The Southern Oregon men’s basketball team didn’t fare as well as the women in their games this weekend, losing 78-90 to Warner Pacific College on Friday and 88-96 to Concordia University on Saturday.
Warner Pacific’s staple has been their zone defense and Friday was no different. SOU started the game on a 9-0 run, but soon cooled off with the rest of the first half being played within a couple points. Warner Pac’s Ryan Parks’ 4 three pointer’s and Earl Jones’ 9 points led them to a 36-32 halftime lead. The Knights came out strong in the second half and withstood a few late Raider runs, to keep SOU down by 5. Warner Pac had balanced scoring in the second half led by Jones’ career high of 27 points. Coletun Tarr, Doug Thomas, and Ryan Parks also contributed with 18, 19, and 12 points respectively. Ben Desaulnier’s 20 points and Jordan West’s 21 led the Raider attack, while Tim Weber contributed with 11 assists and 11 rebounds and Eric Thompson chipped in with 13 points.
Saturday’s game had a different feel but similar result, as Raiders carried momentum for three quarters. Saturday was senior night with all-time leading scorer Eric Thompson and “Mr. Triple Double” Tim Weber being recognized. Thompson came to play early, scoring 20 points in the first half. The Raiders had a 9 point lead with 13:21 left when Concordia got hot. A three-point play followed a three pointer changed the flow of the match.
When asked about the turnaround coach Brian McDermott said, “They got some extra rebounds and had the putbacks and then we had a couple sloppy possessions against their press.” Similar to the night prior, SOU made a few runs, but weren’t able to take the lead. Scoring for the Raiders was led by Thompson’s 33 points, with Tim Weber providing 18 points and 11 assists, as well as Jordan West’s 17 points.
Coach McDermott also had high praise for his two seniors Thompson and Weber, “They’ve been a joy. I’m just really really fortunate. They’re two kids that do everything the right way. I’m just really happy I was able to coach them for 4 years.”
The weekends’ games served as rematched of the Raider’s first two conference games where they won at Concordia in overtime 78-75 and lost at WPC 42-80. A Raider sweep of the weekend would have given them at least a number 2 seed in the Cascade Conference Tournament and would pad their resume for the chance to play in the NAIA tournament. Instead, the Raiders got the 4th seed and will host the quarterfinals against Northwest Christian University on Wednesday. The Raiders now have an uphill battle to make the NAIA tournament and will likely need a couple wins in the conference tournament to improve their chances.
Coach McDermott put it best, “It’s a new season; starts on Wednesday.”