The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

Trojans Battle Their Way into the Elite Eight

Smith’s 25 and Johnson’s 23 overpowers Lakers
Benjamin Eyman
Freshman Ethan Martin runs a Trojan fast break early in their match up with SWOCC. Martin had eleven points as a part of the teams opening round win.

PASCO- The EvCC men’s basketball team began their trip to NWAC Tournament with a bang on Thursday, March 7th, upsetting Southwest Oregon 86-76 in the sweet sixteen. The Lakers, led by head coach Ryan Grandnetti were the 2nd seed out of the south region and finished an impressive 23-6 on the season before falling to the Trojans.

After a slow start, the Trojans, who are led by first year head coach Daniel Thompson, went on a 19-2 run in the first half while establishing the pace. Although, the final ten minutes of the frame were frustrating for Thompson’s bunch, gathering 15 fouls while allowing the Lakers to cling to a close game.

“We just needed to relax,” Thompson said. “They got some momentum, but even with how bad those last ten minutes went we were still winning so the message was just for everybody to collect themselves and go execute.”

Sophomore guard Derek Smith would help the Trojans take control in the 2nd half, finishing the game with a team-high 25 points on 8-12 shooting, including 3 of 5 from beyond the arc.

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Sophomore guard Derrick Smith dribbles around one Lakers defender. Smith led all scorers with 25 points and was key in the Trojans victory. (Benjamin Eyman)

“After a long season with so many ups and downs it feels really good to get to this point,” Smith said.

After trading baskets for the first five minutes, the Trojans would push their lead to double digits for the final 11 minutes, never looking back enroute to their 2nd straight elite 8 appearance.

“I think we just fed off each other really well especially when we share the basketball. When everybody is scoring that is when we were at our best,” Smith said.

The Lakers were led by sophomore guard O’shen Cazimero, who had a game-high 26 points on 8-13 shooting. However, Grandnetti’s squad struggled all game with ball security with 20 turnovers.

The Trojan’s look to continue their postseason run on Friday, March 8th at 4pm against the Tacoma Titans who are coming off of their own dominant upset win over the higher seeded Treasure Valley 87-70. The Trojans lost to the Titans 87-79 earlier in the season in a game Thompson’s squad led by 10 at halftime. Thompson emphasized the importance of his team staying true to their identity in the rematch.

“We just can’t let this team dictate the pace, we have to play our own game.”

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About the Contributors
Nate Oberg, Staff Reporter
What interests you about journalism? The aspect of being able to inform people regularly on various topics and issues in our everyday lives is extremely gratifying so I suppose that's what my initial interest in Journalism stemmed from. Where does the Clipper fit into your long-term goals? Exploring the opportunities Journalism provides and improving my quality of writing have been my broader goals this school year so being able to progress those goals on a real newspaper staff is very unique. What's on your bucket list?  I know its a very general, cliche answer but traveling and experiencing different cultural environments and seeing various parts of the world has always been something I wanted to prioritize. Sometimes I think we all, myself included get too comfortable with our daily routines so seeing and experiencing the cultural and climatic diversity around the world is an opportunity I want to take advantage of. What are you doing when you aren't at The Clipper? Probably sleeping. I am a big fan of several cat naps over the course of a day. Otherwise, I am a big time hiker and the PNW has a ton of great hiking spots. I try and play pick-up basketball a couple times a week. Later in the day, I typically watch a lot of sports on TV because I'm a sports junkie.
Benjamin Eyman, Staff Reporter
Why did you join the Clipper?  I joined the clipper staff to continue my development and cover amazing stories. I am excited to work with all of the amazing staff members as well as meet and tell the stories of great students, staff and community members. What do you do outside of the Clipper? Outside of working for the Clipper I can be found playing board games with my friends, working on my disc golf game or watching a good movie. What is a goal you have in journalism? Ever since I was in middle school I knew I wanted to be a journalist and cover sports, one day I would love to get to do play-by-play announcing of the Sonics return to Seattle.

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