Area basketball: Pirates clinch, may be No. 1
First another Northwest Conference basketball championship. Next a No. 1 ranking?
Jack Loofburrow hit 8 of his 12 3-point shots, tallying 31 points and seven rebounds as Whitworth defeated Northwest Conference foe Pacific Lutheran 85-59 Saturday in Parkland, Wash.
A little later in the evening the Pirates (21-0, 12-0 NWC) learned they have clinched the league championship, thanks to Lewis & Clark’s 71-70 loss to George Fox. On top of that, second-ranked Whitworth expects to reach No. 1 in the D3hoops.com national poll after No. 1 Wooster’s 69-68 loss to Wabash on Saturday.
Whitworth opened a 16-point halftime lead against PLU (12-8, 7-5), holding the Lutes to just 25 points on 10-of-29 shooting.
Loofburrow then took over for the Pirates in the second half, scoring 23 of his 31 points – with six of his eight 3-pointers coming after the break.
Four players finished in double figures for the Pirates as David Riley added 21 points and seven rebounds and Felix Friedt followed up his 30-point night against Puget Sound with 14 points and five rebounds.
CC Spokane 76, Wenatchee Valley CC 59: Preston Wynne scored 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting and the Sasquatch (14-7, 6-3) took a 46-22 lead at halftime, holding the Knights (11-8, 5-4) to just 29.2 percent shooting in the first half in NWAACC play at Spokane Falls.
Chaz Johnson added 13 points and five assists for CCS, which hit 18 of 32 shots in the opening 20 minutes, including hitting 41.2 percent from 3-point range. Sean Counley led the Knights with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Eastern Utah 78, North Idaho 73: Brady Hurst scored 20 points to go with his 10 rebounds and James Kinney chipped in 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting as the Golden Eagles (20-3, 7-3) hit 61.3 percent of their shots in the second half to outlast the Cardinals (20-5, 5-5) in SWAC action in Price, Utah.
Michael Hale III scored a game-high 34 points, going 6 of 12 from 3-point range, for the Cardinals but the rest of the team shot just 31.2 percent from the field in the loss.