The Highline Thunderbirds proved themselves to be a formidable foe, defeating the Clippers 36-66. It was a tough loss for South Puget Sound Community College as the season came to a close.
Highline player Nicole Smith made the first shot of the night, starting the game off with a slight Thunderbird lead of two points. Throughout the beginning of the first half, both teams managed to keep a steady defense and block shots, keeping the scores relatively low and close-knitted.
For about the first 10 minutes, the score remained very close with Highline staying just two points ahead of the Clippers, landing a shot whenever the score tied up.
The first half of the game ended with a score of 15-21, Highline steadily holding their lead.
The second half continued the slow stream of points, almost all being foul shots. The Clippers played quite aggressively and ended up with a large number of fouls, putting Highline further ahead in points.
With only about 13 minutes left in the game, and a score of 19-32, the game finally began to pick up.
SPSCC player Renee Willey (#34) started off the burst by putting up several two-pointers, one after another. Despite the increase in points, the Clipper’s defense began to fall.
Highline matched every shot, and when SPSCC began to slow down, Highline kept up the momentum.
In the last part of the second half, Highline was able to more than double the score they had held during the rest of the game. Foul after foul was awarded to the Thunderbirds, which only increased their lead.
Disagreeing with a call by one of the referees, an SPSCC student stepped forward to the edge of the court to voice his opinion. The referee gave the objector a brief lecture before resuming the game.
Clippers fan Adam Walker said the girls were short-handed, but never gave up.
“They played tough every game. Some seasons don’t always work out, but they did the best they could with what they had,” he said.
A ceremony was held by the women’s basketball team to bid farewell to players McKenzie Raben (#12), Sarah Houchen (#15), and Renee Willey (#34) as it was their last season at SPSCC.
To help promote student participation during sporting events, Clipper Student Senate held a raffle for gift cards to the winner of a small competition. The goal was to be the first person to get three shots in from outside the three-point line.
SPSCC student Mike Alexander won and said he may get a t-shirt with his gift card.