By Jeremy McDonald
OREGON CITY, Ore.– It came down to big plays and even bigger heart in the Clackamas Community College and Umpqua CommunityCollege Saturday evening.
In a game that saw the Cougar Men squander a nine-point halftime lead, it came down to play from two sophomores to pull out the 100-94 victory to move to 3-1 in the Northwest Conference.
“They’re a very good team,” said Parker Gaddis. “We stuck together and played together, no matter how much momentum we have, we have to continue to keep playing hard. I think we played two solid halves of basketball.”
Umpqua rallied from a nine-point deficit entering the second half, and eventually took a 78-77 lead on Clackamas with 7:50 to play in the game.
Missed Free Throws were fueling Umpqua’s offense in the second half on top of their strong play.
After going 12-16 in the first half, Clackamas went 10-16 in the second half and Head Coach Clif Wegner thought it would’ve gave his team more of a breathing room in the stanza.
“We weren’t making free throws, that hurt us in the second half,” said Wegner. “We missed way too many free throws, that could’ve made a lot more easier down the stretch.
Strong play behind Joey Baldwin and Vince Boumann had helped the Cougars pulled away that capped the fighting and clawing that Clackamas was doing with the Riverhawks in a one or two possession.
“I think our kids showed good focus and staying with it,” said Wegener on the second half. “I thought we finally picked up the intensity on defense. We started to get some stops down the stretch and make some plays on offense. Vince came in and finished some things for us down low.”
For Boumann, who finished with 21 points and nine rebounds in the game, knows the importance of their recent winning streak following the opening loss to Southwestern Oregon Community College.
“It’s big for us,” said Boumann. “We’re on a three game winning streak and I want to keep it rolling. I would want to go undefeated from here on out.”
The Cougar themselves had to go on a run to towards the start of the game after finding themselves down 12-7 early.
Behind eight-straight points and a dunk gone lay-up and one by Dwight Dew, Clackamas rode a 11-2 run to a 18-14 lead.
Umpqua rallied back and made it a game as both teams battled during the middle part of the opening half of the game.
Confidence was the difference in the first half for the Cougars however as they slowly pull away as their was an even distribution offensively and defensively as they built a 49-40 halftime lead.
There was smoothness in the way they found their groove to end the half.
“We’ve known all along that we’re a top team in the NWAC,” said Gaddis. “I don’t think other teams seen that until we played against Lane. We just came out and this is our court.
“Especially after last time we knew we had to come and get this one.”
WOMEN’S GAME STORY: https://jmcdonaldmedia.com/2016/01/16/lady-cougs-upset-umpqua-cc-70-66/
PHOTO GALLERY (PICTURE BY JEREMY MCDONALD)