KENNEWICK – Guard Dominique Williams was so keyed up for the NWAACC men’s basketball title game that he didn’t sleep the night before.
He certainly didn’t look tired during the game.
The Curtis High graduate poured in a game-high 36 points, including 23 in the first half, as the fourth-ranked Titans rolled to a 110-98 victory against Chemeketa at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
“I’ve never won a title before,” he said. “This is the greatest thing to happen to me.”
Williams was named the MVP of the tournament, after hitting six 3-pointers in the championship victory.
An emotional Williams dedicated the win to his grandfather, Nelson Williams.
TCC, which struggled at times throughout the season, especially during December, shut down the high-scoring Storm on Tuesday.
Back-to-back Williams 3-pointers keyed an 8-0 run to give the Titans a 30-21 lead with 101/2 minutes remaining in the first half.
“It was just knowing where our man was and communicating with each other,” TCC’s Nate Walker said of the defense. “It’s been a long journey. I’m just glad and blessed and real happy we won it.”
Walker keyed the Titans in the first half, pulling down seven offensive rebounds and scoring 12 points. He finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
The title is the first for Tacoma since 2002, and a large part of it was the play of Mark McLaughlin, an Inglemoor High graduate.
McLaughlin finished with 24 points, including making 14-of-16 free throws.
TCC coach Carl Howell is just the fifth coach in NWAACC history to win multiple championships. The last to do it was Clackamas’ Clif Wegener (2009-10).