Men’s basketball fighting for last playoff spot
By Donnie Williams - Staff Reporter
The Highline men's basketball split two games last week, putting the T-Birds in need of a win in order to hold on to playoff spot.
The top four teams in each division advance to the NWAC tournament, which begins March 10.
After knocking Lower Columbia out of first place in the West Division, the T-Birds stumbled against Pierce, leaving Highline just a game up on Pierce and Centralia, both 5-8, in the battle for the fourth and final playoff spot.
Highline needed to beat Centralia last night to remain in fourth place. Results from that game were unavailable at press time.
Against Pierce on Feb. 21, Highline fell behind by 13 at the half and couldn't catch up.
The Raiders were aggressive on the glass and it gave them the upper hand throughout the game, out-rebounding the Thunderbirds, 51-31, in the end.
The lack of rebounds eliminated a lot of opportunities Highline needed to score.
The Thunderbirds couldn't get anything going offensively, and too many missed shots, costing them the game. The Thunderbirds shot 26.8 percent from the field and 17.2 percent from behind the three-point line.
David Harris led the team with 17 points, nine rebounds, three steals, and an assist. Harris was the only player to score more than eight points.
The Thunderbirds came away with a win last Saturday against the previously first-place Lower Columbia College, 82-75, snapping their seven-game win streak in a double overtime victory.
Coach Che Dawson said earlier in season that Lower Columbia College was a good team the Thunderbirds were capable of beating if they played better and made a better effort to get rebounds.
Highline stepped up its game offensively as there were three players with 17 points or more. Harris led in scoring with 24 points and had 12 rebounds.
Coby Rothwell put up 17 points, going 11-11 from the free throw line, grabbing five rebounds, and dishing out five assists.
Robert Hester had a double-double, trailing Harris in scoring with 22 points, as well as leading the team with a season high 20 rebounds.
The Thunderbirds shot 38.2 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from the three-point line, and 66.7 percent from the free-throw line.