Runnin' Vikes need some help to reach NWAC playoffs

Big Bend will have to wait and see what happens in the final games of the regular season for Wenatchee Valley and Treasure Valley to find out if they are going to NWAC playoffs.
Big Bend will have to wait and see what happens in the final games of the regular season for Wenatchee Valley and Treasure Valley to find out if they are going to NWAC playoffs.

Big Bend Community College
Office of Communications

The Runnin' Vikes will have to wait it out ... their postseason fate is now out of their own hands.

Big Bend finished the regular season with a conference record of 8-8 after a heartbreaking loss Wednesday night to Walla Walla. After leading by as much as 11 points in the first half, the Vikings saw their postseason hopes dashed by a last-second 3-pointer from Walla Walla's Forrest Smith at the end of regulation.

BBCC guard Koby Huerta had just sunk back-to-back buckets to give Big Bend a 1-point lead with 22 seconds left on the clock. After a timeout, Walla Walla missed their initial attempt, but grabbed the offensive rebound and kicked it out to Forrest who dropped the game-winning 3-point with 4.5 seconds remaining. Huerta took the inbounds pass and had a last-second chance from a few feet inside halfcourt, but his shot rimmed out.

Huerta would finish leading all scorers with 21 points, with Mauricio Smith playing one of his best games of the season and finishing with a double-double effort (19 points, 10 rebounds). Joey Andrews added 14 points and 6 boards before fouling out, and Serph Decker dropped 12 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.

Now Big Bend will have to wait and see the outcome of Friday night's Wenatchee Valley and Blue Mountain game. WVC defeated the Vikings twice in the regular season and hold the tiebreaker. So if the Knights defeat Blue Mountain they will finish tied with BBCC with an 8-8 conference record but would slip into the final spot. Blue Mountain has only won two NWAC games this season and come into Friday's game riding an 11-game losing streak.

If Blue Mountain can pull off the upset, Big Bend's playoff hopes will still depend on the outcome of Thursday night's Treasure Valley and Columbia Basin College game. If Treasure Valley defeats Columbia Basin, they too would be tied with Big Bend with an 8-8 conference record. If Treasure Valley wins, and Wenatchee Valley loses, it would set up a one-game play-in between BBCC and TVCC for the final playoff spot in the East Region.

Of course, if both Treasure Valley and Wenatchee Valley both lose their final regular season games, Big Bend would claim the final spot.