Just one day after Thanksgiving, the Trojans hit the road and traveled south to Longview for the 32nd annual Red Devil Classic hosted by Lower Columbia College. Everett has been attending this tournament for much of those 32 years, last season advancing to the championship game where they fell 71-60 to Spokane in the Championship game.
In the first game of the tournament on Friday, the Trojans faced Yakima Valley College, a team they had seen earlier this year at a joint practice and scrimmage. EvCC started off sluggish, perhaps still full from Thanksgiving dinner, as the Yaks jumped out to a 15-5 lead in the first five minutes of the game. But the Trojans kept it close, never trailing by more than 10 for the remainder of the half, and got back to as close as four, before going into the half trailing, 42-35. Everett did not shoot the ball well going just 34% from the field to go with 14 turnovers.
The script was flipped in the 2nd half, as the Trojans found their offensive rhythem and shot 55% from the field, making 8 of 14 three pointers and racking up 12 assists. EvCC tied the game at 46 with 16:45 remaining in the game and was able to take their first lead of the game with 15 minutes to go on a Markeith Brown Jr. three pointer (one of 5 that he made this game). The lead would change another four times before the game would become locked at 75 all with 5 minutes to play. Another Markeith Brown Jr. three pointer pulled the Trojans ahead for good as they cruised to the 92-81 victory. Markeith lead all scorers with 30 points. Magnus Jespersen and Connor Bolles added double double nights with 10 points, 11 rebounds & 12 points, 10 rebounds respectively. Full Box
The second round game pitted Everett CC against Centralia College out of the West Region, a team that beat Mt. Hood CC the night before 79-71 and recording 15 steals out of their 2-3 zone. The Trailblazers opened up with their zone defense against the Trojans, and this time EvCC jumped out to the early lead, going on an 8-0 to start the game. Centralia would battle back eventually tying the game back up at 17 with 11 minutes to go in the first half and claimed the lead for the first time in the game at 19-17 with 10 minutes to play. Neither team would lead by more than 4 points for the remainder of the half, and Centralia took a 37-33 halftime lead.
Everett has trailed at the half in all three of their wins this season, even by as much as 10 in their win last week versus Green River College. That confidence was visible early in the 2nd half, as it did not take much for them to regain the lead 43-40 just three minutes in. The Trojans would eventually extend their lead out to ten with seven minutes to go, only to see Centralia close the gap again, tying the game at 68 with 1:12 to go. Just like the previous night Markeith Brown Jr. hit a critical three, to with a minute to go to put the Trojans ahead. Defense and made free throws down the stretch allowed Everett to hang on to the 75-70 win. Freshman Jon Parker out of Salt Lake City, Utah lead all scorers for the Trojans with 23, and Markeith Brown Jr. added 16 points to go along with 7 assists. Magnus Jespersen, out of Denmark had another double double night with 13 points and 18 rebounds. Full Box
For the second straight year, the Trojans would meet Spokane in the Championship game, the Sasquatch coming off of a 79-73 win over host Lower Columbia College. Everett faced a man to man defense for the first time in the tournament and both teams struggled to find their offensive rhythem early with 5 combined turnovers and just 8 total points scored in the first 5 minutes of the ball game. Eventually both teams would settle down, and the shots began to fall. Despite outshooting Spokane 55% to 38%, and a 14 point performance from Phalon Maddox, the Trojans entered the half trailing 42-40. A signifcant difference being Everett's 14 turnovers to Spokane's 6.
The second half started with a Jon Parker three to put the Trojans on top 43-42, but on the next possession Spokane regained the lead. That lead would hold for the Sasquatch until 12:22 when a Phalon Maddox jumper put the Trojans back on top 57-56. After a Spokane free throw the game would be locked at 57 for nearly two minutes before Spokane broke the tie on a nice drive to the bucket. From there Everett was never able to mount a comeback as every made basket seemed to be answered by Spokane and the Sasquatch won their second straight Red Devil Classic Championship by a score of 85-93. Redshirt Freshman Phalon Maddox, a Spokane native, had his breakout game of his college career scoring 25 points and leading all scorers. Freshman Elijah Seybold also had a solid performance on 5 of 9 shooting and 15 points as did Piol Makuei with 11 points and 3 assists. Full Box
The Trojans will get another crack at Spokane as they will host them on their home floor on December 29th. Everett will be back at it in just three days as they head to Ontario, Oregon for their first trip to the Treasure Valley Invitational where they will face two NJCAA opponents in Utah State Eastern (11/29) and Snow College of Utah (11/30). Everett will also play Yakima Valley College again on 12/1. All games will be streamed live: https://www.meridix.com/live.php?liveid=Tvccsports