The culmination of the season was bittersweet for Linfield basketball. Both teams encountered Pacific Lutheran University in a final game on the Lutes home court in Tacoma, Wash., on Feb. 19.
The Wildcats balanced a loss with a win at PLU. The final scores were 64-58 and 71-68 for the women’s and men’s teams, respectively.
Following two shutout seasons, the women’s team achieved a 13-11 overall win-loss record with a first-year coaching staff. Head coach Robin Potera-Haskins led the ’Cats against George Fox University, Lewis & Clark College and Whitman College — some of the league’s top competitors.
The men’s team was predicted to take second place in the Northwest Conference but tallied nine wins and 16 losses total. The men ended conference in seventh place with five conference wins and 11 losses.
At the season’s start Doty predicted a championship contention with Whitworth University.
“I am proud of our team,” head coach Larry Doty said. “Although we did not accomplish our season goals, the team worked hard all season long and prepared to win each game.”
Team goals may have been easier to achieve had the team not lost four of last season’s starters. Still, defense and rebounding proved to be key success factors regardless of the number of returners.
Potera-Haskins had seven players return and had an enthusiastic bench. She rotated the players in and out of the point position and capitalized on the team’s freshman talent, her own philosophy and a new system.
Advancing to the conference tournament was the overall objective, but not reaching that aim does not detract from the signs of improvement and turnaround exhibited this season.
Septembre Russell/Copy chief
Septembre Russell can be reached at email@example.com.