This is my continuing effort to bring some attention to the non D-1 schools in the Pacific Northwest. Of course for all the latest news on D-1, Crawford's Court will come out every Monday and Thursday at CSNNW.com
GNAC Conference----It was a great weekend for Western Washington as for the second year a row the Vikings swept the Alaska schools in Alaska. Legendary Western Washington coach Brad Jackson has his Vikings playing very well right and currently are tied for the GNAC lead with the surprising Western Oregon Wolves.
And speaking of the Wolves, after a great start in the GNAC and pre-league, this past Saturday saw the Wolves lose their first conference game in a big upset loss to the Saint Martin's on the Wolves home court. It appears at present the GNAC race is working toward a three team battle, featuring Western Oregon, Western Washington and Seattle Pacific. I will keep you posted, as the GNAC is such an outstanding basketball conference year in and year out.
Northwest Conference---A really tough loss for the Linfield Wildcats this past weekend as they had the Whitworth Pirates on the ropes right up to the end, only to lose 65-61. Very few teams have success in beating Whitworth at home in the last 10 years, so this would have been a huge win for the Wildcats.
Tim Cleary's Pacific Boxers, continue to play well and keep improving under his coaching, but as the travel partner of Linfield, the Boxers came up short this past weekend to both Whitworth and Whitman on the road. Pacific has a real chance to make a statement this Friday when they travel to Lewis and Clark in a battle of the Oregon schools.
Cascade Conference---It seems like this is a constant theme, but once again in men's play Warner Pacific and Oregon Tech are tied for first place, each with one loss. And in case you are wondering, the two teams meet in Portland on January 28th. Of course there are games in between, but looking at the schedules of both teams, that game should decide the Cascade Conference title. And yes I do know that coaches, players and fans take games one at a time, but college basketball writers have to look ahead in order to do a good job.
Big hats off to the job that Scott Meredith is doing as the women's coach at Oregon Tech. His team has an overall record of 18-3 and currently is tied for the lead in the CCC with Eastern Oregon and Corban. In my cursory look at 4 year college teams in the United States, I am hard pressed to find a combined record 37-5 for men and women's teams, as is the case at Oregon Tech, so way to go in Klamath Falls.
Clackamas Community College---Love to follow the Cougars as they not only play excellent basketball every year, but I have known their coach Cliff Wegner for over 30 years and he is a gem of a person, besides being an excellent coach. The Cougars gained a big win on Saturday night in league play, defeating previously unbeaten Linn-Benton on the road.
It is also fun for me to keep track of Linn-Benton, as my friend Kenny Vance's son Joseph is the star of the Linn-Benton team and Joseph is having a terrific season, a player to watch as he advances his basketball career in the future.
It should be a fun night at Clackamas Community College on Wednesday January 18th as the Cougars host the 3-0 Mt. Hood Saints, which is always a great rivalry game.
Multnomah University----Congrats to coach Curt Bickley for getting his first Pacific Coast Athletic Conference win this past Saturday night over West Coast Baptist College. It had to be nice for Coach Bickley to have his great scorer Austin Hodges back after missing seven weeks with a hand injury. The Lions will next be in action Tuesday night when they host Concordia at 7:00 p.m.
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Comcast SportsNet will also be showing two Portland Pilot games this week, Thursday at 7:00 and Saturday at 1:30
And if you are not doing anything on Tuesday night at 9:30 pm, we will be having our weekly Talkin Ducks show on Comcast SportsNet and of course after the Ducks performance over the weekend, plenty to talk about.