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Whitworth men’s basketball season comes to end after Whitman series canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

UPDATED: Thu., March 18, 2021

Whitworth forward Reed Brown (33) looks to pass as Puget Sound forward Grant Erickson (11) defends during the first half of a college basketball game, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, at Whitworth University.  (Colin Mulvany/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Whitworth forward Reed Brown (33) looks to pass as Puget Sound forward Grant Erickson (11) defends during the first half of a college basketball game, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, at Whitworth University. (Colin Mulvany/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Dan Thompson For The Spokesman-Review

Friday and Saturday’s Whitworth men’s basketball games against Whitman were canceled Thursday due to COVID-19 health and safety protocol issues, both schools announced.

It means the Pirates’ season is over with a 12-5 overall record and a 10-2 record in Northwest Conference games, the best record among the conference’s four Washington schools during this abbreviated season.

This weekend’s games at the Fieldhouse were already makeup games; the teams were originally scheduled to play on Feb. 5 and 6.

“Just like everything else, it is what it is,” Pirates coach Damion Jablonski said. “What are you gonna do? We can’t control these things. It’s disappointing, I wish we had a chance to get one more in for the seniors, especially, but we’re also really grateful for how (many games) we were able to play.”

With its recent four-game winning streak, No. 15 Whitworth climbed back into the d3hoops.com poll, truncated from 25 to 15 teams because not every Division III team in the country is playing this season. Among those 15, only Trine (17-1 overall) has played more games this season than the Pirates.

The Pirates will graduate five seniors and retain one, graduate student Jordan Lester. They expect to bring back four starters from this year’s team in forwards Liam Fitzgerald and JT McDermott as well as guards Rowan Anderson and Garrett Paxton.

Whitworth’s women’s basketball team was also scheduled to play the Blues this weekend, but those game were also canceled. The Pirates finish their season 4-4.

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