OLYMPIA, Wash. – Breaking a 24-game conference losing streak, the Evergreen Geoducks got into the win column with a 74-64 victory over the Northwest Christian Beacons in a Cascade Conference men’s basketball game on Tuesday night at CRC Gymnasium in Olympia, Wash.
The Geoducks (2-9, 1-2 CCC) opened up the night with a three-pointer by senior Travis Wagner (Federal Way, Wash./Green River CC) and the baskets would continue to fall. The Beacons (7-9, 1-3 CCC) kept things close, making their fair share of buckets as well. The first half would end up seeing the lead change six times and tied 10 times as Evergreen held a slight lead at the break, 35-32.
Northwest Christian opened up the second half with four quick points that gave them a one-point lead but a layup by Marc Taylor (Boise, Idaho/Edmonds CC) with 17:50 left to play put the Geoducks up by one and Evergreen wouldn’t trail the rest of the way. The lead hit double-digits with 8:53 left on the clock as freshman Frankie Johnson (Renton, Wash./Hazen HS) hit a jumper that put Evergreen up 55-45.
The lead grew to as many as 13 on the back end of two free throws by Johnson with 2:45 left to play. Northwest Christian didn’t go down without a fight, getting back within six on a three-pointer by Trevor Parker with 18 second left to play but the Geoducks hit their free throws down the stretch to earn the 74-64 win.
The win is the first for Evergreen in CCC play since earning a 79-76 overtime win over Southern Oregon on Feb. 5, 2011, a streak of 24 games.
Evergreen was led by 18 points from KJ Hong (Federal Way, Wash./Shoreline CC). Johnson finished with 15 points after having just two in the first half. The Geoducks shot 44.9% on the night, making 22 of 49 from the field. Evergreen also converted on 23 of 33 from the charity stripe, shooting 69.7% on free throws.
Northwest Christian was led by 17 points off the bench from Parker. Wyatt Taboh-Graziano put up 15 points while Brody McGowan finished with 13 points in the losing effort. The Beacons outrebounded Evergreen, 40-31, on the night but committed 20 turnovers as well.
Evergreen hits the road this weekend as they travel to Eastern Oregon on Friday. Tip with the Mountaineers is set for 7:30 p.m. in La Grande, Ore.