In 2001, Tacoma CC won its first 13 men's basketball games in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges West Division - and ended up finishing second in the championship tournament.
A year later, the Titans went 15-1 – and took home their only NWAACC title under coach Carl Howell.
Coincidence? Trend? Howell shook his head at the question, but facts are facts – the No. 1 Titans went through the first half of a league season undefeated again after throttling South Puget Sound CC, 101-61, in Tacoma on Saturday.
Brandon Magee led seven TCC players in double figures with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Kevin Davis, Geoff McIntosh and Dominique Williams chipped in with 12 points apiece.
It’s the midway point, but what a first eight games of divisional play for the Titans (15-2 overall, 8-0), who registered victories on the road at Green River, Pierce, Highline and Clark – all playoff contenders.
TCC has never gone 16-0 through its division under Howell.
Even when the action is slow to pick up, the Titans have found ways to break loose and run away.
The hard-luck Clippers (3-13, 1-7), who have been riddled by injuries under first-year coach Curtis Norwood and have only nine players, held an early 8-2 lead by getting easy points inside with Scott Backstrom, Marc Taylor and Alexy Lagerberg.
That changed when TCC inserted the 6-foot-9 Davis, a University of Washington recruit from Todd Beamer High School.
He and Magee sparked a huge run – TCC scored on 10 of 12 possessions. Davis capped it with his second dunk of the first half to give the Titans a 26-13 lead with 9:50 remaining.
Taylor led the Clippers with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Lagerberg chipped in with 14 points.
“We started off the way we wanted to tonight,” Norwood said. “Then they put (Davis) in. We’re going to build off some of the positives. We’ve got a chance to beat some people in the second half. Four or five victories are within reach.”