It was a bad weekend in Price for Salt Lake Community College basketball. Both the women and men basketball teams saw their seasons come to a close in the Region 18 tournament held at the College of Eastern Utah.
The top seeded Lady Bruins made it all the way to the Region 18 championship game, but fell to North Idaho College 86-76 in the title game. SLCC trailed North Idaho by 15 points at half time, rallied to close the lead to four points with two minutes left in the game, but the Bruins were unable to get over the hump.
“[North Idaho’s] confidence was sky high coming into the tournament,” said head coach Betsy Specketer. “They played three great games, and in a tournament like this, that’s all it takes to come away with it.”
The loss ends the Lady Bruins season at 26-6. Haley Holmstead had 21 points, Sheila Adams had 13 points and Dayna Burgess scored 10 points and dished out nine assists in the final game of the season. Adams and Burgess were named to the All Tournament team with their performances.
Holmstead had one of the most impressive seasons in recent memory for SLCC winning the Scenic West Athletic Conference Player of the Year award. Holmstead is the first freshmen to win the award under Specketer’s watch and the fourth Bruin overall to win the award. The five-foot-seven freshmen guard from American Fork high school averaged a SWAC conference leading 22 points per game on the year.
“Haley’s ability to score is unmatched as a freshman,” said Specketer. “Her learning curve was smaller than any other freshmen I’ve been around. She’s a good slasher who can finish at rim with either hand and has a killer mid-range game on top of that. She really had a great season.”
A repeat national championship was not in the cards for the SLCC men’s team. The Bruins fell 75-65 to College of Eastern Utah in the semifinals of the Region 18 tournament.
The defending NJCAA champions failed to get in any kind of rhythm against the hosts of the tournament, falling behind by 11 points early in the first half. The closest the Bruins came to overtaking CEU’s lead was 59-56 late in the second half. But CEU went on a 12 to 2 run shortly afterwards sealing the Bruins fate.
Jake Dastrup led the Bruins with 26 points. The sophomore from Grants Pass, Oregon had one of his best games of the year. The rest of the Bruins however did not, and in a one-and-done format that is a recipe for disaster.
Sophomore Darian Norris was named to the All Tournament first team for SLCC, while Chiverton was an Honorable Mention selection in his freshmen season. The Bruins finished the year at 24-9 overall.