By Jeremy McDonald
OREGON CITY, Ore.–Joking around watching film, they know that Mt. Hood CC would be looking to upset them Wednesday night at home.
When they first met, Clackamas won their second in what would be a streak of them winning six of eight games to bring them from near the bottom of the NWAC South region to a game-and-a-half out of the first-place spot with six games to be played.
“We’re just starting to play better together and see guys when they’re open and guys are knocking down shots,” said Sophomore Ryun Gibson. “We’re play as a team better than we were before.”
Head Coach Clif Wegner, he knew that this season was going to be tough with how many freshman they had on roster with growing pains and what have you, but Wegner is impressed with how they’ve responded to this point in the season.
“It’s been good,” he said. “We knew we had a young team this year with Nine Freshman and so, the preseason was painful at times growing up and we did play a tough schedule; we played some really good times in preseason.
“So we didn’t get too many ‘gimmie’ wins then, so unfortunately we stumbled out of league, started off 0-2 and bottom of the pack but we played better ball since. We’ve won six of out last eight, we’ve got a four-game win streak and our kids are coming around and they are getting some things figured out and they’re playing really good basketball.”
400th Win At Clackamas CC
During the winning streak was a incredible feat of when Wegner accomplishing 400 career wins at Clackamas Community College as Head Coach,an incredible feat for him after coming over after a year as Head Coach at Mount Hood Community College and three more their prior as assistant coach.
Though modest, you could tell that winning 400 and reaching this milestone really meant something to the seasoned veteran of coaching with Wegner.
“400 at Clackamas was, really,” he starts. “When something like that happens, you just stop and take some time to reflect on the kids and all the teams and all the coaches, it’s a lot of warm memories. Other than that, it was another ball game.
“But it was a big league ball game and it was for ‘Coaches Versus Cancer’, we honored Brenda Marks and we made a nice contribution to the Salem Health Foundation and we really did some good things. Those were the most important things. 400 was another step along the way.”
Marks battle with cancer has been known to the program as Wegner was vocal about how she’s battling through it has inspired him to dig within himself when times get rough.
“It was so special,” he said. “It puts everything in perspective and when you see someone like that that’s battling cancer and she is handling with so much courage and positivity and dignity, it can’t do nothing but inspire you and I’m personally inspired by her and I want to try to coach with as much courage and dignity and strength as I can in her honor for the rest of the season.
“Everytime I think about things not being so good I’m going to think of her and get myself up and righted and I think a lot of our kids are going to do too.”
Gibson points to how cool it was not to see his Head Coach get his 400th win but also too to honor someone like Brenda.
“That’s really cool, I know it’s really cool for him and we did it on a night where we’re all going after it for Brenda and getting the win for Brenda and that was really cool for him,” said Gibson who helped Clackamas with 31 points and 12 rebounds in the contest to help seal the 93-77 victory.
“(Brenda) seems to be really happy and really cool to see her and seeing a smile on her face.”
And though the winning streak was snapped Wednesday versus Mount Hood CC, they won’t forget what that Saturday Night on February 11 meant.