By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Chemeketa quickly saw their 31-18 second quarter lead quickly evaporated to two early on in the third quarter against Portland Community College Wednesday evening. Leading by a margin of 36-34 with the Panthers looking for more on the youthful Storm squad in the NWAC South Region game.
They had to stay mentally tough, which they did. Eventually relying on their strength in their defense that turned into points on the other side of the ball as they slowly expanded their lead to 51-42 by the end of the third quarter before exploding to a 58-44 lead four minutes into the fourth quarter.
“We’re definitely a defensive team,” Leva Mike said. “I didn’t doubt us on defense for a second. Staying solid, keep our composure and taking it back once we got the steal and stuff.”
The McKay-grad, who’s coming back from an ankle injury, led the Storm with 23 points along with five assists and four rebounds in the Storm’s home victory. The win improves Chemeketa to 10-10 on the year and 5-7 in NWAC South Region play. A loss behind Linn-Benton for fifth and two behind Umpqua for fourth-place in the standings with four games remaining.
Chemeketa will play the Riverhawks on March 2 in Salem. They’ll be challenged however with the Umpqua height, but will turn to their speed and athleticism to help to see if they can turn these last two wins into a winning streak here in a few days.
“Umpqua is a very tall team…we don’t have the height, but we do have the speed. Hopefully we can beat them in transition and learn from our mistakes from the last game. There’s things we definitely knew we could work on and I think we’ve worked on them and I think we could bring this energy to the next one,” South Eugene’s Jenna Glenzel said.
Glenzel led the Storm with 12 rebounds with eight points. St. Paul’s Erin Counts had 20 points with six rebounds and McNary’s Bekah Grimmer had 11 points with seven rebounds in the win.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald