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Yakima Valley College's Gamaun Boykin looks for an open teammate during a match-up with Community Colleges of Spokane at Yakima Valley College in Yakima, Wash. on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. Boykin had a team-high 19 points but the Yaks lost 76-75 to South Puget Sound in a first-round game in the NWAC Championships on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at Everett Community College in Everett, Wash. (JAKE PARRISH/Yakima Herald-Republic file)

EVERETT, Wash. — Losses don’t get much tougher than the one Yakima Valley College’s men suffered Saturday.

DeMonte Malloy hit a layin with five seconds remaining and Jordan Blodgett then missed a long 3-point attempt and South Puget Sound came away with a 76-75 victory in the first round of the NWAC Basketball Championships at Everett Community College.

“It was tough. The whole ending was tough,” YVC coach London Wilson said. “I’m still haunted by how things ended.”

Gamaun Boykin led four YVC players in double figures with 19 points. Blodgett had 14, and Quentin Raynor and Kashif Davis with 12 each.

Malloy paced SPS with 21 points and Wes Reynolds had 12 points and 15 rebounds, the latter effort helping the Clippers hold a 49-31 rebounding advantage with the winners gathering a whopping 24 offensive rebounds.

“You can not win giving up 24 offensive rebounds. You almost have to try to let the other team get that many,” Wilson said. “That’s pretty disappointing.”

YVC took a 75-74 lead on Boykin’s 3-pointer with 1:13 remaining and then got the rebound off a Malloy miss with 52 seconds left. After a time out, YVC worked the clock, eventually getting the ball to Raynor for a wide-open 3-pointer. But the 44-percent shooter from long distance couldn’t get the shot to fall and Reynolds got the rebound with 21 seconds left.

“We had a wide-open three from our best 3-point shooter and he couldn’t hit it,” Wilson said. “We did what we were supposed to do.”

SPS then got the ball to Malloy, who split two defenders, got to the rim and, despite defensive pressure from Trey Delp, hit the winning shot.

“That’s been our weakness all year. We couldn’t get a stop when we needed to,” Wilson said. “All year long, we have not been a strong defensive team — and that’s on me for not getting the effort out of them.”

After a time out, YVC inbounded, but SPS extended its defense to midcourt, forcing a bad pass which led to Blodgett’s long 3-point attempt.

“We had a nice little play ready to go ... but they took us out of our rhythm,” Wilson said. “All the things that bit us this season bit us again today.”

Adding to the frustration was that YVC jumped to a 22-8 lead at the start and SPS’s top scorer, AJ Hodges, was injured seven minutes into the game and never returned. The Yaks also limited SPS to 33-percent shooting but still led by just four, 37-34, at halftime.

“To tell the truth, things couldn’t have been set up any better for us,” Wilson said.

Instead, YVC’s season ends with the loss, finishing with a 19-12 record, while South Puget Sound (23-7) advances to play Peninsula in the quarterfinals Sunday.

“We would’ve matched up with Peninsula — we beat them during the season — but you’ve got to win on day one,” Wilson said, adding that he’s confident this season will start a resurgence for the program.

“There is a cultural change,” he continued. “... We still have work to do (but) we’re going in the right direction. We’re recruiting the right players. We’ll continue to grow.”

YAKIMA VALLEY — Quentin Raynor 4-12 0-0 12, Gamaun Boykin 6-13 6-7 19, Lindgren 2-3 0-0 4, Britten 3-9 0-0 6, Delp 3-7 1-1 8, Jordan Blodgett 4-11 4-4 14, Kashif Davis 5-5 2-2 12. Totals 27-60 13-14 75.

SOUTH PUGET SOUND — DeMonte Malloy 8-20 2-6 21, Sipe 1-13 0-0 3, Hodges 2-2 1-1 5, Moore 4-5 0-0 9, Wes Reynolds 5-10 1-3 12, Dick 0-0 0-0 0, Poquette 3-8 0-0 8, Warren 1-2 0-0 3, Max Reitman 4-11 3-3 13, Black 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 29-75 7-13 76.

Halftime—YVC 37, SPS 33. 3-point goals—YVC 8-23 (Raynor 4-12, Blodgett 2-7, Delp 1-2, Boykin 1-2), SPS 11-35 (Malloy 3-7, Reitman 2-7, Poquette 2-7, Moore 1-1, Reynolds 1-1, Warren 1-1, Sipe 1-10). Rebounds—YVC 31 (Davis 9, Boykin 5), SPS 49 (Reynolds 15, Sipe 8). Total fouls—YVC 15, SPS 17. Fouled out—None. Assists—YVC 19 (Britten 5, Boykin 5, Delp 4), SPS 13 (Poquette 6). Turnovers—YVC 10, SPS 13. Blocked shots—YVC 3, SPS 3. Steals—YVC 7, SPS 6.