Highline finds its way back to fifth place
By Chentay Warnes - Staff Reporter
Highline beat Centralia last week to jump back up to fifth place in the NWAC West Division.
Highline (3-6, 9-14 overall) beat the Trailblazers (1-8, ) 64-52 last Wednesday.
Highline was led by Jamie Orme with 23 points, with 12 points each from Markese Jackson and Val Wilson. Austin Anderson had eight assists.
Centralia was led by LaBrandon Price who had 21 points and 7 rebounds.
Highline out-rebounded the Trailblazers 53-35. Leading the T-Birds with 16 rebounds was Orme, followed by Jeremi Hanks with 9 grabs.
Highline had 24 points from off the bench and the Trailblazers had 13. The T-Birds led in three pointers against Centralia 27-18.
Over the weekend on Saturday, Highline lost 80-61 to the first-place South Puget Sound Clippers (8-1, 18-4 overall). Highline's leading scorers were Orme with 18 points followed by Neil Green with 14.
The Clippers were led by Dez Stoudamire, who had 30 points, including 7 of 11 from the three-point line. AJ Hodges added 213 and Luke Chavez chipped in 17.
The teams were roughly even in rebounds and turnovers, but South Puget won the game from long distance, hitting 52 percent of their three-pointers, 17 for 33 for 51 points.
Highline hit only 7 of 23 three-pointers. South Puget shot better from downtown than they did up close.
"Our last couple of games went well. We dropped one we really wanted but there's a lot of improvement in our game especially on the offensive side," said team captain, Val Wilson.
The T-Birds only have five more games left in their league before playoffs start.
The top four teams in each division advance to the NWAC tournament.
At three games behind fourth-place Tacoma and Lower Columbia (both 6-3), the T-Birds on the edge of the playoffs.
"I expect us to continue to show that we compete for 40 minutes every time we have a chance to play," said Head Coach Che Dawson.
"We're really pushing each other offensively and defensively. During practices, we're forcing ourselves to get out of our comfort zones so things come more natural to us in the games," said Wilson.
On Saturday, Feb. 18 the men's team will play a home game against Lower Columbia at 2 p.m. The last time Highline faced Lower Columbia, the T-Birds lost 54-53.
Next Wednesday, Highline has an away game against the last-place Green River Gators (1-8) at 8 p.m. The first time the T-Birds went up against the Gators, Highline won 68-55.
"We always try to make some adjustments the second time we play a team," said Dawson.
The results from Wednesday's game against the Grays Harbor Chokers (tied for fifth with Highline at 3-6) were unavailable at press time.