Both men’s and women’s basketball programs at South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) will close out the year on the road by participating in holiday tournaments.
The Clipper men (2-9) head to Oregon to play in the annual Clackamas Community College Holiday Tournament, while the women travel to play in the Skagit Valley College Holiday Classic. Both three-day tournaments begin on Tuesday, December 28 with the SPSCC men facing Linn-Benton Community College (2-5) and the SPSCC women taking on Big Bend College on the upcoming round.
The Clipper men last played on December 17, losing to host Clark College, 97-81, in the last of their three-game NWAC Crossover at the O’Connell Sports Center in Vancouver, Washington. SPSCC went 1-2 at the event, losing its opening contest to Skagit Valley College (79-65) before defeating Blue Mountain Community College (80-78) on December 16.
The Clippers played arguably their best half of the season in the second half against Blue Mountain as SPSCC rallied from a 12-point deficit by outscoring the Timberwolves, 56-42, after the intermission. Justin Hicks, a freshman from Black Hills High School, scored a team-high 21 points for the Clippers, who also received 15 points and 11 rebounds from Mekhi Speller-Hale, 16 points off the bench from Hayden Wakefield and 10 points from O’Shae Barquet in the victory.
Speller-Hale leads SPSCC in both scoring at 15.6 points per game and rebounding at 7.8 boards an outlining. He is followed by Hicks (12.6 ppg) and Barquet (11.5 ppg) in scoring, while Hicks and Dahntay Tillman are both second on the squad in rebounding, each pulling down 5.6 rebounds a game.
The SPSCC women are coming off a loss to Clark College, 72-66, on December 18.
The Clippers ranked among the top 10 as a team in several NWAC categories, including first in offensive rebounds per game (16.9), third in steals per game (13.1), fourth in total rebounds per game (45.9), fifth in defensive rebounds per game (29.0), fifth in rebound margin per game (10.1), sixth in field goal attempts per game (66.1), eighth in blocks per game (2.9), eighth in field goals made per game (25.3) and ninth in free throw attempts per game (17.4).
Freshman Sharay Trotter paces the team in scoring, averaging 19.0 points a game, which is second among all NWAC players. She is followed by Jennie Goldsberry (12.3 ppg), Payten Foster (10.3 ppg) and Kayla Jackson (9.4 ppg).
Goldsberry is the Clippers’ leading rebounder at 10.8 a game, while Kayla Jackson dishes out a team-high 3.4 assists per game.