Pierce Pioneer

Raiders vs. Everett Trojans

December 14 @ HEC

 

Crossover Tournament
Final score 91-100
Raiders lost

A Game to be Remembered

The Raiders win their first game of the season in their last home game of the year

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The 2016-17 has been a tough up and down season for the Raiders women’s team. Although the record may not say so, the Raiders have given the best of teams a run for their money. Pierce had come so close earlier in the season and had been battered and bruised in other contests. Against Highline, Pierce’s fortunes changed.

Coming into the game, the Raiders were still searching for their first win of season. Pierce began the game with a flurry of passing in the lanes and back out for a quick 13 points in the first quarter. Victoria Mukisa was fantastic on the night totaling 33 points out of the Raiders total of 49.

The Raiders capitalized on Highline’s missed shots and their own rebounding 49 shots. Pierce’s passing attack had one of their better performances with 11 assists in the game. Denisha Navarro was clutch recording seven of eight from the line. Both Highline and Pierce’s defenses stood strong throughout with Highline edging the lead 58-56 in defensive stops.

Consistency was key for the Raiders. The Raiders had 0.90 points per possession. Each quarter, Pierce put up double digit points with the most coming in the fourth quarter with 14 points. Pierce’s bench produced 13 points with most coming late in the game.

Lily Martin was a force on defense with three defensive rebounds and six steals with one late in the fourth to put an end to the dry streak.

Raiders men’s basketball player Ronnie Robertson reacted to the women’s victory. “We were so hyped for the girls. Unbelievable win.”

When the final buzzer sounded, the court erupted with cheers and applause. For the first time this season, the Raiders women were winners. The final score was 49-42. Winners at last.

Strong on and off the court

Sophomore Martin dominates in basketball and shines off the hardwood

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Lily Martin is a guard for the Pierce basketball team. She grew up watching her brother and sister play, which led to her love for the game.

While watching basketball on TV, Martin told her father as a child, “I’m gonna be on TV playing that.”

When Martin left high school, Pierce College and Green River Community College recruited her. Pierce offered a full scholarship and a starting role on the basketball team.

As she entered her sophomore year, Martin noted her improvement.

“My game is leaps and bounds better than what it was. I used to average four fouls a game. Smarter gameplay is a huge reason for success,” she said.

Throughout the 2016-17 season, Martin was the more aggressive and competitive leader for the Raiders. It proved beneficial in developing team chemistry.

The Raiders don’t have a set captain, but Martin has stepped into that role.

“Our biggest problem is starting great and ending great, but no consistency in the second and third quarters. We dig ourselves into a hole,” she said about this season.  

Martin described  this year’s team as “Jeykll and Hyde.”

“How can we lose by 30 against Green River, but lose by five to Lower Columbia?” she said.

Coming so close against Lower Columbia is evident when Martin plays so aggressive on defense. She has 38 rebounds and averages a steal per game with 24 on the season — six of which was in the Raiders’ first win of the season. Martin has scored 199 points this season  proving to be one of the team’s best shooters.

When she’s not playing basketball, Martin is excelling in school and working at Costco. Her future plans include working as an elementary/middle school teacher in South Korea, while teaching English.

Being a head coach for a women’s basketball team is in her plans as well.

“I’m a better coach than I am a player,” she said.

On to the playoffs for men’s hoops

The Raiders clinch a playoff spot with a 10-3 record

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On to the playoffs for men’s hoops

The Raiders clinch a playoff spot with a 10-3 record

After narrowly losing at home to South Puget Sound, the Raiders have dominated their opponents by an average of 19.6 points.

The men travelled to play Grays Harbor on Feb. 18. Pierce gave one of their more outstanding performances in the first half.

The Raiders outscored the Chokers, 45-17, while hitting 46.2 percent of their field goals. Michael Hannan was the hot hand of the night, shooting 6-of-12 from inside the arc and nailing two 3-pointers from downtown.

Ball movement was a crucial part of the game plan as the Raiders had 21 assists for the contest. Pierce dominated Grays Harbor in rebounds, 56-33. Hussayn Ford and Marshaun Williams were stars in the paint, snagging 10 rebounds apiece on the night.

Grays Harbor fought back in the second half, outscoring Pierce, 43-38. The Raiders played a clock-management second half which proved to be beneficial. Pierce won the game, 83-60.

