western track team had a strong showing last weekend at the Cougar Indoor
meet, hosted by Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. on Feb. 7.

Several Western runners placed in the top five in their respective heats and numerous others posted personal best performances.

The highlight of the day was when Josh Hanna took home the victory in the 800m,
finishing with a time of 1:54.36, over a second faster than the next fastest runner. In the mile, Brady Beagley finished second ahead of several runners from Division I schools, posting a time of 4:19.58.

He would follow that up later in the day with a third place performance in the
3,000m run with a time of 8:47.49. David Ribich and Zach Holloway would also place in the top 10 in the 3,000m with times of 8:56.40 and 9:04.28, respectively.

“I feel like racing the 3k with some teammates was more of a tune up for the meet
this weekend,” said Beagley. “It is always nice to have teammates by your side in a race. It makes the race feel more comfortable and relaxing.”

For the hurdles, Kaleb Dobson ran 8.47 seconds in the 60m race, winning his heat.

He then improved to 8.44 seconds in finals where he took fourth overall. Aaron Whitaker would take eighth overall in the 400m run with a time of 51.78 while teammate AJ Holmberg finished ninth in 52.71.

“Meets give me experience because I’ve never ran indoor before,” Holmberg said.
“I definitely like Pullman more because it’s more comparable to what conference will be like.”

On the women’s side, the big news of the day came from the weight throw, where all four competitors for Western posted personal records. Emmi Collier (14.26m), Allison Cook (13.5m), Alex Green (13m), and Leah Nicklason (10.78m) threw personal best distances on Saturday.

On the track, Rochelle Pappel finished sixth in her heat of the 60m hurdles in 9.24 seconds, advancing her to finals where she improved to 9.14 seconds. Audrey Hellesto and Suzie Van De Grift finished second and third overall in the 400m, finishing in 1:00.60 and 1:00.62 respectively.

Bailey Beeson would finish sixth overall in the 400m with a time of 1:00.94.

Stephanie Stuckey posted a new personal record in the 800, finishing fourth overall with a time of 2:20.44.

“The meet in Pullman really put into perspective where I’m at in my fitness and
helped me mentally see how my race will go in Boise, Idaho,” Beeson said. “Going to meets together and all the work we do in practice is helping us set up the team for success in Idaho.”

The Wolves will travel back to Seattle to participate in the Husky Classic on Feb. 13-14 and the Husky Open on Feb. 15 inside the Dempsey Indoor Facility

Western reaches 20 wins in season, first time in 18 years

 Staff Writer

Western men’s basketball team boarded their bus last week to play Central Washington University on Thursday, Feb. 5, and then Northwest Nazarene University on Feb. 7. The Wolves would extend their win streak to 10 by coming though with wins in both venues.

By winning the last two games (20-3, 21-1 GNAC), for the first time in school
history, the team has now moved into the Top 20 in both National Association of Basketball Coaches and the DII Media Poll Sponsored by Division II Sports Information Directors of America.

“It’s definitely a great accomplishment as a team and individually to contribute
to that,” said guard Devon Alexander. “We are, however, aware that we haven’t accomplished our overall goal just yet, so we put the rankings and stuff behind us for now. We still have a lot of work to do.”

The win against Central Washington University (12-6, 7-4 GNAC) was not an easy win. With a final score of 78-71, the Wolves had to overcome a 10-point deficit
early in the second half before forward Andy Avgi put the final nail in the coffin with a breakaway dunk to finish the game.

Avgi had 27 points of the night with 11-of-15 shooting and was backed up by Alexander who had 15 points of his own. Guard Julian Nichols contributed in all aspects of the game with eight points, seven rebounds and a game-high eight
assists before leaving with an injury late in the final minutes.

“Central Washington is really difficult to stop,” said head coach Brady Bergeson.
“They never let down with their attack. Our guys spent everything they had to get
this one done.”

In a similar match-up, it was the Wolves impressive game finishing skills that
made the win a possibility while playing Northwest Nazarene University (10-12,
8-4 GNAC) last Saturday. Alexander lead the team offensively as they mounted a
9-1 run in the game’s final two-minutes to give Western their 20th win of the season in a fashionable and dramatic comeback contest.

Alexander had a game-high 19 points, a game-high six steals, and four clutch
free throws in the final 30 seconds of the game to seal the deal at 66-62. Avgi had 15 points and a gamehigh eight rebounds as he was once again a dominant force in the paint.

“Our kids gutted themselves to find a way to win tonight,” Bergeson said. “It was an exhausting, physical, hard-fought game. I’m so proud of our young men.”

Western posted its first season with 20-or-more victories since the Wolves went
20-9 during the 1996-97 season as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. In the 94-year history of the program, Western has registered 20-ormore wins only 14 times that included two stretches of four straight seasons from 1979-83 and 1993-97.

“The rankings aren’t our main focus; it’s the game in front of us, but it is nice to have that recognition,” said Avgi.

