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Warner Pacific wins conference title in final game for Evergreen

Nate Menefee
Evergreen players like Nate Menefee (R), struggled to find open shots in tonight's Conference Championship final

March 4, 2008

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Evergreen could not match the pace of Warner Pacific College as the Knight's win the Cascade Conference title with a score of 87-69. Warner advances to the NAIA Div II National Championship Tournament and joins two other conference schools, Eastern Oregon and Oregon Tech, in Pt. Lookout, MO on March 12th.

The number #3 seed Geoducks were shooting fairly even with #4 seed Warner on field goals made in the first half. It was the missed long shots that put them in trouble. Only 1 of 7 attempts from beyond the three point arch found net and the Knights capitalized on their rebounds, firing back with a 7 of 8 total from three point range. Evergreen sent WPC to the free throw line for 5 points and were unable to have the courtesy returned.

Evergreen found themselves trailing 38-30 at the half.

For the game, Warner Pacific made 54% of their field goal attempts to Evergreen's 40%. The Knight's added an impressive 33 points to their game total score on 3 pointers, a 73% success rate. The Geoducks had a tough time, with just 23% of their long shots counting.

"Warner really wanted the title" noted coach Jeff Drinkwine following the game. "They are an experienced team, they have been in this position before and they played like champions".

It was a frustrating night for the Geoducks who came close to their opponent just once. At midway through the second half the team closed to within five points, thanks to some Warner fouls that sent ESC to the free throw line.

Evergreen's shots again could not find their target and with less than three minutes left in the game, Warner had pulled ahead by 20 points.

Warner Pacific played a hard game, determined to make it to the national tournament again. For their team, All-American Scott O'Gallagher scored 31 points to lead his team and all game scorers. Teammate Josh Jackson added 19 points and Keegan Cook totaled 14.

The top scorers for Evergreen were All-Conference Nate Menefee (So, Timberline HS) with 24 points, Julio Feliciano (So, Mt. Tahoma HS) and Michael Ward (Jr. Kansas City, MO) each had 11 points.

Tonight's game capped off the best year of Evergreen Men's Basketball since the 2001-02 season. Finishing their year with a 21-8 overall and 14-6 conference record.

Box Score