June 5, 2007

2006-07 Men's Basketball Season Recap

The 2006-07 Northwest Conference co-champion Pioneers won a share of the first Conference title for any Pioneer team since the 2001-02 season. The Pioneers swept the second half of their Conference schedule, winning nine straight games to close out the regular season. The Pioneers had a must-win showdown with the #21 Puget Sound Loggers on the home court for their final home game of the season. The Pioneers handed the Loggers their worst loss of the season, winning the game 98-86. The victory, followed by a Chapionship-clinching win at George Fox the next day, set up a rematch with Puget Sound in the first round of the NWC tournament. The Loggers, falling to a national-ranking of #23 after the loss to the Pioneers the week before, returned to Pamplin and faced the exact same fate as before, this time falling 66-60 to the Pioneers. The Pioneers advanced to the Chamionship round of the Conference tournament, having to go to Spokane to take on the Whitworth Pirates. The fatigued Pioneers came up short at the end, falling 69-62 to end their season.

Returning point guard Thomas Tillery (junior, Portland, Ore.), a second team All-Conference player in 2005-06, elevated his game this year, and elevated his stature, becoming the 50th Lewis & Clark College men's basketball player to receive first team All-Conference honors, but the first in three seasons. Three-point shooting ace David Berggren (sophomore, Tualatin, Ore.) earned second team honors in just his second season as a Pioneer. Berggren made at least one three-point field goal in every game this season and has hit at least one three in 32 straight games and 48 of 49 games in his career.

Two talented newcomers were also honored by the Northwest Conference. Forward Joey Toboni (junior, San Francisco, Calif.) led the team in scoring, averaging 13.3 points per game was named to the second team. Toboni had three games scoring over 20 points and put up double-digits 17 times. The Pioneers' defensive speicalist, forward Gene Rivera (junior, Kahului, Hawaii) led the team in rebounding and the Conference in blocking, earning an honorable mention among the NWC teams. Rivera set both the L&C single-game record for blocks in a game (6) and single-season (51) and is already in the top-five for career blocks.

The Pioneers did not have any seniors this season and unlike co-champion Whitworth, should have an intact team returning for 2007-08.

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