NAIA nationals too short for locals
The NAIA experience for Oregon Institute of Technology and reserve guard Nate Lewis of Culver lasted two games.
For former Madras teammates, Tosha Wilson at Corban and Elise Hawes at Eastern Oregon, the NAIA tourney was just one game.
OIT won its opener 90-72 against Northwood (Fla.) on Thursday. The Hustlin' Owls entered the national tourney in Point Lookout, Mo., seeded seventh while Northwood was unseeded.
Lewis drained a 3-pointer in the win. The redshirt sophomore also had an assist, a steal and grabbed an offensive rebound in eight minutes.
OIT's tourney run ended Friday with a 95-82 loss to No. 11 Indiana Wesleyan. Lewis played three minutes, but did not score. Indiana Wesleyan then lost in the quarterfinals to No. 2-seeded MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 77-68.
Lewis finished the season averaging 3.2 points a game with 30 treys. Lewis hit 40 percent from trey range (30 of 70).
Corban fell 80-70 to Sterling (Kan.) in a Thursday opener. The Warriors owned an 11-game winning streak going into the NAIA opener, helped by Wilson's all-around play. The senior Wilson was the Cascade Conference co-defensive player of the year and on the all-conference team.
Sterling entered the tourney as the third seed and ranked No. 9 in the Division II poll. Corban was seeded sixth and ranked No. 30.
Those rankings didn't matter in the first half. Corban stayed even with Sterling, helped by Wilson's efforts. The senior had six points, hitting all of her free throw attempts. Wilson also had three steals, two assists and a rebound in the first half.
Wilson gave Corban a brief lead, 36-35, by hitting a pair of free throws with eight seconds left. Sterling regained the lead with a jumper at the buzzer and opened the second half with a trio of treys to take control. Sterling then lost in the next round to No. 2 seed Bethel (Ind.) 89-58.
Wilson finished the game with 10 points, hitting all eight of her free throws. She also had two rebounds, two assists and three steals.
In her senior season, Wilson averaged 11.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.9 steals a game.
Eastern Oregon faced the daunting task of playing defending champion Hastings (Neb.) College. Hastings entered as the second seed while Eastern Oregon was seeded seventh with Hawes as a starting guard.
Hastings won 74-47 after taking a 40-23 halftime lead. Hawes had four points and two assists. For the season, Hawes averaged 5.9 points and 4.3 rebounds to go along with 33 assists and 29 steals in 32 games.
Hastings advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to unbeaten Indiana Wesleyan.