SHUT DOWN

03/03/2011 11:45

Men's loss pushes them out of championship tournament

Warren Hollinshead

 
Matt Juillerat came in fast for a quick two points , drew the foul and shot two from the line. However, it wasn't enough for the men to win.
Media Credit: Brett Stanley
Matt Juillerat came in fast for a quick two points , drew the foul and shot two from the line. However, it wasn't enough for the men to win.
Darrell Breazell makes the first of a series of two successive layups. After the possession change, Breazell immediately stole the ball and scored two more points for the Titans with another layup.
Media Credit: Brett Stanley
Darrell Breazell makes the first of a series of two successive layups. After the possession change, Breazell immediately stole the ball and scored two more points for the Titans with another layup.

Looks like the men are staying home this weekend.

The Titans lost a bid to participate in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges' championship tournament in Kennewick, Wash., after an 86-66 loss to Chemeketa Monday night.

The game was scheduled as a tie-breaker to decide which of the southern region's four second-place teams would play in the tournament. LCC officials considered the situation odd, considering Linn-Benton was given the third seed in the division with an 11-13 record while The Titans had a 12-11 record. Both teams were tied in conference play 8-6.

The situation seemed to be a head scratcher.

It may be confusing, but the playoff game was the conference's way of eliminating a series of playoff games to determine post-season seeding. Before each season the league predetermines a rotation of teams that will be given a higher seed in the event of a tie, and this year was Linn-Benton's at the top.

"We were last for the tie-breaker this year because it rotates every year and last year we were first," coach Chavka said.

Sophomore forward Kyle Warner led the way for the Titans Monday night with 17 points. Freshman point guard Matt Juillerat was second with 15.

The first half was a close-knit battle between teams, resulting in a two point game at the break, 37-35. To open the second half, Chemeketa came out with a 13-8 run on the Titans and never looked back.

"Their height bothered us a bit on the boards, which limited our chances on the offensive end," Juillerat said.

The Storm dominated the boards pulling in 48 rebounds while the Titans struggled to pull 27 through the game. All five Chemeketa starters were in double-digit scoring by the end of the game with two tied at 21.

"If we were able to dig down and get a couple key stops, the game could have turned out much differently. You have to give them credit, they hit more shots at the end of the game and pulled it out," Juillerat said. "This loss is very tough to swallow."

This game was scheduled Sunday night after Linn-Benton won the last two games of its schedule while the Titans split its games against Clackamas and Chemeketa to end the season.

If the men beat Clackamas and Chemeketa last weekend, they'd have automatically made it to the NWAACC tournament in Kennewick. A 79-61 loss to Clackamas Feb. 25 led to the sticky playoff scenario.

In the game sophomore guard Robby Allen led the way with 15 points.

Clackamas shot nearly 57 percent from the floor compared to The Titans' 47 percent. They were also out rebounded in this game 38-25.

The final game of the regular season for the Titans was against Chemeketa as well. Taking advantage of home court, the Titans managed to hold the Storm off to take the victory, 70-69.

"Going into Saturday's game against Chemeketa, the mindset was basically lose and go home," Allen said. "We know how crazy this southern conference can be, so we weren't going to rely on anyone losing to give us an automatic bid to the NWAACC tournament."

In the victory Saturday Kyle Warner dominated the court with 30 points nine rebounds and five assists. All were team highs.

As a team the Titans shot 43.5 percent while Chemeketa shot 37 percent from the floor.

This victory clinched the rematch for the last seed.