KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Oregon Tech men’s and women’s basketball teams will host the second annual Lithia Classic this weekend at Danny Miles Court. The eight team two-day tournament will feature four games each day, Friday and Saturday, starting at 1:00 pm and concluding with the Hustlin’ Owls at 7:30 pm each night.
The Lithia Classic will feature some of the top ranked teams in all of the NAIA including the No. 12 ranked Hustlin’ Owls, the No 22- ranked Southern Oregon men, and the Antelope Valley men who received votes in the pre-season poll. No. 12-ranked Southern Oregon women and the 25th ranked Antelope Valley women will be joined by the Oregon Tech women who received votes and the Simpson women who have already beaten No. 7 ranked EOU this season.
Tickets for the tournament are available at the door. Each ticket is good for the entire day of games. General seating is $10, with seniors, OIT alumni, military, and non-OIT students age 5-17 all priced at just $5, reserved seating is $15 each day.
All the Oregon Tech Women games will be broadcast on 104.3 & 960 Sports with the OIT Men being broadcast on 92-5 KLAD-FM with Bobby Thompson, Mike Garrard and Cooper Roberts-Garrard doing the play by play.
Lithia Classic Schedule
1:00 pm No. 12 Southern Oregon Vs No. 25 Antelope Valley Women
3:00 pm No 22 Southern Oregon Vs New Hope Men
5:30 pm Simpson Vs (RV) Oregon Tech Women
7:30 pm (RV) Antelope Valley Vs No. 12 Oregon Tech Men
1:00 pm No. 12 Southern Oregon Vs Simpson Women
3:00 pm No. 22 Southern Oregon Vs (RV) Antelope Valley Men
5:30 pm No. 25 Antelope Valley Vs (RV) Oregon Tech Women
7:30 pm New Hope Vs No. 12 Oregon Tech Men
About the Teams – Women
Southern Oregon Raiders – Coach Alex Carlson enters his 4th season at the helm of the Southern Oregon women’s basketball team. The Raiders enter the tournament with a preseason ranking of No. 12 in the country. They are currently 2-0 after wins against Simpson (59-58) and UC Merced (72-49). The Raiders are led by senior forward Ariel Augustine who averages 13.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
Simpson University Red Hawks – Under the leadership of Head Coach Derrick Pringle, the Red Hawks have started the season 4-3 with key wins over No. 7 Eastern Oregon (51-46) and NW Christian (59-56 OT). They are led by Estella Gutierrez who averages 15 points per game and Madison Cox who averages 10.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
Antelope Valley Pioneers – Coach Deon Price brings his team to Klamath Falls for the first time in their school’s history. The Pioneers are currently 3-1 with 2 wins over Bethesda University and Cal Tech (83-43). They enter the tournament as the No. 25 team in the NAIA Division II poll. They are led by Tylen Price who averages 16 points per game. Also scoring in double figures are Samantha Earl (14.8 points) and Ilianna Blanc (10.3 points)
Oregon Tech Lady Owls – Coach Scott Meredith is in his 10th year at the helm of OIT. The Lady Owls just missed the Top 25 pre-season poll as they were ranked 26 in the receiving votes category.
So far the Owls are off to a 4-2 start with wins this past weekend over UC Santa Cruz (74-71) and Pacific Union (70-50) and a loss at UC Merced (76-83). The Owls have very balanced attack with Sophomore Abby Kreiser leading the way with 11.4 points per game. Senior and All-CCC Nohea Waiwaiole leads the team in rebounds with 7 per game while adding 11.2 points.
About the Teams – Men
Southern Oregon Raiders – Head Coach Brian McDermott heads into his 22nd season at the helm of the Raiders. SOU is off to a 5-1 start, with their only loss coming at Arizona Christian. SOU is led by Senior Tristen Holmes, 16.3 points per game, and Junior Jordan Hunt, 15.5 points, and a team high 7.3 rebounds per game. The Raiders are 4th in the country, averaging 48 rebounds per game and 10th in free throw percentage at 78%.
New Hope Christian Deacons – The Deacons are a much improved team from a year ago. They’ve played numerous teams in the CCC tough and continue to get better as the season progresses. The Deacons are led by Junior Jaylen Rose 15 points per game and Knigel Key 11 points per game.
Antelope Valley Pioneers – Darwin Cook enters his 2nd season as the head coach of the Pioneers who are coming off a great 2017-18 season where they won the Cal Pac Championship and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament. They were narrowly knocked out by the eventual national champions, Indiana Wesleyan. This year Christian Drayton leads the team 14.5 points per game with Miles Nolen Web adding 11 points.
Oregon Tech Hustlin’ Owls – Head Coach Justin Parnell enters his 3rd year (52-22) with Oregon Tech. The Owls are off to a 6-1 start led by 2017 CCC MVP and All-America Mitchell Fink. So far this year Seth Erickson led the team in scoring averaging 13 per game with Tyler Hieb and Harrison Steiger close behind at 11 points per game. The Owls lead the NAIA in rebounds per game (53), rebound margin (24). The Owls are 6thin the NAIA in assists (125), and 12th in assist/turnover ratio (1.5)