‘Clam’tastic: Evergreen Dominates on Senior Night, Bids Farewell to Coach Heuer
BY JAMES GUTSCH
Evergreen Women 61 / Pacific Warner College 59
Just days after long-time Women’s Basketball Coach Monica Heuer announced her retirement, and while Evergreen was still fighting for home-court advantage in the playoffs, the Geoducks knew it was not the time to let up on the gas pedal.
Sammi Clark scored 13 points, Brittany Gray added 11, and the Geoducks showed no love on Valentine’s Day, holding on to beat Warner Pacific College. Neither team was able to build a sizeable lead, and Evergreen led 34-32 at the half.
Aggressive basketball from both teams in the second half had the Geoducks trailing by two with under two minutes remaining. Sadee Jones connected on a jumper to tie the game for the 11th time. After a miss by Warner Pacific, Randi Boseman hit a layup for her first basket of the night to put Evergreen up by a bucket with 47 seconds remaining. A couple misses at the charity stripe by the Geoducks gave Warner Pacific one final shot, but Evergreen’s defense came through for the win.
Evergreen clinched a spot in the Cascade Collegiate Conference Playoffs for the third consecutive season with the victory.
Evergreen Men 71 / Warner Pacific College 87
Michael Potter netted 14 points on 5-6 shooting and Marc Taylor contributed 13 as the Geoducks were crushed on Valentine’s Day, falling behind by as much as 22 points. Evergreen started the game plagued by missed shots and turnovers and trailed 0-10 after five minutes. Though the Geoducks got the ball rolling towards the end, and a 16-5 run by Evergreen, highlighted by a three pointer by Kyle Calhoun as the clock expired, saw Warner Pacific’s lead trimmed to 32-34 at the break.
Evergreen couldn’t keep it up in the second half unfortunately, and found themselves in a 42-62 hole with 12 minutes left. A three pointer by Frankie Johnson cut the deficit to 11 with a little under four minutes left, but they couldn’t maintain the momentum.
Evergreen Women 84 / Concordia University 71
Women’s Coach Monica Heuer coached her last basketball game at the Evergreen CRC last Saturday night, and her team almost forgot the memo. The Geoducks came in looking to clinch their first winning season since 2005 and continue their hunt for the first home playoff game in program history; and they came out pretty sluggish in the first half.
Trailing the entire period, the Geoducks fell behind by 11 before eventually cutting the deficit down to two at halftime. A different team came out to start the second half and they gave over 500 Greener fans something to cheer for. After shooting less than 40 percent in the first half, Evergreen poured in 50 points in the second on 63 percent shooting. The Geoducks took their first lead of the night with 18 minutes left on two free throws by Sadee Jones and they never faltered again.
Senior Sammi Clark scored 16 points in her last home game, Jessica Denmon chipped in an efficient 11 points while securing nine rebounds and the Kiana Cheng scored five to round out the class of 2014. Evergreen bid 13 year coach Monica Heuer farewell with a dominating victory. “I want to thank the community for coming out, and to thank the college for the support over the years.” Coach Heuer stated in a brief speech after the game. “And my staff, thank you for all of your hard work. My players, they have put in a lot of work, it was a pleasure to have coached them this year, and I have great pride in this senior class as well.”
Heuer retires as the longest tenured coach of any sport in Geoduck history and will remain with the college as the Assistant Athletic Director, a job she had already been performing while coaching basketball. Clark graduates as the all time assist leader in Evergreen history, and also owns the single season assist record in three years of play for the Geoducks.
Evergreen Men 94 / Concordia University 93 (OT)
Jordan Dam may have been a junior on senior night, but he made sure he got his fair share of the spotlight on the last home game of the season for the Geoducks. Trailing by a point in overtime, Dam caught a pass from Dre Taylor, drove to the paint, and buried a floater with three seconds left to hand the heavily favored Concordia Cavaliers a loss and give the seniors an early graduation gift.
Evergreen seniors Marc Taylor and Kyle Calhoun poured in 25 and 24 points respectively and fellow senior Cody Peters added 14 to go with 11 boards in a dominating performance in their home finale.
After trailing for over half an hour of playing time Evergreen finally took the lead with 2:30 left in the game after Peters completed a three-point play to give the home team a 78-77 lead. Evergreen seemingly put the game away with two free throws by Marc Taylor for an 84-80 lead with 30 seconds left but the Cavaliers converted their free throws as well and hit a three-pointer to tie the game with 10 seconds left. The improbable rally sent Evergreen to its first extra session of the season and on the brink of what appeared to be another disappointing loss that ‘twas not meant to be.
The victory improved Evergreen to 4-19 and although they will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year, this comeback win might be enough to look back on the season and smile.