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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 12, 2006

Chaminade loses point guard, game

Advertiser Staff

Chaminade struggled to overcome the ejection of its all-conference point guard in a 101-91 loss to Western Washington yesterday in the NCAA Division II West Regional semifinals in Seattle.

Grant Dykstra scored 29 points, including a pair of go-ahead free throws on a flagrant foul by Chaminade's Zack Whiting early in the second half, to lead Western Washington. Whiting was ejected on the play.

"I think we played well, played hard," Chaminade coach Matt Mahar said. "I think they took us out of our game by ejecting Zack."

The third-seeded Silverswords (19-9) ended their season with a program-best 19 victories. It was Chaminade's first trip to the NCAA Division II Tournament.

The second-seeded Vikings (23-6) will play for the regional title and a berth in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight at Springfield, Mass., tomorrow against top-seeded Seattle Pacific (24-5).

Chaminade's Corey Campbell scored 23 points. Chris Reaves added 14 points, Chris Nelson 13, Whiting 11, Stewart Kussler 11 and Dylan McCune 10.

Tyler MacMullen scored 20 points for the Vikings. Tyler Amaya added 19 and Ryan Diggs 16.

"We were getting open opportunities," Mahar said. "It was just a problem of stopping their little runs."

With the score tied at 48, Whiting, an all-Pac West Conference first-team honoree, was whistled for a flagrant foul and ejected 36 seconds into the second half.

On the play, Mahar said an opponent was pulling at Whiting's jersey and grabbing him, and "Zack lifted up his arms and his elbow to get the kid away from him, and his elbow grazed his (opponent's) nose, and the kid flopped."

It was Whiting's first ejection at Chaminade, Mahar said.

Dykstra hit two free throws to start a 7-0 run, and the Vikings never trailed again. Chaminade cut the deficit to 81-79, and then got to within three points on two occasions the last at 88-85 on Reaves' two free throws with 3:55 remaining but that's as close as it would get.

"It was a great season," Mahar said. "I couldn't be more proud of our guys. They stepped up, and took it on their shoulders to take us to a place we haven't been to before."