Coming off the most successful regular season in program history, the Whtiman College women’s basketball team will host University of Puget Sound at 6 p.m. today in a Northwest Conference semifinal game in Walla Walla.
The Missionaries (25-0) are No. 1 in the country after wrapping up the first conference title since 2003-04. They feature Southridge High graduate Heather Johns, who was named the NWC’s player of the year earlier this week — the first Whitman women’s basketball player to pick up that honor. Head coach Michelle Ferenz was named the coach of the year, as well.
It all adds up to a team that is expected to go deep into the NCAA Division III tournament. The Missionaries made the final eight last season, which was the deepest run in school history.
The Whitman men (16-9) also host UPS in the semifinals at 8 p.m. today. The Missionaries had four players named to the all-conference team, as Matt Mounier and Tochi Oti were on the second team. Ben Eisenhardt and Evan Martin earned honorable mention honors.
Eisenhardt was the reigning conference player of the year, but injuries derailed his season. He is back now, though, and has the Missionaries prepared to make a run at the national tournament.
WHITWORTH IN SEMIFINALS: Richland High graduate Colton McCargar, a senior, earned first team all-NWC honors for the Whitworth men’s basketball team.
McCargar is averaging a team-high 14.9 points per game this season, starting at a wing position.
McCargar leads the Pirates (20-5) into the NWC semifinals at 7 p.m. today against Lewis & Clark College in Spokane. Whitworth has won five consecutive NWC titles.