Simpson suffers tough overtime playoff loss to Menlo
Simpson University Sports News
REDDING, Calif. - Simpson University men's basketball team was in action on Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the Cal Pac Championships quarterfinal matchup hosted by the Oaks from Menlo College. The Red Hawks fought back from an early deficit to force overtime but eventually fell short in the extra period, 111-103. This loss put an abrupt end to the Red Hawks’ season.
In the first half, it was all Oaks, who shot 65 percent in the half. The Red Hawks shot just 28 percent. The Oaks led by as many as 24 points and took at 23 point, 44-21, lead into the half time break. John Smith and ChaRunn Jones led the way for the Oaks each scoring nine points.
In the second half, the Oaks seemed to pick up where they left off, as they were able to maintain a 22-point lead with 10:21 to play. Shortly after that, the Red Hawks were dealt another blow when Dalton Thacker fouled out of the game. However, that seemed to ignite the Red Hawks. Simpson junior Guy Varsek caught fire and cut the Oak lead to 10 points with 5:17 to play. The Red Hawks continued to fight and got the Oak lead down to as little as two, but the Oaks regained a three-point lead when Smith hit a free throw with 17 seconds left. Varsek came right back down and hit a huge 3-pointer with six seconds left to tie the game at 90 and send it into overtime.
In overtime, the Oaks scored right away, and the Red Hawks were chasing the lead. This time the Red Hawks were able to come back and take their first lead with three minutes left in overtime. The Oaks battled back to take a lead at 102-100. Then it would all unravel for the Red Hawks. A foul was called against the Red Hawks, which resulted in Coach Matt Thacker receiving a double technical foul and being ejected from the game. The Oaks were awarded four technical free throws and the two free throws from the original foul. David Abittan converted all six free throws to effectively put the game out of reach, and Menlo won 111-103.
Smith led the Oaks with 21 points, and Carlos Monroy added 20. Abittan scored 17 points all from the free throw line. Jones finished with 15 in the winning effort for the Oaks.
Written by Dan Anderson
Contact: Derrick Pringle, Jr.