It is time for week two on Craw's NWAACC power rankings, with a some changes and also a new addition to the blog this week. Please keep in mind, even though I take this seriously, sports is fun, not a matter of life or death, unlike one of my jobs in working in the cancer unit of a major Portland, Oregon hospital, which often is life or death. Thanks for reading and happy new year.
9. Everett (10-5)---The Trojans join the top nine, after winning six in a row, including the Clackamas Holiday Tournament. Tournament MVP Dominque McClendon recorded 26 points and 6 rebounds in the league opener, in a 111-88 win over Shoreline.
8. Highline (10-3)---The Thunderbirds have had a solid start including wins against Big Bend and Whatcom. Started league play with a loss to Pierce and bounced back with a big win over Lower Columbia. Good road tests this week at Tacoma and Grays Harbor.
7. Spokane (10-4)---Kwinn Hanson leads the attack with big numbers, 22.6 ppg., 7.2 rebounds and shooting 70 percent from the field. He is backed up by Chase Haack with 18.9 ppg and 5.9 rebounds, a potent two.
6. Whatcom (8-3)---The Orcas started league play with 99-76 win, led by Kyle Impero's 40 points and 9 rebounds. Whatcom has five players averaging double figure scoring. Must play better to stay in top 9. Two wins early on over Pierce are impressive.
5. Mt. Hood (11-3)---The Saints have lost two in a row, too top tier teams, including the league opener to SW Oregon by one point. Mac Johnson's numbers from his post position are outstanding, 18.9 ppg, 10.2 rebounds per game and shooting 69 percent from the field.
4. Pierce (9-3)---The Raiders started league play 2-0. Devin Mathews with 21 points and 15 assists against three turnovers in those two games. Mathews assist numbers at 7.3 per game is second highest in the NWAACC and is has helped the Raiders scoring average of 87.3 ppg.
3. Big Bend (11-3)---Led by star player Brendan Westendorf, who has video game numbers at 31 ppg, 8.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.6 steals, it is pretty easy to see why the Viks start league play at 11-3.
2. SW Oregon (12-3)---Big time NWAACC league opening win over powerful Mt. Hood on the road. Point guard D.J. Anderson led the Lakers in that game with 22 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds, but most important the game winning free throw.
1. Clark (9-1)---Remains on top of Craw's NWAACC power rankings and there is no disputing they should. Went through non-league play 8-1 and won their league opener over Green River. The Penguins have now won seven in a row, playing the best basketball in the NWAACC at present.
New feature today, this week's NWAACC games of the week, picked by a panel of experts, which now number 21 people, minus 20.
1/8---Columbia Basin goes to Treasure Valley. Two teams just outside of the Craw's Top Nine, this should be a great match-up. The winner of this game could easily jump into next week's top nine.
1/11---Number one in Craw's Top Nine Clark goes to number four Pierce. Not much more you can say, heavyweight NWAACC match-up, good chance for Pierce to make a big statement.
Greg Crawford is the college basketball, golf and sports business insider for CSNNW.com and can be read each week at www.csnnw.com/blog/crawfords-court , the most powerful sports network in the Pacific Northwest.