Pierce Pioneer

College Basketball Game: Pierce vs Highline

Kicking it with Q – Episode 4 – NBA Allstar Weekend

Quintin Mattson-Hayward talks about the upcoming NBA Allstar weekend with two guest.

Editor: Quintin Mattson-Hayward

Guests: Uli Valentin and Jake Santiago

Logo: Jesus Contreras

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


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.

Consistency is the name of the game


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


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.

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


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.

Men’s basketball: defense and speed forecast

Men’s basketball is predicted to have a better game than last year in upcoming season

Glenn Dread
Staff Writer 

In the up-coming season the Pierce College Men’s Basketball team is gearing up for what the team hopes to be a better season and have plans to top last year’s disappointing season. One of the many assets the team has is its speed, though the team is considered to be a small squad, but their quickness should keep the points on the scoreboard.

This year’s squad has a host of new faces and only two returning players from last year, one of which is team captain, All Conference player John Palmer and the other Derek Porter. In addition the squad has added two players from Las Vegas Jerry Jacobs and Devin Matthews.

In an interview I did with Guard/Swingman Devin Mathews he says that their speed should force plenty of turnovers to open up their transition game. Another threat opponents may have to deal with the run and gun style of the new squad which is another advantage of having speed. Most teams will have a difficult time defending the team because they have exceptional shooters which will spread the floor and will increase scoring from the field.

Since this is new team one area they will have to work on is team chemistry, typically team chemistry takes time to gel-however, the fact that the team plays extremely unselfish ball will really help especially when they have to run a 4 guard set.

Another upside to this year’s team is ball control. According to starting point guard Jerry Jacobs his ability to get everyone involved and be a good ball distributor should bring the team great success. Mr. Jacobs also hopes that the will remain hungry by staying very competitive no matter what.

I asked both players whom they thought would be a threat on both sides of the ball and both players agree hands down that Tyrell Lewis is that dynamic player.  Mr. Lewis is approximately 6’7’’ but plays extremely big for an undersized forward/center.

His above the rim play should make him a hit with basketball fans and fellow collegiate players alike.

This year’s team is the one to watch, they have already won a tournament hosted here at Pierce College just last Friday, with their quickness, athleticism and high pressure defense the 2012 Men’s Basketball team will be more than just a game to see, but a spectacular journey to the championship.

Lady Raiders break 20-year streak

Dan McCormak/Courtesy Photos

Andrea Bell/Tamara Kelly
Staff Writers

As the winter sports season wraps up the women’s team still pushes forward as they advance to the next step of their season, which is the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges, or NWAACC for short. This is a form of play-offs that decides what team is the best in the region.

This is the first year in a while that the women’s team has qualified for the NWAACC. It is a great honor, and captures the great skill of the Lady Raider team.

What makes this year different than the others? According to sophomore and forward Janay Creamer, it was the additional talent to the team.

“In addition to the extra talent this year, we worked harder and have more of a desire to perform,” Creamer said.

This new added desire to perform was able to bring their season to a much higher caliber than in the past years. They have set a record that is higher than the men’s team, who have qualified for the NWAACC’s for the past two years, this is a great improvement from the performances seen in the past from the woman’s team.

Other team members such as Hayle Hancock, Unique Taufa’asau, and Kawehi Hagi all attribute the success of the team to something slightly different, but all agree that the team is better this year.

“I think what made us better this year is our defense, honestly,” Taufa’asau said.

“We worked hard on defense and came together as a team,” Hagi added.

Hancock then explained why she feels like the team was able to take themselves all the way to the NWAACC.

“We made it because we were focused, and hungry for competition,” Hancock said.

The team, made up almost entirely of sophomores, is focused on breaking the dry spell that the team went through without any championships.

“We’re very excited to go to the NWAACC; it will be a great competition, and we had to get a certain amount of wins to go, which luckily we achieved,” Creamer said.

The hard work and determination of the Raider team is definitely paying off, as the team shows the rest of the northwest what they can do.

“We work hard and we practice two hours a week, five days a week,” Creamer said.

The Lady Raiders will advance later this month to continue to play and see how far they will go.

Raiders Roll on after Shootout with Shoreline

Coach Bill Mendelson returns for his ninth season as head coach and looks to add to the success he has brought to Pierce College.

Mendelson is Pierce College’s winningest coach with a record of 131-98 while collecting his 250th career college win last season.

The Raiders return to the court after a tremendous season last year where they finished 2nd in the NWAACC tournament (Runner up to first place Peninsula).

Mendelson has also taken second place in 2005, and third place in 2007. As the Raiders look to improve on last year’s success, filling the holes left by the graduation of their starters will be an obstacle.

“Last year we had a good team with great chemistry. With only one returning starter this season, we come in very inexperienced.” Mendelson said.

The Raiders will have to rely on a talented freshmen bunch and a couple of sophomore transfers to become a team worthy of a playoff spot in a competitive division.

The Raiders opened the 2012 season with an inter-league game against North Seattle and won 86-22.

