By Jeremy McDonald
OREGON CITY, Ore.— In the last Northwest Conference game of the season, and the last regular season game of the year, the Clackamas Community College Men’s and Women’s teams honored their sophomore’s with the Sophomore Night Festivities.
It wasn’t all fun and games however as the Chemeketa Storm rolled in and upset the fun with a sweep of the Cougar Squads Saturday afternoon at Randall Hall.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL- CHEMEKETA 72, CLACKAMAS 67
Behind 11 points off of turnovers and five three-pointers, the Storm led the Lady Cougars 36-26 by halftime despite a late run by Clackamas minutes earlier to cut the Chemeketa lead to five.
Clackamas kept trudging through and fighting past their turnovers problems in the third frame, cutting Chemeketa’s lead to five and four during the start of the second half.
But the Cougars responded.
Cutting the lead to single-digits several times before finding themselves down three late in the game.
The small deficit would be short lived however, as an offensive foul permitted Chemeketa to pull away late on free throws.
“That was our issue, we expend the energy to get a stop, for whatever reason we couldn’t finish the play out and secure the rebound,” said Clackamas Women’s Head Coach Jim Martineau.“That’s what happened on that last play.
“We got them to shoot a shot with 12 or 13 seconds left, ball came off the rim and they got an offensive rebound and we had to foul them. We executed pretty well, I thought we did what we wanted to do, we didn’t foul, we trapped them a little bit. We made them miss a shot, we couldn’t come up with the rebounds.”
Sitting in third place, the Cougars will at least have one more game to play in with a play-in game in the coming days.
For Sophomore Lauren Lindley, she remembers the pain her team had last year of not even taking part in a play-in game though she didn’t play, but confidence is high this year around.
“Last year we didn’t get to go to NWAC’s, we didn’t get a play-in game. It’s a hard loss, and it sucks that it’s my last home game. But we just have to win our play-in game and continue.
“I think we just come into games differently,” “We had a lot of energy before the game, but it didn’t translate into playing and I don’t know what it was. I think we underestimated them a bit, I’m not sure. I don’t think we were completely ready.”
MEN’S BASKETBALL- CHEMEKETA 103, CLACKAMAS 87
Early on in the Sophomore Day Nightcap, the Cougars used an 11-3 run to rally from an 8-2 deficit to take a 13-11 lead following two Noah Cailler Free Throws midway through the opening half of the game.
It then became the battle between the trigger happy three-point team from Chemeketa and the high pace of the Cougars, neither team had much more than a two possession lead on the other following the early start.
That was until a run that put the Storm up nine and seemingly put the momentum into their favor to give themselves a 39-31 lead thanks to five three-pointers and the help of 10 Cougar turnovers.
That lead ballooned out to 52-41 thanks in part to rebounding and the ‘three ball’ as the Storm kept momentum fully in their control.
“We just stopped playing hard,” said Brayden Massey. “We turned the ball over way too much and we never really competed and came back from that. We didn’t play Cougar basketball like we should.”
In full control of second place in the South Division of the Northwest Conference, it’s assumed that Clackamas Community College Men will most likely host a play-in game next week as they completed their 17th-straight season of finishing in the Top 3 in the NWAC South Region.
For Massey and his Cougar Men, they need to focus on improving on their energy.
“We just have to get passed this one,” he said. “Throw this one out of our mind and come ready and prepared for our next game. The big game to go to the (NWAC) tournament.”
Jeremy McDonald is a professional sports journalist in the Salem/Portland area and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalist in Oregon with B.S. degrees from Southern Oregon University in Journalism (2011) and Health/PE (2013). Got a story idea? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @J_McDonald81