by Harry Cummins
The Cascade Collegiate Conference has been the season-long home to the highest scoring offense in the NAIA in the form of the Multnomah University Lions, who are averaging nearly 99 points a game.
This week, the CCC can also lay claim to showcasing the nation's 1-2 ranked 3 point marksmen in Multnomah teammates Justin Martin and Ben Grandle. This prolific pair solidified their lofty statistical status recently when they each connected on 9 3- point baskets in the same game, a 115-102 Lions victory over New Hope Christian that featured 27 made 3's by the winners.
Martin, the NAIA's leading scorer at 31.0 ppg, has now cashed-in on a NAIA leading 124 baskets from behind the arc, closely followed by Grandle with 96 3's this season. Each showed why they are more than adept shooters in their latest win as Martin (37 points) also registered a career high 13 assists to move into the Top Ten in the nation, while Grandle ( 29 points) pulled down 11 rebounds to post his 10th double-double performance of the year.
For Justin Martin, the win over New Hope marked the astounding 12th time this season the diminutive 5'7 guard has scored 30 or more points in a game. He has scored 40 points or more 6 times, including a NAIA D-2 record 71 points earlier this year that featured a CCC record 15 3's.
The CCC also boasts the nation's leading shot blocker in Multnomah's 6'6" Stephan Zavydovskyy, who took over the NAIA lead with 6 blocked shots, to go with his team-leading 13 rebounds vs New Hope. Zavydovskyy has also registered the NAIA single game high earlier this season with 10 blocks vs Simpson (Calif).
The Lions (13-9) return to Cascade Collegiate Conference play with road contests at Southern Oregon and Oregon Tech this weekend. Freshman Zach Richardson hopes to continue his resurgent play for Multnomah, lending further offensive firepower to the Lions attack after coming off a 26 point game vs New Hope that included 6 three pointers. He joins Martin and Grandle to give the Lions three of the NAIA's top 10 players in 3 point baskets made.
Defenses around the Cascade Conference have been put on cumulative alert.