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January 17, 2018  Women’s Basketball vs. Grays Harbor  6pm
January 17, 2018  Men’s Basketball vs. Grays Harbor  8pm

Men’s Wrestling

Boxer Open

January 14, 2018
Head Coach Scott Norton

This weekend we competed at the Boxer Open in Forest Grove, Oregon.  Highline was led by Liam Corbett 157, and Austin Lister 133.  Corbett pinned Scottie Stockman from Southern Oregon in the finals.  Austin Lister dominated Logan Higganbottom 18-7.  We had a 3rd finalist in Jacob Mendoza 125.  But we sat him out due to a potential concussion.  Mendoza had a huge win in the semifinals as he knocked off #3 Devaughn Sapien of Clackamas to get into the finals.
Ironically, we had Mendoza 125,  Lister 133, ilaban 141, Corbett 157, and Ben Gore 174,  in the semifinals.  Gore and Owens finished 4th, as they defaulted due to injuries.
We also had Patrick Wheeler finish third at 133.  He had two pins, and 4 wins.  This is the best tournament he has competed in this year.  Tucker Wooding also went 2-2 at 141.  Aaron Nakama competed at 125 as well.
Shandon wrestled real well today.  He lost in the semi‘s 9-8.  Unfortunately, Shandon injured his knee at 141 coming back through the bracket.  It’s tough to say if he will be back for Regionals.
Ben Gore 174, has wrestled well all year including this tournament.  He is winning a lot of matches, and turning a lot of guys.  We are happy with the adjustments he has made.
Mitchell should have been in the finals at 184.  He was beating Nick Maximas 5-2 going into the third period.  Mitchell tried to roll through on Maximas shot and was caught and pinned.  I’m confident that Mitchell will beat him when it’s most important.

The next meet will be the Clackamas Open next Sunday.  It will be a good test for our guys.  They are moving in the right direction.

Simon Fraser vs. Highline

January 12, 2018
Head Coach Scott Norton:

This past Friday we wrestled Simon Fraser University, which is a D2 school.  It was a pretty competitive meet.  Jacob Mendoza got us rolling with the win at 125, while Austin Lister picked up a forfeit at 133.  We dropped 6 points as Shandon ilaban was pinned at 141.  Adrian Avena then battled back and took a 15 to 10 decision at 149.  Liam Corbett 157, beat Cody Osborne 5-2.  Liam lost to him earlier in the year.  We then forfeited at 165. Ben Gore then stopped Logan Nelson 11-7 at 174.  Mitchell Owens then pinned his guy at 184.  This gave us a 10 point lead 22 to 12 going into the last two matches.  It also set up a rematch with Emmanuel Daigbe and #2 ranked Morgan Smith.  Emmanuel started the match with a big double leg in the first opening 15 seconds.  The match was going back-and-forth.  However, in the third round Emmanuel was in the down position and turned the wrong direction and was caught and pinned.  Unfortunately, this brought the score to 22 – 18 Highline.   And in the last match we had to forfeit at heavyweight and lost the dual 24 to 22.  This was the first time our guys have wrestled in a month.
(see more photos on the Wrestling homepage)

Adrian Avena winning on a comeback effort at 149 lbs.

Adrian Avena winning on a comeback effort at 149 lbs.

Women’s Basketball

Good Effort Comes Up Short

Grays Harbor 76  Highline 70

Jan. 17, 2018 –   Highline came close to upsetting a top-ranked Grays Harbor squad but fell short, losing to the visiting Chokers 76-70.  Aileen Kaye led four Thunderbirds in double-figures, scoring 18 points.  Sharon Ajayi added 17 points and a game high 15 rebounds while Nadija Demic contributed 17 points and six boards.  Kanani Kremers had 10 points and four assists.  Grays Harbor was paced by Alexia Thrower with 19 points and 13 rebounds, with Angela Sikora and Sandin Kidder each adding 15 points.

The Chokers entered the game with a gaudy 14-1 record, compared to Highline at 5-10.  On the court, it was an After the T-Birds took a surprising 23-10 after the first quarter, the Chokers returned the favor, outscoring Highline 22-9 in the second quarter, for a 32-32 tie at the half.  In the third quarter, with Highline point guard and leading scorer Aileen Kaye on the bench in foul trouble, Grays Harbor took the lead for good and while the T-Birds closed to within two points at 66-64 with about three minutes to go in the game, turnovers and missed shots resulted in their rally falling just short.

Sharon Ajayi with the offensive rebound against Grays Harbor

Sharon Ajayi with the offensive rebound against Grays Harbor

Men’s Basketball

A Much Needed Win

Highline 83  Grays Harbor 73
Jan. 17, 2018 –  in a game not as close as the final score would indicate, Highline jumped out to a big lead and defeated the Grays Harbor Chokers 83-73.  The win broke a four-game losing streak for the Thunderbirds. David Harris led all scorers with 27 points while Coby Rothwell has 14 points and eight rebounds. Desmond Hudson added nine points, 13 rebounds, and four blocked shots.  Grays Harbor was led by Cornelius Holifield with 24 points.

