Yakima Valley’s men are ranked seventh in the newest NWAACC coaches poll, which was released Wednesday.
At 17-8, the Yaks trail, in order, Big Bend (21-4), Pierce (20-4), Edmonds (19-3), Whatcom (16-6), Chemeketa (15-6) and Tacoma (16-7). They precede Lane (18-6).
YVCC’s women (13-11) were not ranked and did not receive votes. The top eight are, in order, Clackamas (20-1), Lane (17-3), Walla Walla (17-2), Centralia (15-3), Skagit Valley (10-9), Chemeketa (13-6), Columbia Basin (13-7) and Whatcom (12-8).
Nonetheless, Yakima Valley’s women have recently beaten Walla Walla and took CBC into overtime last Saturday at Pasco.
Friday and Saturday, both YVCC teams host extrmely important games against Treasure Valley and Blue Mountain, respectively. Friday’s game times are 6 p.m. for the women and 8 p.m. for men, while Saturday’s tipoffs are set for 2 and 4 p.m.
Saturday’s events include honoring sophomores from the respective teams, plus the unveiling of a plaque of Ellwood Crosier, the former Yakima Valley men’s and women’s coach for whom the Sherar Gym court is named. The plaque will then occupy a permanent spot in the gym’s foyer.
The Yaks men are trying to secure the East Region’s No. 2 NWAACC tournament berth. At 7-4 they presently share that spot with Spokane, against whom YVCC concludes its regular season on Feb. 20 on the road. Blue Mountain and Walla Walla are tied for fourth at 6-5.
Yakima Valley’s women, meanwhile, share the fourth and final tourney slot with Big Bend at 6-5.
While the YVCC women are seeking their 10th straight tournament berth, and reached the past three championship games under coach Cody Butler (winning in 2011), the Yaks men have recorded top-six tourney finishes in each of the past five years under Ray Funk.
Greg Oldham is in his first season after succeeding Butler, who last summer took an assistant’s job at Boise State.