WPC men’s basketball team claimed the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) Tournament Championship with a thrilling 67-63 win over the Southern Oregon Raiders on February 26, 2013, at Bart Valentine Court.
The game was everything expected in a clash of top-ranked NAIA teams, with both teams delivering outstanding performances from the court. In the fourth quarter, the teams battled down the stretch, trading baskets until the clock showed just 1:55 remaining. At that moment the Raider’s Tim Weber hit a deep shot from behind the arc to tie the game at 63-63, but SOU would not score again. Stephen Harris muscled in a basket on the next possession, and the Knights managed to make 2 of 4 free throws in the final minute to clinch the victory.
“I’m really happy for the guys, they played a tough, gritty game,” said coach Jared Valentine. “Southern Oregon is a very good team and we had to play a physical game to beat them. The players really had to earn it tonight.”
The Knights add the post-season title to their regular season CCC Co-Championship, and will now get ready for their 8th consecutive trip to the NAIA National Championship Tournament to be held March 6-12, in Point Lookout, Mo.
CCC Players of the Year
The College continued to top the conference as the CCC Player of the Year in both the men’s and women’s divisions were awarded to Warner Pacific Knights, as voted on by the league’s head coaches.
Chelsey Christensen, a 5’9 senior guard from West Linn, Ore., leads the CCC in scoring at 19.9 points per game and is the top free throw shooter, hitting 87 percent (103-119) of her charity tosses. Her scoring average places her seventh-best in NAIA Division II women’s play. Christensen is also among the conference leaders in 3-point shooting percentage (2nd in CCC, 39.8 percent) and overall field goal percentage (5th, 50.8 percent). In addition to being awarded Player of the Year, Christensen was also named CCC Red Lion Player of the Week during the season.
Stephen Harris, a 6’5 senior forward from Hillsboro, Ore. led the CCC rebounding average (10.5 ppg), was third in steals (1.8 spg) and sixth in scoring (15.6 ppg) while averaging 33 minutes played per game. Harris was instrumental in leading the Knights to the CCC Tournament title and a share of the CCC regular-season title. In addition to being awarded Player of the Year, Harris was also named CCC Red Lion Player of the Week during the seasons, as well as NAIA Division II Player of the Week.