By Jeremy McDonald
OREGON CITY, Ore.– The NWAC South conference has been interesting entering the next to last week of the conference season with Clackamas Community College and Chemeketa Community College in a dogfight for the top four places entering their Wednesday matchup.
It looked like the Cougars had silenced the Storm a few minutes into the second half however with Clackamas’ lead hovering around seven to 11 points with about 16 minutes to go in the second half; that was before South Salem alum with Collin Huun made his presence known.
The Sophomore had slowly lead the Chemeketa Storm charge as one of his six three had brought Chemeketa to within one with 12:30 to go in the game.
“We’re a real scrappy team, we’re down at halfitme in a lot of games but we just keep fighting,” said Huun, who finished with a game-high 30 points. “We don’t have maybe the most talented team, but we’re going to try to outwork you and get back into the game.”
The Cougs stayed ahead with a guard of their own in Nygil Carr who helped keep Clackamas in front with a fury of three’s as it looked to be a Carr versus Huun showdown during the middle part of the final half.
But, the Storm hung tough as Huun got Chemeketa to within three with 1:16 left in the game and had a chance to tie it with a three-point attempt by Austin Evans, but missed it’s mark as Daniel Thiesen and Carr made some crucial free throws down the stretch to seal the 78-76 victory to put Clackamas a half-game ahead of Clark for second-place in the NWAC South Region.
“It was definitely stressful,” said Thiesen. “But we practice all the time shooting free throws, so you got to trust the practice.”
The Cougars, besides sitting a half-game up on Clark following this big win, are also a half-game behind Umpqua for first-place with both Clackamas and the Riverhawks play each other Saturday in Oregon City as they look to stay focused on the task ahead.
“We just have to keep working, we’re pulling together really well as a team so we jsut have to keep practicing as hard as we can and doing all we can to play at our peak,” said Thiesen.
Thiesen finished with 18 points as Carr had a team-high 27 points in the win.
As for the Storm, they travel to Southwestern Oregon Saturday as they are in a three-way tie for fourth place in conference with three games remaining in their season.
“It’s a real close race right now in the Southern region so we got to win out if we want to make the playoffs,” said Huun. “We can finish anywhere from second to sixth right now so we got to play our best basketball these last few games.”
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL RESULT- CLACKAMAS 66, CHEMEKETA 53. LEADING SCORER- Clackamas- Kayce Mock-26pts, 23 Rebs.. Chemeketa- Deana Harris-12, 5 steals. Tori Swanson-12, 7 Rebs..
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald