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Friday, May 7, 2021

Men’s basketball honor’s six seniors in loss to Central

The Vikings honored its six seniors on Thursday, Feb. 18, as they took on Central Washington University at Whatcom Community College Pavilion.

Western trailed behind Central by 10 points toward the beginning second half. A rally came up short, resulting in a 73-68 loss to the Wildcats and bringing Western’s losing streak up to five games. Four of the last five of the losses were by less than five points.

Seniors Blake Bowen, Kyle Impero, Harris Javier, Mac Johnson, Ricardo Maxwell and Colby Mitchell were honored before their final home game.

Impero felt his time at Western was a good experience. However, his season has yet to finish.

“Obviously we’re not done yet. We have three more games so hopefully we can get those wins. Then [its] forward to the [Great Northwest Athletic Conference] tournament and winning those games,” Impero said. “That’s the ultimate goal. [The farther] we go in the tournament would make the experience that much better,” Impero said.

Impero came away with a double-double and a game high of 21 points and 15 rebounds. Thirteen of his rebounds were defensive.

“[Impero] played extremely well,” coach Tony Dominguez said.

Missed opportunities and turnovers were the defining factor of the game. The Vikings were 6-16 from free throw line shooting.

“At the end … we had some turnovers and we just didn’t execute as well as we would have liked to,” Dominguez said. “It hasn’t been [our] history this year, [but] it was tonight.”

The Wildcat defense kept Western well below its season scoring average of 85.4 points a game.

The Vikings have three games remaining in the regular season. They currently are sixth in the league and hold the final seed for the GNAC Championship. Montana State University Billings is behind them with a 7-10 season.

“We are trying to fight and trying to get that spot. We are working as hard as we can. It’s all in their minds. We have to get it out of our mind,” Dominguez said.  “A victory would help.”

At 14-12 overall and 8-9 in GNAC conference play, the Vikings look to rebound in their game against Northwest Nazarene University on Saturday, Feb. 20. Following that, they meet the fourth place Seattle Pacific University in their second to last game of the season.

Dominguez had good things to say about his senior class, giving a nod to their individual commitment to the Western basketball program.

“They are a great, classy group of young men, and we are thankful that they decided to come to Western.”

Individual/Notable performances:

Junior Jeffrey Parker moved past Richard Woodworth to number 15 on the all-time Western scoring list with 1,270 career points. Parker played for 17 minutes and had nine points and three rebounds.

Eastern Washington University transfer Brad Wallace had a breakout game, scoring a career high 19 points as a Viking with four steals and two assists in his 37 minutes on the court. Dominguez said he plays hard and that he needs more opportunity.

Maxwell contributed 7 points 4 assists and a steal in his 37 minutes of play.

Bowen, center, did not play after suffering an injury in the practice leading up to the game.

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