NWAACC men: Chemeketa rallies to title game

March 4, 2013 

It has to go down as one of the greatest comebacks in Northwest Athletic Association of Community College basketball history.

But nothing surprises Chemeketa Storm coach David Abderhalden anymore.

Down 60-39 with 7:07 to play, Abderhalden’s squad finished on a 27-5 tear to defeat Big Bend 66-65 in Monday’s first NWAACC semifinal at the Toyota Center.

The Storm returns to the championship game for the second consecutive year, and this time it’ll play the Edmonds Tritons, who held off the Spokane Sasquatch 68-64 in the second semifinal.

Chemeketa and Edmonds will meet for the title at 8 p.m. today.

This wasn’t the first time this season that Chemeketa, now 20-8, had a big comeback.

“We had another one similar to this against Lane,” said Abderhalden. “We were down 16 points with eight minutes to go.

“Here’s the bottom line: That was one excellent team we played tonight. But these guys have a will to win.”

Even down 21, the Storm didn’t panic.

“Coach told us to stay calm, stay together,” said Gavin Kauffman, who had a team-high 18 points. “Don’t care about the score.”

Chemeketa decided to slap a press on the Vikings, who had a problem with it and quit looking for the outside shots that had gotten them the lead earlier in the contest.

“We actually wanted to do that press earlier in the game, but Big Bend kept breaking it,” said Abderhalden. “But a lot of these guys, they’ve been here before. And they were focused and relaxed.”

It was Jacon Begin’s trey with 1:23 to play that gave the Storm the lead for good at 62-61. But it was Kauffman’s 11 points in the run that was huge.

“By far, that was the craziest, most fun game I have ever been involved in,” said Kauffman.

He hopes to have more fun against Edmonds, which at 26-3 is the top seed in this tournament.

Yet it took a big game from point guard Ricardo Maxwell to get the Tritons past Spokane.

Maxwell scored a game-high 25 points and scored 10 straight points in the final four minutes of the game. His running drive with 3:05 gave Edmonds a 60-58 lead, a lead it would never give up.

“Being the point guard, it’s my job to come through in the clutch,” said Maxwell. “My jumper hasn’t been falling, so I thought I would penetrate and dish off to my teammates.”

But Maxwell kept finding a path to the basket in the final minutes.

“He does a good job of creating things out there,” said Edmonds coach Kyle Gray, who after nine years at North Seattle found himself out of a job when the school dropped the program.

“The Edmonds job opened up at the right time, and some of these kids were with me at North Seattle.”

Gray was expecting a high-scoring game between these two teams.

“Spokane’s defense was great tonight,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting as low a scoring game.”

Brady Bagby led the Sasquatch with 22 points, while Tyler Edwards and Eric Holbrook had 10 each.

Shaq McKissic had 17 points and 13 rebounds for Edmonds.

Chemeketa 66, Big Bend 65
CHEMEKETA
— Saba 0-4 0-2 0, Begin 5-10 0-0 12, Kauffman 6-18 4-7 18, Howard 3-8 6-9 12, Phillips 5-13 3-5 14, Branch 0-2 0-0 0, Molan 0-5 3-4 3, Bately 3-7 1-2 7, Hutt 0-0 0-0 0, Prazeau 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 22-69 17-27 66.
BIG BEND — Walker 3-8 1-2 9, Westendorf 9-17 3-3 21, Nield 1-5 0-0 2, McCullough 4-8 0-0 11, Page 4-10 1-2 9, Johnson 4-10 0-0 10, Sanchez 0-0 0-0 0, Funston 1-4 0-4 3. Totals 26-62 5-11 65.
Halftime—BBCC 31, ChCC 19. 3-point goals—ChCC 5-24 (Begin 2-5, Kauffman 2-6, Phillips 1-4, Saba 0-2, Molan 0-3, Bately 0-2, Howard 0-2), BBCC 8-25 (McCullough 3-6, Walker 2-4, Johnson 2-8, Funston 1-3, Westendorf 0-1). Rebounds—ChCC 36 (Howard 9, Phillips 9), BBCC 45 (Page 22). Assists—ChCC 14 (Bately 4), BBCC 10 (Westendorf 4, Johnson 4). Turnovers—ChCC 11, BBCC 21. Total fouls—ChCC 15, BBCC 24. Fouled out—Walker, Westendorf.

Edmonds 68, Spokane 64
SPOKANE
— Edwards 4-10 0-0 10, Holbrook 3-6 3-4 10, Bagby 7-17 8-9 22, Haack 0-4 0-0 0, Hanson 4-7 1-2 9, Bracey 1-1 2-2 4, Nygaard 0-0 0-0 0, Downey 1-4 0-0 3, Druffel 2-4 0-0 6. Totals 22-53 14-17 64.
EDMONDS — Montano 3-8 0-0 6, Maxwell 11-22 3-3 25, Reavely 2-13 0-0 5, Kawaka 3-5 0-0 7, McKissic 6-10 5-8 17, Margasa 2-6 2-3 6, Peloquin 0-4 2-2 2, Diel 0-0 0-0 0, Spade 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-70 12-16 68.
Halftime—CCS 33, ECC 32. 3-point goals—CCS 6-24 (Edwards 2-6, Druffel 2-4, Downey 1-4, Holbrook 1-3, Bagby 0-3, Haack 0-4), ECC 2-11 (Reavely 1-2, Kawaka 1-1, Maxwell 0-3, Margasa 0-2, Peloquin 0-1, Sapde 0-1, McKissic 0-1). Rebounds—CCS 38 (Edwards 7), ECC 33 (McKissic 13). Assists—CCS 13 (Holbrook 4), ECC 14 (McKissic 5). Turnovers—CCS 20, ECC 7. Total fouls—CCS 16, ECC 14. Fouled out—Bagby.

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