The South Puget Sound Community College Men's Basketball team has clinched a spot in the NWAC Championships this March. This is the third straight year the Clippers will play in the NWAC Championship Tournament, which will be held at Everett College starting March 10th. SPSCC is the first school in the NWAC in the 2017-2018 season to clinch a spot in the postseason, after starting West Region play with nine straight wins. According to the latest Coaches Poll (February 6th), the Clippers are currently ranked #6 overall in the NWAC.
The strong start to conference has been largely due to a stingy defense that has held West Region opponents to an average of 63.6 points per game. The Clippers have been using full-court pressure to frustrate conference opponents and currently lead the NWAC West Region in steals per game. Head Coach Aaron Landon said of his defense, "We know who we are, and when we play at a high level it's simply because we play with great defensive focus and energy. Our defense is allowing us compete every night regardless of if we're hitting shots or not."
The Clippers started off the season by playing one of the toughest schedules in the NWAC, playing 14 of their 15 non-conference games on the road. Landon has scheduled a combined three non-conference home games since 2016, so this group is no stranger to NWAC travel.
SPSCC has not lost a game so far in 2018 and currently owns the longest win streak in the entire NWAC, having won 10 in a row. While that accomplishment has earned the Clippers a berth in the postseason, Landon says it does not mean anything more than that. "We're happy we clinched a berth to the postseason, but none of the rankings or previous games mean anything right now," Landon said. "We're on the road on Wednesday night playing against a good Centralia team that is likely going to be in the postseason too. We need to live in the moment and focus on our preparation."
The Clippers will play at Centralia College on tonight at 8:00 pm, then return home on Saturday, February 17th to host Pierce College at 3:00 pm.