The Roadrunners picked up a big win against the Clark Penguins which has them heading into the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) tournament in fourth place. The site for this game was at the Linn-Benton Activities Center on Saturday, March 4.
Linn-Benton’s Roadrunners (8-7) played the Clark Penguins (4-11) in a game that was out of control but surprisingly close in the end, with the final score being 70-57, and boosting the Roadrunners to the playoffs. The score heavily favored Linn-Benton at the end of the first quarter, leading 32-8, but in the second quarter mellowed out with them only outscoring Clark by one point, resulting in a 46-21 lead at halftime.
Starting the third quarter, the game picked back up and Clark went on a 10-0 run, trimming the lead down to 15 points before Linn-Benton called a timeout. After the timeout the Roadrunners were able to halt the run by scoring the next six points. Clark then called a timeout to stop LBCC’s momentum. After the Clark timeout both teams traded baskets ending the quarter with Clark outscoring LBCC 19-14, with a score of 60-40 well in favor of Linn-Benton.
Freshman Molly Aranda lead the team scoring with 22 points, while also tallying 17 rebounds, finishing the game with a double-double. The Roadrunners also saw point production from Sophomore Hannah Creswick who tallied up 19 points and five assists.
“We played a lot of man-to-man defense which lead to great communication for our offense to feed off of,” said Creswick.
Sophomore Bailee Tally had 11 points along with Freshman Sara Henderson who tallied up 11 points and three rebounds. Freshman Courteney Landis did everything but score, with only two points. However, she had four rebounds, three steals, and seven assists filling up the stat sheet.
The Penguins wouldn’t go away after starting the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run,leading to a timeout by Linn-Benton. With about five minutes left the Roadrunners went back to feeding the paint, scoring the next six points. Clark called their last timeout with about two minutes on the clock. Even though the Roadrunners only scored 10 points in the fourth quarter they were able to hold off the Penguin’s strong 17-point fourth quarter. The Roadrunners accomplished this due to their blistering lead in the first quarter, through the impressive shooting of seven three-pointers on 18 attempts.
“Going into the playoffs we have to play our game by executing great offense, play with good intensity on defense, and realize teams are going to play just as hard as we are,” said Tally.
The playoffs will be single-elimination games. The Roadrunners face the No. 1 seed of the east region, the Spokane Sasquatch, who came out with a (23-4) overall record for third best in the NWAC, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 11. The winner of that game will then play the winner of Bellevue vs. Centralia on Sunday, March 12 at 4 p.m.
Story and Photos by Josh Knight