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NIC men roll into semis

| March 9, 2019 12:00 AM

EVERETT, Wash. — Centralia, the third seed from the West Region, came out and did something that few teams have been able to do to the North Idaho College men’s basketball team for the first 20 minutes on Friday.

Centralia played right with the Cardinals.

The game was tied at 34 at halftime, but then NIC outscored Centralia 50-22 in the second half for a 84-56 win over the Trailblazers in the quarterfinals of the Northwest Athletic Conference Championships at Everett Community College.

“We kind of came out in a slump,” said NIC sophomore guard RayQuan Evans in a postgame interview on NWACSports.org. “They kind of came out and punched us in the mouth a little bit. I’m not really talkative, but just thought I needed to lead by example, and put it in my hands to get it going.”

Freshman Emmitt Taylor III scored 24 points, hitting 6 of 13 on 3-pointers for NIC off the bench.

“We’re a tough team when we start to get rolling,” Taylor III said. “Once we get a hot hand, we’ll feed them and get going.”

Centralia, which shot 15 for 31 in the first half, was just 8 of 29 in the second half.

NIC (28-2), the top seed from the East Region, faces Lane (27-3) of Eugene, Ore., in the first semifinal next Saturday at 5 p.m. Lane, the top seed from the South Region, eliminated Green River (20-11) 90-80 in the second quarterfinal game on Friday. NIC and Lane are the lone remaining top seeds in the tournament after Everett (North) and South Puget Sound (West) were upset in Thursday’s first round.

Friday was the first time NIC had not led at the half since a 69-68 loss at Mesa Community College on Dec. 27.

“It’s just teaching us and our young guys how to deal with adversity,” Evans said. “All year, we’ve been winning by a large margin, so it was good for our group and the young guys to go through that.”

NIC, which has won 20 straight games, is trying to win the conference tournament for the second straight year.

Tyler Ashmore scored 16 points for Centralia (20-11), the third seed from the West Region.

Spokane and Walla Walla — both from the East Region — will play in the other semifinal next Saturday at 7 p.m.

CENTRALIA

LaBrandon Price 5-12 0-0 10, Jaxon Clarke 0-5 0-0 0, Dionte’ Dixon 4-13 0-0 9, Marqus Gilson 5-8 3-4 14, Tyler Ashmore 7-13 0-0 16, Michael Brown 0-1 0-0 0, Collin Prangley 0-2 1-2 1, Liam Murphy 1-5 0-0 3, Nathan Hoff 0-0 0-0 0, Donovan Eiman 0-0 0-2 0, Peyton Stanley 1-1 0-0 3, Jimmy Harding 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-60 4-8 56.

NORTH IDAHO

RayQuan Evans 9-21 2-6 22, Nate Pryor 4-10 4-7 12, Phillip Malatare 1-5 0-0 2, Alphonso Anderson 5-10 1-2 12, Jarod Greene 3-4 0-1 6, Emmitt Taylor III 9-18 0-0 24, Iaian McLaughlin 1-5 0-0 2, Yusuf Mohammed 0-0 0-0 0, James Carlson 0-1 2-2 2, Jaden Dewar 1-3 0-0 2, Ismael Valdez 0-2 0-0 0, Drew Sheridan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-79 9-18 84.

Halftime — Tied 34-34. 3-point goals — Cent 6-28 (Price 0-6, Clarke 0-4, Dixon 1-5, Gilson 1-2, Ashmore 2-6, Brown 0-1, Prangley 0-1, Murphy 1-2, Stanley 1-1), NIC 9-23 (Evans 2-5, Pryor 0-2, Anderson 1-2, Taylor III 6-13, McLaughlin 0-1). Rebounds — Cent 37 (Gilson 11), NIC 53 (Evans 13). Assists — Cent 15 (Price 4), NIC 24 (Pryor 9). Team fouls — Cent 13, NIC 12. Fouled out — none.

NWAC MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

At Everett Community College

Thursday’s Games

Centralia 73, Edmonds 71

North Idaho 105, Clackamas 68

Green River 89, Peninsula 66

Lane 95, Wenatchee Valley 87

Spokane 90, Umpqua 77

Whatcom 64, South Puget Sound 58

Lower Columbia 96, Everett 94, OT

Walla Walla 76, Chemeketa 57

Friday’s Games

North Idaho 84, Centralia 56

Lane 90, Green River 80

Spokane 93, Whatcom 69

Walla Walla 63, Lower Columbia 62

Saturday, March 16

Semifinals

Game 13 — North Idaho (29-2) vs. Lane (27-3), 5 p.m.

Game 14 — Spokane (22-9) vs. Walla Walla (21-10), 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 17

Championship

Semifinal winners, 4:45 p.m.

NWAC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

At Everett Community College

Saturday’s Games

Game 1 — West No. 3 Centralia (14-14) vs. North No. 2 Olympic (11-12), 8 a.m.

Game 2 — South No. 4 Mt. Hood (20-9) vs. East No. 1 Big Bend (25-4), 10 a.m.

Game 3 — North No. 3 Whatcom (17-9) vs. West No. 2 Grays Harbor (15-11), noon

Game 4 — East No. 4 North Idaho (20-8) vs. South No. 1 Umpqua (25-4), 2 p.m.

Game 5 — East No. 3 Walla Walla (20-9) vs. South No. 2 Lane (26-3), 4 p.m.

Game 6 — North No. 4 Skagit Valley (14-13) vs. West No. 1 Lower Columbia (20-9), 6 p.m.

Game 7 — West No. 4 Highline (12-13) vs. North No. 1 Peninsula (18-8), 8 p.m.

Game 8 — South No. 2 Clackamas (15-10) vs. East No. 2 Wenatchee Valley (24-5).

Sunday’s Games

Game 9 — Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 1 p.m.

Game 10 — Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 3 p.m.

Game 11 — Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, 5 p.m.

Game 12 — Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 16

Semifinals

Game 13 — Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10, 1 p.m.

Game 14 — Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12, 3 p.m.

Sunday, March 17

Championship

Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

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