Mens basketball goes 14-0 for the first time in program history
For the first time in the college’s history, the EvCC Men’s Basketball team has had an undefeated season. The Trojans beat Bellevue 91-82 in conference play on February 27 at the Walt Price Fitness Center. It is also the first time in 21 years that a team in the NWAC North Division went undefeated in conference play.
The win not only marks a first in the college’s history but the bond between the players that is a testament to their undefeated season.
“They’re brothers,” says Trojans Head Coach Mike Trautman. “They really do enjoy each other. They love playing for each other, they are so unselfish when they pass the ball, and that’s what makes them special.”
“There’s a huge bond with love,” says Markieth Brown Jr. “It’s really hard to break a winning team’s bond when they all love each other and all just play to win.”
To add to the emotion of the game it was Sophomore Night. It was a special night for Brown, one of the three sophomores on the team this year, whose family made the trip from Spokane to see him play.
“It’s something you can’t express, something you can’t explain,” Brown says. “Never even had all of my family here at once, that was big for me and it was really big going 14-0 with them here.”
For Trojans Athletic Director Garet Studer, he sees the victory as a testament to the work the coaches and the student-athletes do on a daily basis. At the same time, Studer sees the demands and expectations of the basketball program to be raised further.
“Definitely moving forward I think it’s going to help with recruiting, people see it as a winning program. The high-level recruits are going to see that and make it a destination place,” Studer says.
“But it’s kind of two-sided, you have a target on your back, and you’re going to be the team that everyone wants to beat. Every year there’s a new group of athletes coming in and they needed to be ready for that,” Studer warns.
With the regular season complete the Trojans look forward to competing in the NWAC Championships. The championships will be held from March 7 through March 17 with the All-Star Game and championships finals on March 17. The events will be held at the Walt Price Fitness Center as EvCC serves as host college to the games.
Trojans Head coach Mike Trautman sees the postseason with the perspective of taking it one game at a time.
“I always tell every team that I have coached we can control to have a goal to win the league. The team that’s going to win the tournament next week and the week after is the team that’s playing their best basketball and they’re really hot making a lot of shots,” Trautman says.
“We can’t control that as much – someone could get super hot one game and beat us and we could play really well. But over a 14 game period in a league, if you play well, you’re going to win the league. That’s what we did we accomplished it we went undefeated. Now we are going to try to win it one game at a time,” he continues.
The Trojans would ultimately fall short of securing the NWAC Championship in a devastating overtime thriller where they lost to Lower Columbia College in the Sweet 16 game 96-94. Even with an early elimination from the tournament, the Trojans accomplished an incredible feat that puts them into a league of their own that is etched into the NWAC history books and will stand the test of time.