The Raiders would then return home to play host to the annual Thanksgiving Tournament at the HEC. The tournament would be a nice change of pace for the Raiders as well as an opportunity to find out what kind of team they will be this season.

Pierce played their first game against Shoreline and could not hold on in a 110-108 shootout resulting in their first loss.

“We knew we had to make adjustments in the first game but we didn’t make them. Our energy was lacking and we were out rebounded.” Mensalson said.

The Raiders regrouped and went on to win their final two games, first beating Lane 92-76 and then Linn-Benton 57-55 to take fourth place.

As Mendelson sees their rebounding as their weakness, he finds strength in their consistency at the foul line.

“We have shot really well, especially with our free-throws.” Mendelson said.

Although they finished in fourth place, the Raiders outscored their opponents 257-241 and only gave up the one loss to Shoreline who would go on to finish second in the tournament.

The Raiders will have more opportunities to gain experience before league play begins.

Pierce will travel to Eugene Oregon to compete in the Dale Bates Tournament and then travel to Seattle for the North Seattle Crossover tournament.

Mendelson and his Raiders feel confident that they will be ready when league play begins and Mendelson has the playoffs in his sights.

“Anything can happen in the playoffs; we’ve gone in as a low seed as well as a high seed and have had success,” Mendelson said.

Lady Raiders Start Strong

The lady Raiders enter the 2012 season hungry for a playoff run after missing the postseason by just one game last year.

Coach Brain Purugganan led his team to an 8-8 league record last season and looks to improve on that record in his third season.

The Lady Raiders have an experienced group, retaining most of their starters from last year, with some young talent joining the team.

The Raiders have already started strong with a 3-1 record in inter-league play.

Pierce showed they have the talent to obtain a tournament spot this season in a strong display in the Clackamas Thanksgiving Tournament where they finished in fourth place, with wins over Portland and Olympic and a loss to Umpqua.

Pierce’s 84-66 loss was due to their in ability to rebound as the Riverhawks out muscled the Raiders grabbing 65 rebounds to Pierce’s 34 allowing the Riverhawks to score 20 second chance points.

The Raiders where excellent beyond the arc as they scored 30 points at three point range, but that would not be enough to win.

Pierce’s put the hurt on Olympic in a 93-41 romp where the Lady Raiders scored 46 points off turnovers.

Pierce then went on to make Portland their next victim throwing up another 93 points to Portland’s 57, where their free-throw consistency was the key.

The Raiders collected 33 points from the foul line. The Raiders will be hosting the Raider Holiday Invitational beginning Dec. 9 where they will be able to work development and perfect their strategy in order to compete in their difficult division.

Rebounding won’t be the only area the Raiders will have to improve in.

Pierce will need more contribution from players off the bench, with only six points coming from substitutions.

Pierce will then travel to Mt. Vernon for the Skagit Valley Crossover Tournament before starting league play against Grays Harbor on Jan. 4.

Basketball On the roll

DHFT student Daniel Clarke has been a paraplegic sense the age of 15, injured in a playground accident in August of 1991 fracturing his back at his T3. Daniel moved to Pierce County in 1992 with his family from Hawaii. With in six months he hooked up with his friend Dave Stump and began playing wheelchair basketball. Daniel became part of the Tacoma Titans a recreation and competitive wheelchair basketball team.

Daniel hopes to complete his DHFT certification and his AA here at Pierce then transfer to a university to get his Physical/Occupational therapist degree specializing in disability rehab. Daniel has a dream of opening his on fitness rehab facility catering to wheelchair bound athletes.

What is wheelchair basketball?  Well it played pretty much the same way as regular basketball. They play by NCAA rules, ten foot hoops, five man or three man teams, five personal fouls. Now let’s look at the differences two pushes and then a dribble, ten teams’ fouls.  Each athletes has a classification from 1 – 4 with 1 being the most limited in function and a 4 having some permanent disability  such as a bad knee and being unable run. Each team can only have  11 classification points or less on the court at a time, if you hit someone with a chair it can be called a chair foul much like a blocking or offensive charging foul it counts towards your personal fouls.

Wheelchair basketball is played on a colligate level at a number of schools, here just a few U of IL, U of A and ASU.  Daniel is looking at to possibilities at playing collegiate level basketball at one of these two schools U of A or U of IL.

On November 12th & 13th the Adaptive recreation program out of Metro Parks Tacoma hosted the 2nd annual Tacoma Fall Classics wheelchair basketball tournament at Mt. Tahoma High School. This tournament has a National Wheelchair Basketball Association Division III backing but was open to all teams. Teams from Portland, Seattle and British Columbia were in attendance.

The Tacoma Titans are sponsored by Metro Parks Tacoma, with national affiliation of NWBA Para-Olympic organization. The Titans play an average of 7 tournaments year. On October they traveled up to Canada to play in a tournament. The Canadian team had member of their Para Olympic team playing.

To learn more about Adaptive Recreation contact Adaptive Recreation MPT. 253-591-531 or email [email protected] Better yet come to the Hec and meet Daniel yourself he always has a chair to offer, but careful though he has a wicked outside shot.


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