Here we go my third week of trying to bring some attention to "small college" basketball. Of course I sure do want you also read Crawford's Court, every Monday and Thursday on CSNNW.com and I thank you for reading all of my basketball columns. If you know of anyone who would like to receive this, or Crawford's Court, please send me their email. Thank you.
NAIA---Tremendous battle on Saturday night at Concordia in the Cascade Conference as the Cavaliers answered almost every challenge that league leading Warner Pacific threw at them, only to come up short at the end in overtime, 90-89.
Kind of special to see the game played before standing room only crowd, there was no trash talking, great student section excitement and one heck of a game for sure.
It might get even more challenging for both Concordia and Warner Pacific this coming weekend as Southern Oregon and OIT, led by their iconic coach Danny Miles visit the Rose City for their annual Portland stop. For any basketball fan, this is must see games, no excuses please.
And before I leave the Cascade Conference, I have a bit of free advice for the new commissioner, which will be selected this coming spring to early summer, replacing Dave Haglund. It is a must you spend some money to have your officials evaluated, if not every game, at least several times a year. It is a rarity for this writer to ever say anything negative about officiating, but in my view the Cascade Conference needs to at least have some sort of person at games to evaluate officials. Both the men's and women's program have some work to do when it comes to the people calling the games, no better example was Warner Pacific and Concordia, a horribly officiated game. Cascade Conference, you can do better and you must do better.
Shameless plug, but on Friday night, looking forward to being the halftime guest on the OIT radio network with Bobby Thompson
Northwest Conference---It looks like the winner of the league might come down to the next battle between Whitworth and Whitman, five years past you would have thought I was nuts for saying so, but Eric Bridgeland has done one great job at Whitman, building a winning basketball program, that was totally non-existent until he arrived on the scene. Both Whitman and Whitworth have some work to do before they meet again of course, both teams visit the Portland metro area this weekend as they play Lewis and Clark and George Fox, Friday and Saturday.
No excuse for not getting out to these games, on Saturday night the games at Lewis and Clark and George Fox will start at 6:00 p.m.
The Northwest Conference plays a great brand of basketball and it is always a league that has surprises week in and week out.
Community Colleges----Really happy to see Joseph Vance play so well for Linn-Benton, in the south division of the NWAACC. Vance had another big night on Saturday, as he led his team to a victory in over previously undefeated Chemeketa.
Wednesday night of last also saw a great game at Clackamas Community College, when the Mt. Hood Saints rolled into the Oregon City campus and beat the Cougars, in a thrilling game that went right down to the wire. Mt. Hood continued their great league play Saturday and ran their southern division record to 5-0, gaining a one game lead over Linn-Benton and Chemeketa.
Community College basketball is exciting, you can usually see plenty of D-1, D-2 coaches in attendance and I might just pay another visit to Clackamas this Wednesday when they play host to Portland Community College.
GNAC---What an exciting league the GNAC is this year and once again, no surprise to see legendary Brad Jackson's team at Western Washington on top with a one game lead over Alaska Anchorage and Western Oregon.
Of course Jackson is in his 28th year as coach at Western Washington, who turns out great teams each season, in what is an extremely good league.
On personal note it was also very nice this week to meet Alaska Anchorage assistant coach Ryan Orton. What a nice person and what a good basketball mind and always fun to meet someone you can just tell someday will be a head coach and highly successful when he is.
Multnomah University---Curt Bickley's Lions will have a rare back to back games this week, on Monday playing Arizona Christian at 3:00 p.m (yes correct time) and on Tuesday night meeting rival Portland Bible, both games on the NE Portland campus.
Of course if you have never seen Bickley's teams, you are in for a treat, as per usual the basketball will be fired up lots from behind the 3-point line, my kind of game, exciting and entertaining always.
I urge everyone to follow all of the league above, in the very near future Craw's Corner is going to have some HUGE announcements about this blog and its future. Also once again, please do not forget Crawford's Court, which comes out every Monday and Thursday, all the way through the Final Four, covering lots of interesting stories and news on D-1 basketball on CSNNW.com
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