Mekhi Speller-Hale scored a game-high 18 points and O’ Shae Barquet added 13 points, but it wasn’t enough as the South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) men’s basketball team fell to visiting Everett Community College in a non-conference matchup at the Health & Wellness Center on Saturday, December 4.

The loss drops the Clippers to 1-5 overall on the season. SPSCC will return to the court on Tuesday, December 7 when they play at Whatcom College. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. The Clippers will close out 2021 with a pair of three-day crossover events.

They will head to Clark College in Vancouver to play in the NWAC Crossover December 15-17 before closing out the month at Clackamas Community College for the Clackamas CC Holiday Tournament where they will open against Linn-Benton Community College on December 28.

Against Everett, Speller-Hale, SPSCC’s leading scorer at 17.6 points per game, scored double figures for the sixth consecutive contest. The sophomore also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds to go with three steals, a block and an assist.

The Clippers also received 12 points off the bench from freshman Justin Hicks, a 2021 Black Hills High School graduate. Hicks shot 5 of 8 from the field and sank his lone 3-pointer. The 6-foot-7 forward also had three rebounds in 19 minutes of action.

SPSCC also received eight points and five rebounds from Dahntay Tillman, six points from Jason Montes and five from Jackie Simmons.

The Trojans, who won for the third straight game and improved to 6-1 on the season, led, 45-40, at the half, as they shot 57.6% from the field (19 of 33) and 50% from long range (6 of 12).

A quick 5-0 run to start the second half gave Everett its first double-digit advantage of the game. A pair of Speller-Hale free throws pulled the Clippers within 6 at 50-44 before the Trojans answered with a 14-3 run to post a 17-point cushion with 12 minutes remaining in the game.

The Clippers were able to get within 10 points twice late in the contest, the last coming on a Speller-Hale basket with 13 seconds to play.

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