Local grads headed to NAIA hoop nationals
- Gary Lindberg
- Madras Pioneer - News
area graduates will be playing in NAIA Division II national tournaments.
Tosha Wilson is a starting guard for Corban (in Salem), making its second NAIA appearance in three seasons. Wilson, a 2003 Madras High grad, was also a starter on the 2005 team, then known as Western Baptist, just before changing its name. Corban plays at nationals in Sioux City, Iowa, starting on March 7.
Nate Lewis is a reserve guard for the Oregon Institute of Technology team headed for nationals, also on March 7, at Point Lookout, Mo. The 2004 Culver grad is a redshirt sophomore.
For Wilson, this is already a memorable season. The senior topped 1,000 career points on Jan. 26. The 5-foot-6 guard is Corban's lone member of the 1,000-point, 500-rebound and 500-assist club.
Wilson is averaging 11.6 points, 5.3 assists and 4.6 rebounds. In the Cascade Conference statistics, Wilson is second in assists and steals, avearging 2.81 a game. Her 171 assists are fifth among NAIA Division II players. Wilson's 90 steals top the conference.
With such numbers, Wilson earned Cascade All-Conference honors for a second straight season. She is also the co-defensive player of the year (along with Cora McVey of Oregon Tech). At Madras, Wilson was part of the Buffs' 2003 state championship team, earning all-state honors.
Corban moved into nationals thanks to an 11-game winning streak, capped by winning the conference tournament title. The Warriors defeated Eastern Oregon 59-58 Monday in LaGrande.
Wilson preserved the victory with a steal in the final seconds. It was Wilson's fifth steal to go along with five assists, two rebounds and six points.
Eastern Oregon led by as many as nine points in the first half before Corban rallied. That comeback included a basket by Wilson just before halftime for a 30-27 deficit at the break.
Earlier in Corban's winning streak, Wilson scored in double figures five times. That included 22 points against Northwest Christian (Jan. 27) and 20 against Warner Pacific (Feb. 10).
Wilson then had a pair of productive games in the Cascade tourney. She scored 15 points, missing just one shot in an 80-50 win against Concordia on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Wilson added four assists and three steals. In Friday's semifinal win against Albertson (76-64), the senior had 13 points, five rebounds and five steals
Lewis and his OIT teammates will need to wait until March 7 to resume their seasons. OIT, located in Klamath Falls, went into the Cascade Conference tourney as the top seed, but was upset by Evergreen 89-83.
Lewis has played in all 31 of the Hustlin Owl games, averaging 3.2 points a game. The 6-foot-2 redshirt sophomore is an outside shooting specialist. He is hitting 40 percent (29-72) from 3-point range.
Lewis' season high of 12 points, all treys, came in a game against Albertson on Jan. 13.
OIT goes into nationals with a 27-4 record. The Hustlin Owls are ranked No. 5 in the final NAIA poll.
Adam Kinley (Culver): The redshirt freshman competed at 141 pounds at Southern Oregon (Ashland). Kinley was 2-3 with two pins. Kinley was one of four wrestling at 141 with senior Don Herb, fourth at the NAIA West Regionals, seeing a majority of the mat time.
Kinley was a three-time state medalist at Culver, winning the 130 title in 2005.