The Wolves traveled to Washington Wednesday Feb. 11, to play Saint Martin’s
University in the ROOT sports game of the week, where they won 66-56. This will
sum up three away games in six days for the Wolves as they hope to take home a W
for the second time this year against Saint Martin’s.

The Wolves will then return home to welcome Western Washington University on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.

Buzzer-beating Bliss

 Managing Editor

Having spent the last two minutes of regulation time on their feet, Western fans erupted as guard Devon Alexander’s game-tying 3-pointer fell through the net as the buzzer sounded, sending last Saturday’s game against Seattle Pacific University into overtime.

After a resonance that surely rivaled the decibels at Autzen Stadium, fans remained on their feet through the two overtimes in which the Wolves secured their win over SPU (16-5 overall, 8-3 GNAC) 98-84.

Lengthening their winning streak to eight, the team added more than just a “W” to their schedule. The No. 20 Wolves (18- 3 overall, 10-1 GNAC) climbed up four spots in the National Association of Basketball Coaches poll, since earning a No. 24 ranking on Jan. 27, the first top 25 national ranking of the program’s history.

“We are proud that we have been able to give national recognition to our university,” Head Coach Brady Bergeson said. In addition, forward Andy Avgi, who joined the 1000-point club in the Wolves’ win against Western Washington, was named GNAC player of the week after his career-high 33-point performance against SPU.

Ten of Avgi’s 33 points came from the charity stripe where he shot a 10-for-11 (90 percent) and converted 11 of 20 field goals.

Other double-digit contributors included Alexander with 20, guard Julian Nichols with 18 and guard Jordan Wiley with 10.

Despite Avgi’s outstanding offensive performance, the forward attributes their win to the team’s defense.

“The main focus of this week was our defense, and I believe that we did it well. Our defense got us into overtime,” Avgi said. In their previous meeting with the Falcons, the Wolves fell 83-76 at Brougham Pavilion in Seattle, Wash. on Jan. 1.

Going into the game against SPU, Bergeson acknowledged the “unique challenges” the
Wolves needed to prepare for.

“Our game plan was primarily the same the second time around as it was the first. We made one adjustment to help with our baseline rotations,” he said.

The Falcons led for the first five minutes of the half, creating at most a six point deficit. A jumper by forward Adam Hastings with less than 10 minutes left in the half provided the momentum Western needed for a 9-0 run to take the lead 24-

The Wolves were in the winning position for the first time in the game before the Falcons stole the lead back 33-30 with 2:42 left in the first half. SPU sustained their lead and ended the first period with the upper hand 38-34.

Up by four at the start of the second half, SPU continued their lead 49-38. The Falcons had a nine-point lead over the Wolves for the majority of the half. On one occasion, Western came within five points of Seattle Pacific (57-52), when Avgi scored his only 3-pointer of the night.

With less than five minutes left in regulation, the Falcons led 67-58. Throughout the rest of the half, whenever Avgi approached the free-throw line, crickets could be heard. The crowd’s silence spoke volumes of how Western’s fan-base wanted the win just as much as, if not more than, the Wolves themselves.

On an 11-5 run with under 10 seconds left, the Wolves closed the deficit to three.
Much like Russell Wilson in the last 15 seconds of Super Bowl XLIX, SPU’s guard Matt Borton missed his chance to seal the deal; Borton missed both shots at the freethrow line.

With 7.6 seconds in regulation, an anxiety-filled gym watched in awe as Alexander
waited until the last second to sink one from outside of the arc.

Tied at 72, Bergeson described the first overtime period as “a heavyweight lugfest.” “It was like two large fighters, standing in the ring exchanging right hands,” he said. “We knew who they were going to every time and they knew what we were doing, too.”

With 26 seconds left in the first overtime period, forward Mitch Penner sunk one of two of his free throws to send the game into a second overtime.

Tied again at 79, the Wolves went into the second overtime relying on their conditioning to bring them to victory. Bergeson explained that the Wolves “continued to press and wear SPU down with ball pressure.”

Western lead by four 83-79 at the opening of the second overtime with a jumper from Avgi and a pair of free throws by Alexander. “Once we got a lead in, our [players] smelled blood and were able to close,” Bergeson said.

And closed they did, winning by 10 points with a final score 94-84. “We lost [in Seattle] and we didn’t play our best,” Avgi said. “We played our best here, and SPU played their best, and we came out with the win.”

The Wolves shot 29-for-61 (47.5 percent) from the field, 5-of-18 (27.8 percent) from behind the arc and 31-for-36 (86.1 percent) at the free-throw line. SPU shot 29-for-63 (46 percent) from the field, 5-of-15 (33.3 percent) from 3-point range and 21-for-30 (70 percent) at the charity stripe.

“Winning always feels good,” Alexander said. “That feeling of success motivates us to not settle for anything less. We don’t really want to think about stats.”

At the time of publication on Feb. 5, the Wolves were competing against the Central Washington Wildcats at Ellensburg, Wash.