The Puget Sound Loggers continued to show they are among the elite in the Northwest Conference, this winter posting one NWC championship and three second-place finishes.
The Logger women’s basketball team earned its second straight Northwest Conference title this season, sharing the top spot with George Fox for the second consecutive season. By virtue of a sweep of third-place Lewis and Clark, the Loggers were the top seed in the NWC tournament and used the home court to their advantage, defeating George Fox in the NWC championship game.
The Loggers were rewarded with a bid to host the first and second rounds of the regional NCAA Division III tournament, the first time in school history that the women’s basketball team has hosted. After a first-round win over the University of La Verne, the Loggers’ season came to an end in a 72–66 loss against George Fox. Seniors Laura Hirsh and Marissa Cain were named First-Team All-NWC selections, following outstanding seasons, while senior Morgan Harter was named Second-Team All-NWC. Cain was also named All-Region by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. The women, finishing with a record of 23–5 (16–1 at home), tied for the best season in school history.
On the men’s side, the Loggers made the NWC tournament for the third straight season after taking second place in the conference during the regular season. After a home win against Willamette in the NWC semifinal, the Loggers fell to Whitworth in the championship game, ending their season with a record of 19–7 overall and 11–5 in conference games.
Juniors Jason Foster and Antwan Williams were each named First-Team All-NWC, while fellow junior Robert Krauel was named Honorable Mention All-NWC. Both Foster and Williams hit the 1,000-point career mark after strong offensive seasons.
In the pool, the Loggers’ run of 11 straight NWC women’s swimming titles came to an end, but not for a lack of trying. Both the women and men took second at the Northwest Conference Championships, Feb. 8–10. Puget Sound swimmers met 12 NCAA qualifying standards, 11 of them coming at the championships, but received only one bid for the nationals. The Loggers were represented at the NCAA Division III Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships by junior Paul Hughes, who swam in the 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke, and 50 freestyle. Logger head coach Chris Myhre was named NWC Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year.
The Loggers remain on top of the NWC All-Sports Trophy Race following the fall and winter seasons. Puget Sound holds a two-point lead over the Whitworth Pirates in the race, with 150 points. — Chris Thompson