The Clipper men’s basketball program made history in 2018-19, winning a third consecutive NWAC West Region championship and setting a new season wins record with 25 wins. The Clippers earned a number one seed for the NWAC championship tournament, clinching their fourth consecutive trip to the postseason.
Throughout the season the Clippers were ranked in the coach’s poll from start to finish, ending the year as the number three ranked team in the NWAC. The final RPI rankings had the Clippers finishing the season at number two in the NWAC, a testament to their challenging schedule. The Clippers had an outstanding non-conference run, winning the Dale Bates Tournament in Eugene with a 100-88 win over host Lane Community College. The Clippers also hosted and won the SPSCC Crossover tournament with wins against Blue Mountain CC, Portland CC and Edmonds CC. Through the 2018-19 season the Clippers used the number one scoring defense in the NWAC to deliver their third West Region title. The Clippers were perfect on their home court and extended their home win streak which dates back to 2017. The season came to an end with a loss to the Whatcom Orcas on March 7th in the NWAC Sweet 16 at Everett Community College.
Several members of the 2018-19 Men’s Basketball team took home individual regional honors. Sophomore guard Hunter Sipe was selected as the NWAC West Region Defensive Player of the Year and All-Region First Team. Other members of the team earning recognition include sophomore DeMonte Malloy, named to All-Region First Team, and freshman Cacoa Chatman, named to All-Region Second Team. “The individual honors were well deserved, but there were other contributions by our role players that put us in a position to win our region again. At the end of the day we win because we defend and rebound at a high level; we did that as a group,” said Head Coach Aaron Landon.
On the academic side, sophomores Tommy Faustka, John Moore and Hunter Sipe were named as members of the prestigious NWAC Academic Excellence Team. Landon praised the academic performance in 2018-19, saying “Our program has set an example for what being a student athlete at SPSCC is all about, I am just as proud of how we did academically as I am of all the wins”. All three student athletes, along with teammate DeMonte Malloy, will graduate this spring and are actively being recruited by four-year universities. The sophomores plan to announce their decision for transfer later this spring.
In addition to the student athletes, Coach Landon was voted as NWAC West Region Coach of the year for the third consecutive season. Landon, who already owns the most wins in program history and celebrated his 100th win on Feb. 23, is now in his sixth year leading the program.
This was the fourth consecutive season that the Clippers have earned at least 22 wins and competed in the NWAC Championships. During that stretch the Clippers have gone 49-7 in the West Region and won three West Region Championships.