The Thunderbirds came out energized from the opening tip and took its biggest lead of the game at 41-18 with about 10 minutes left in the first half, taking a 16-point lead into halftime while shooting 54% from the field. In the second half the Chokers found some offensive rhythm and got as close as eight points, but not close enough to ever put the game in doubt.

Chris Holmes on the drive against Grays Harbor

Chris Holmes on the drive against Grays Harbor

Women’s Basketball

Falling Just Short
Tacoma 72-  Highline 67

Jan. 13 – A furious rally by Highline in the final two minutes fell just short as the T-Birds fell to the host Tacoma Titans 72-67 (box).   Aileen Kaye led both teams with 23 points while Kanani Kremers had 18 points and nine rebounds and Nadija Demic added 10 points and seven assists.  Tacoma was led by Kylee Williams’s 19 points while Shoni Pritchett and Jazlyn Owens each hit for 14 points.  It was Owens that hit two free throws with seven seconds left that iced the game for Tacoma after the Thunderbirds had pulled to within three points, having rallied from 12 points down with five minutes left in the game.

The loss snaps Highline’s three game winning streak and evens the team’s conference record at 1-1.  Next up for the feisty T-Birds is hosting Grays Harbor on Jan. 17.

Kanani Kremers hits for two of her 18 points against Tacoma

Men’s Basketball

Outrebounded
Tacoma 75 Highline 64

Jan. 13 – A struggling Highline squad lost its fourth consecutive game, losing at Tacoma 75-64 (box).  The loss leaves the Thunderbirds at 5-11 for the season and 0-2 in league play. Highline was led by David Harris with 20 points, with Myles Potter hitting for 12 points. Quintin Bethea led a balanced Titan attack with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Once again, the story was Highline getting pounded on the boards.  After being outrebounded 42-27 in its previous loss against South Puget Sound, the Thunderbirds were once again outrebounded by a big margin, this time 56-40 by Tacoma.  While both teams shot about 37%, Tacoma took advantage of its extra shots to secure the win.

The T-Birds look to rebound (literally and figuratively) in hosting Grays Harbor on Jan. 17.


Steffun Singleton on the jumper against Tacoma

Soccer Champions x 2 One Night, Two Goals, Two Shutouts, Two Championships

Women’s Soccer Takes First Championship

Defense Stifles Peninsula For 1-0 Win in Overtime

In the end, it took grit, perseverance, an unbreakable defense, and a jewel of a kick in overtime for Highline to win its first ever championship.   After playing to a scoreless tie in regulation time, it was Jewel Boland, Highline’s top goal scorer, playing with a heavily wrapped left leg, who hit a rocket from 20 yards that caromed off the top crossbar into the Peninsula goal at 1:06 into overtime to bring the long-awaited championship to the Women’s program.  It was the first loss for the Pirates, who entered the game a perfect 19-0-0.  Highline finished the season as the league’s only unbeaten team at 18-0-2, and the 2017 NWAC Women’s Soccer Champions.

In addition to the winning goal by Boland, assisted by Bella Keane, the story of the game was Highline’s defense, which had surrendered only five goals all season, best in the NWAC Conference.  Although constantly tested by Peninsula, with the league’s most prolific offense averaging seven goals a game, and hanging on by its collective fingernails at the end of regulation time, the Thunderbird defense, with Jocelyn Hanrath in goal, kept Peninsula at bay just long enough for Boland’s jewel of a kick.

See the full report and photos from the game at the Women’s Soccer page.

T-Birds Edge Whatcom For Men’s Soccer Title

Kasim Sparkles in Goal; Evanger Gets Game Winner

When your goalkeeper is named Most Valuable Player in the Championship game, chances are you walk away with the title.  And so it was with Highline defeating the Whatcom Orcas 1-0 behind Akili Kasim’s spectacular play in net and Dane Evanger’s goal at 58:39, assisted by Ryley Johnson.  For the Thunderbirds it was their first championship since 2014, and the second for Head Coach Steve Mohn. Despite the lack of goal scoring the game was wide open, with Whatcom getting the majority of the better scoring chances, especially in the waning moments as it pressed the Highline defense in looking for the equalizing goal.  In the end it was a contest between Whatcom, with the league’s best offense (65 goals scored) against Highline, with the league’s stingiest defense (11 goals against).  In this case, defense won out.   And as for Highline’s offense, while it was Ryley Johnson, the team’s top scorer and Adama Kante (3 goals in the semifinal win over Spokane) who put the most pressure on the Whatcom defense, it was Evanger, the team’s third leading scorer, who boomed in what proved to be the game winner off an opportune bounce.  For the Thunderbirds and its defense, that is all it took.

See the full report and photos from the game at the Men’s Soccer page.