The Raiders next matchup was at home against crosstown rival, Tacoma Community College. In their last matchup, Pierce edged out a three-point victory on Jan. 25. The Raiders defense was on full display, shutting down TCC’s best shooter in Khalil Thompson. Pierce ran roughshod over the defense in the first half, putting up 45 points for the second straight week.

The Raiders had one of their best performances on the season from downtown. Pierce completed 8- of-13 with five coming in the first half. TCC was beat down from 3-point land, completing a lone 3-on-11 attempts. Chris Drake ran the show with 21 points and four late assists. The Raiders again had 20-plus assists on the night. Pierce scored 22 points off 21 turnovers.

Later in the game, TCC began to foul Pierce. The Raiders kept their composure in clutch situations, hitting 12-15 from the line. Pierce outscored TCC in the second half, 39-36, leading to an 84-61 domination of their closest rival.

After winning an emotional game against TCC, Pierce’s momentum steamrolled them over Highline the next week. Hannan was unstoppable, leading the Raiders’ onslaught with 31 points. Hannan completed 70-plus percent in every aspect of the shooting game. On top of scoring, Hannan also lead the team with eight assists.

The Raiders played an outstanding second half with 50 points. Pierce won their third straight game, beating Highline, 97-64.

With the playoffs on the horizon, postseason fever is enveloping the Northwest Athletic Conference. Pierce looks to continue their winning streak and complete their chase for a championship. 

On to the playoffs for men’s hoops

The Raiders clinch a playoff spot with a 10-3 record

After narrowly losing at home to South Puget Sound, the Raiders have dominated their opponents by an average of 19.6 points.

The men travelled to play Grays Harbor on Feb. 18. Pierce gave one of their more outstanding performances in the first half.

The Raiders outscored the Chokers, 45-17, while hitting 46.2 percent of their field goals. Michael Hannan was the hot hand of the night, shooting 6-of-12 from inside the arc and nailing two 3-pointers from downtown.

Ball movement was a crucial part of the game plan as the Raiders had 21 assists for the contest. Pierce dominated Grays Harbor in rebounds, 56-33. Hussayn Ford and Marshaun Williams were stars in the paint, snagging 10 rebounds apiece on the night.

Grays Harbor fought back in the second half, outscoring Pierce, 43-38. The Raiders played a clock-management second half which proved to be beneficial. Pierce won the game, 83-60.

The Raiders next matchup was at home against crosstown rival, Tacoma Community College. In their last matchup, Pierce edged out a three-point victory on Jan. 25. The Raiders defense was on full display, shutting down TCC’s best shooter in Khalil Thompson. Pierce ran roughshod over the defense in the first half, putting up 45 points for the second straight week.

The Raiders had one of their best performances on the season from downtown. Pierce completed 8- of-13 with five coming in the first half. TCC was beat down from 3-point land, completing a lone 3-on-11 attempts. Chris Drake ran the show with 21 points and four late assists. The Raiders again had 20-plus assists on the night. Pierce scored 22 points off 21 turnovers.

Later in the game, TCC began to foul Pierce. The Raiders kept their composure in clutch situations, hitting 12-15 from the line. Pierce outscored TCC in the second half, 39-36, leading to an 84-61 domination of their closest rival.

After winning an emotional game against TCC, Pierce’s momentum steamrolled them over Highline the next week. Hannan was unstoppable, leading the Raiders’ onslaught with 31 points. Hannan completed 70-plus percent in every aspect of the shooting game. On top of scoring, Hannan also lead the team with eight assists.

The Raiders played an outstanding second half with 50 points. Pierce won their third straight game, beating Highline, 97-64.

With the playoffs on the horizon, postseason fever is enveloping the Northwest Athletic Conference. Pierce looks to continue their winning streak and complete their chase for a championship. 

 

Consistency is the name of the game

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The Raiders have been one of the more consistent teams this season. Pierce is on a six-game winning streak featuring a beat down of division foe Lower Columbia.

Pierce dominated the turnover battle with 18 steals to Lower Columbia’s three. Raiders' Hussayn Ford delivered another great performance, leading the team in field goals with 10. Robert Rucker also flourished on the court, hitting seven field goals and three from downtown. 

Free throws were inconsistent for both teams. Pierce shot 63.2 percent while Lower Columbia shot better, hitting 71.4 percent. The Raiders seemed to struggle early in the first half with only a three-point lead going into halftime. 

Raider fan Manuel Cuadrado attended the game. 

