by Jared Grafenauer
If the NWAACC post-season basketball tournament started today, Whatcom Community College’s men’s and women’s basketball teams would have to play some of the toughest opponents right away. This is because they are currently seeded fourth and third in their division, which means they would have to play some of the highest seeds in the league.
With four games left in the regular season, the Orcas are still in contention for first place.
A 9-3 league record and a 17-4 season record has Whatcom Community College’s men’s basketball team currently in fourth place in the North division. However, they are just as close as anybody to be in first place.
“It is somewhat deceptive because the top two teams haven’t had their bye [week off], and we have,” said head coach Chris Scrimsher. “We are basically one game behind everybody else.”
After winning their first 11 games, the men’s team was ranked first in Washington and Oregon.
“We were extremely motivated in the beginning of the season,” said Scrimsher, “I think we put ourselves into coast mode mid-way through, so we are trying to get back on track right now.”
Whatcom’s women’s team is in a similar situation, despite having a young first year head coach. The team has a very impressive league record of 10-2 and an overall record of 14-8, which has earned them a spot in the tournament.
Their league record has them presently sitting in third place, but like the men, they are just one game behind first place.
“I think the team has exceeded my expectations,” said head coach Sara Bergner. “We set some high goals, but our biggest goal is making it to the tournament. “
The NWAACC tournament takes the top four teams in the North, South, East, and West regions, so there is a total of 16 teams in the tournament.
“Once you get in, everybody’s record is the same at that point,” says Scrimsher. Meaning that once you make it to the tournament, the only games that matter are the ones you play in the tournament.
“It’s one thing to go there, but it’s another thing to go there and actually win games,” said Bergner. “We want to get there and stay as long as possible.”
With fingers crossed, the Orcas head into the last stretch of the season looking to finish strong and get a better seed in the post-season tournament.