“Pierce needs to get the ball to everyone. Let the players play and use their instincts.” 

The Raiders played one of its best second halfs of the season, outscoring Lower Columbia, 42-29. 

The defense never gave Lower Columbia a chance with 68.4 percent defensive rebounding. Pierce’s offense scored .99 points per possession. A key to this was the offensive rebounds, grabbing 45.1 percent. The Raiders defeated Lower Columbia, 76-59, earning a second place in the competitive Western Division behind South Puget Sound.

After the win against Lower Columbia, Pierce battled another division rival in Centralia. 

The Raiders kept Centralia at bay in the first half, 45-35. Centralia kept fighting and scored 27 points off turnovers in clutch moments. Makaleb McInnis lead Pierce in scoring, hitting five field goals, two 3-pointers, and nailing a perfect 10-for-10 on free throws.

The Raiders struggled in the second half but kept its composure to again outscore Centralia, 40-39. Pierce won by double digits again, 85-74. 

The Raiders play crosstown rival Tacoma Community College on Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. With the playoffs on the horizon, the Raiders look to continue their winning streak and clinch a spot in the Western Division playoffs.  

Rough Start Lands Pierce in Last Place of the West

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Coming into the 2016-17 season, there was a lot of hype for the Raiders women’s basketball team. Pierce started the preseason struggling but began to develop a rhythm on defense. The Raiders end the preseason with a record of 0-12.

Pierce’s offense has not had much success the last six weeks with their best score being 49 in a 40-point loss to Whatcom. The Raiders top performance of the season to this point was a battle against Linn-Benton where they put up a season high 60 points but couldn’t get the win. Fellow student Sean Phillips had a positive vibe for the group. “They are doing a great job of spreading ball around the court. It will serve them well in the future.” The offense is second to last in the NWAC averaging 47.6 points per game.

The Raiders had their first game of the regular season on Jan. 12th against the Red Devils of Lower Columbia. Lower Columbia outscored Pierce in the first half 45-16 and continued their dominance until the clock hit 0:00. With a final score of 92-42, the Raiders lost by more points than they scored.

Manuel Cuadrado has one question for the team “How bad do you really want that first win and how do you want to be remembered.”

The Raiders play their cross-town rival TCC Titans on Jan. 25th at home with a 6 pm tip off. This is a match-up both teams look forward to each year. With most of their games left on the schedule the Raiders still have a chance to earn a playoff berth.

Men reclaim the lead of the Western Division

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With the pre-season ending, the Raiders men’s basketball has taken lead of the competitive western division. Pierce has a record of 10-3 coming off a three-game winning streak. Coach Mendelson was very enthusiastic about his returning players.

“Makeleb McInnis a returning All-League player, along with Michael Hannon, Chris Drake, and Robert Rucker make a formidable backcourt.” Raider forward Hussayn Ford, the teams premier scoring big man, is the leader in total rebounds with 139 in the NWAC.

Ford’s best performance of the young season was against Big Bend on Dec. 03. It was his second-best game scoring wise with 27 pts while shooting 92 percent (11-12) from the field. Ford is the Raiders leading scorer in points per game averaging 15.92.

The Raiders are number two in the league with 1284 total points. Pierce’s offense follows the style of the Showtime Lakers; “The Raiders play an up-tempo style that results in a fast-paced fun game to watch” Mendelson said. They are in the top three in the league with 264 total assists. Their offense is one of the better groups when shooting at the line averaging 73 percent for the first 13 games.

Although Pierce has yet to break 100 points in a game this season, their offense is scoring consistently on defensive turnovers in late game situations. The defense has been able to make plays when the game matters, which is evident in the fact that they have 142 turnovers which is second best in the league.

The Raiders have been looking like a playoff team in recent games. They beat the Clackamas Cougars, quite convincingly by 23 points on the road. The Raiders dominated the Cougars in the rebounding category by nearly 13 percent both offensively and defensively.

In the first half, the Raiders seemed to struggle from downtown in 3-point territory. Later in the second half, Pierce regrouped and decided to play more in the paint which forced the defense to play more aggressive opening spots for the Raiders sharpshooters on the perimeter.

Pierce enters the regular season with a record of 12-3. “Returning 8 players has helped the Raiders off to a great start this season at 12-3 and ranked 3rd in the NWAC” Mendelson said. The first game of the regular season for the Raiders is Jan. 11th at home against western division rival Lower Columbia. The matchup is early in the season but could be a key component to who will go to the playoffs and the overall postseason seeding’s.

Mother’s Dog Tags & Basketball Collide with this Basketball Players Journey

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Marina Chetverikov/Staff Photo

Max Bond (left) and History Professor John Simpson (right) survey the court after the end of a grueling basketball practice.

Max Bond is a freshman at Pierce College, and a new Raiders basketball player.

His height and knowledge of the game and its strategies give him all the traits of a solid athlete. One day after another practice, he noticeably kissed a set of dog tags that hung around his neck.

           In his 7th and 8th grade years, he fought through physically tough times. His mom continually tried to get him to stop playing and to rest, but Max kept working harder and harder.

After seeing the fire of determination and effort in her son, his mom gave him her dog tags she earned in the military as a symbol of his hard work. This is when his mom called and labeled him as a “True Warrior.”

His mom saw how hard her son worked and played and so as a reward, she took him to his favorite restaurant, Panda Express.

Max explained that if he struggles during any game he can hear his mom, even if she isn’t physically present at the game, say to him, “get your ass on the court and kick some ass.”

          Max started his basketball career at a young age and aspires of playing in the NBA, and he said, “Basketball is all I know.”

Max’s biggest goal is to represent the United States in the Olympics playing the sport he loves. “It’s a good way to serve your country.”

Max spoke about how he felt the team is heading into this upcoming season. He noted that the Raiders are a strong team and with the right players, would make a championship run.

The team gained some ambitiously tall players to anchor the defense after barely missing the playoffs last year. The question is, “what is the biggest difference on this team?” Max answered with one word: showmanship.

“We’ve got players that can put on a show,” he said. “This is a group of guys who play for each other, which is a great championship mindset.”

Tough practices have been great for this team as they prepare for the start of the season. Although Max admits to enduring some pain, he explains that he will always perform the best he can for the team.

          “Max is young player, who represents the saying in sports that when the chips are down you fight till the very end.”

Dog tags and all, Max Bond says he is ready to help bring a winning attitude to Pierce. He represents his Raiders team; young, talented, and ready to win it all.

Raiders have a Championship on the Mind

Pierce gains new talent to make a title run in 2016

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The offseason is coming to an end for the Pierce College Raiders basketball teams. November 18th is the date all of the fans await as the Raiders take on the Clark College Penguins in Portland Oregon at 7:00pm. This is the 50th year for Pierce College and the Raiders have a chance to make the 50th a championship year.

            Last year was a tough year for the Raiders as they barely missed the playoffs. The Raiders finished the season with an overall record of 11-17 with a conference record of 6-8. The Raiders offense averaged 74.3 points per game with the defense allowing 76.4 points per game.

            Guard Robert Rucker led the Raiders in 28 games shooting 43 percent from 3 point land while also posting 41 percent from 2 point. Forward Casey Gearhart and guard Robert Knox Jr. shared the best 2 point percentage for the season with 49.  Cameron McKissic who played 12 games shot 81percent from the foul line. Guard Makaleb McInnis led the team in point per game with 14.00. Pierce had 5 players average double-digit points per game in 2015-16.

            As a team, the Raiders were tied in the NWAC shooting 42 percent of their 2 point shots, a slight decline from last year by 4 percent. The Raiders completed 36 percent of their shots from 3 point land, 5 percent higher than last season. Pierce would like to clean up their 3 point attempts and get their average up to 40+ percent. The Raiders offense had a 5 percent increase from last season scoring on 70 percent of their free throw attempts. Pierce was 2nd from last in the NWAC with most points in a game scoring 90. The offense was solid putting up 462 assists on the season. The Raiders were solid on defense when it came to allowing points and were good at stealing the ball. The defense was average on the season when it came to blocked shots on the stat sheet. Overall it was a good season statistically for the Raiders that unfortunately did not result in a playoff berth for Pierce College.

            This season hopes to be a promising one for the players, coaches, and fans of the Raiders. The team is acquiring new young talent to bolster the returning cast of players. Coach Mendelson and Pierce athletic director Duncan Stevenson both noted that the new roster for the basketball team is not set yet. Mr. Stevenson said that there are 20 young players practicing at Pierce fighting for a roster spot with only 14 to 15 positions available. The roster hopes to be set within a month. Can the young talent bring a championship to Pierce? The Raiders schedule can be found on at www.nwacsports.org. If chemistry can form between returning and new players, the Raiders look to be a dominant force this year on the hardwood.

Theme Nights Give Back

Basketball team to grant free game entry to scouts, community members, military veterans

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The basketball team is trying something different to bring in more people from the community to the games.

On certain nights there will be a theme that will celebrate people in the community.

“Our first game was to welcome all those in the community that had employers in medical facilities,” said Jeff Beha, the theme nights organizers. “They are people that do not get enough attention for all their work. It was also a good way to invite those such as Nursing and Dental Hygienist here at the college to our games.”

Many people are in classes with the basketball players. They are as much a part of this school as anyone and they found that this is a perfect way to give back, including to our military personnel and families.

“Pierce College has been a leader in bringing people from Joint Base Lewis-McChord to learn at our college,” said Beha. The team hosted an event dedicated to the Armed forces last week. “It is a great way to give them the recognition they need in a very easy way.”

Those who represent the theme of the night gets free admission to the game. At halftime the team recognizes the individuals of the night. Normal ticket costs are free with Pierce student ID and children under the age of 12, $6 for adults, and $4 for military, seniors, and non Pierce students.  

The next game will be hosting “Women’s in Sports Night” on Wed., February 10, 2016. The goal is to bring national attention to the promise of girls and women in sports.

Sandpoint High School player signs letter of intent to play ball

Lily Martin is ready to play college sports

With the NBA play offs kicking into high gear, teams are making their way to round 2, it is without question that basketball still looms in our hearts.   The Red Raider men’s team just finished the season making it to the playoffs.  The women’s team did not make the playoffs, however they did win their last two games which gives optimism to the young hoopers.

There is another reason to be optimistic.  A young lady by the name of Lily Martin.  A senior from Sandpoint high school signed a letter of intent recently to come play for the Raiders.  However, the road to becoming a Raider was not an easy decision.  Martin went to Green River Community College where a former teammate played.  Debating on the decision, she decided that Pierce College was the better fit for her.

The Regional Scout Shawn Mosqueda helped direct the young lady to Pierce College.  His thoughts are that she can help immediately, contributing with athleticism and smarts.  She has a physical game and a high basketball IQ.  Although Martin did not have the huge stats at the high school level, the coaches at Pierce felt they saw enough to know she was a fit for this organization.

Her mother Francie looks forward to her daughter continuing playing a sport she loves at the collegiate level.  As I am sure our Pierce College coaches looks forward to Martin playing for the Raiders.

 

Coach Krzyzewski wins 5th title

Is he the best college basketball coach ever?

 

The NCAA championship was between two great teams. Wisconsin just defeated Kentucky in the Final Four. Kentucky was attempting to do what no team has ever done and go an improbable 40-0. Wisconsin did not want any part of it, setting them up for the championship game. Then you have the always, dominant Duke versus the relentless Michigan State. This was a matchup involving great coaches. Tom Izzo, the head coach of Michigan State has been to seven final fours and has won one National championship. He is no pushover although on this day it would seem so, Duke beat Michigan State 81-61 to vault their team into the national spotlight.

 

The championship game, a matchup between two heavy weight teams. Wisconsin was led by their forward Frank Kaminsky. Frank has been a staple to the Badgers program averaging over 18 points and 8 rebounds per contest. The whole team was going to have to produce for Duke if they wanted the win. They did and they did it in a big way. Duke’s freshman combined for 60 points, a national title record. The ending score was 68-63 Duke, a close game which good coaches win. Bringing another championship title to Coach K’s already impressive resume.

 

Since Coach Mike Krzyzewski has arrived as head coach at Duke in 1980, he has reached the final four 12 times, and has won 5 championships. To put that into perspective only one head coach has won more titles (John Wooden) with 10. The next coach that can be compared in championship wins is Adolph Rupp, with 4 championships, however he only made it to the final four six times. Dean Smith is close to final four’s with 11, however he only has two national championships. Coach K as he is often referred to is a winner.

 

There are four college basketball coaches with 1000 plus wins.   Coach K has 1,018, which is only second to Harry Statham at 1,088. He continues to coach and add to his totals. The man that does have more championships than Coach K has 664 wins and that is John Wooden. This is a difference of 354 wins. To top it off he has also brought the Men’s USA basketball team championships in the FIBA championship and the Olympics. No other coach has won a championship at the collegiate level, as well as FIBA and the Olympics. If you don’t believe he is the best coach now, you at least have to admit he is in the conversation.

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