The Southwestern Oregon Community College women’s basketball team finished the season on a winning note Saturday, edging host Portland 70-66.
“It was just a great way to send out our sophomores,” SWOCC coach Jeff Johnson said. “I’m really proud of our sophomores and the whole team. They came together and never quit even though the last few games didn’t matter standings wise.”
The Lakers had already been essentially eliminated from playoff contention before finishing with four wins in their last five games.
Jessica Matheson finished her SWOCC career with a sparkling 24-point effort, adding six assists. Madison Bell had 17 points and eight rebounds and Lose Fonua scored 12 points. Anna Hall added eight points and 10 boards.
Bell hit a big 3-pointer with about a minute left with the Lakers clinging to a one-point lead.
Isabella Hernandez led Portland with 24 points.
SWOCC finished the league season at 6-10, in sixth place.
Meanwhile, SWOCC’s men lost to South Region champion Portland 101-82 in the Lakers’ finale.
Gabe Garrett had 24 points and Cameron Retherford added 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Panthers, who finished 13-3 in league play.
“Portland with their size is just a hard matchup for us,” SWOCC coach Trevor Hoppe said. “We never got going offensively. With their length, they had some blocked shots.
“We were never able to get out and run and get the tempo going our way.”
Portland amassed a 57-25 rebounding edge and also shot 50 percent for the game.
James Walljasper had 24 points, Skyler Bradford 14 and Jacob Bingham 11 for the Lakers. They combined for 10 of SWOCC’s 15 3-pointers.
SWOCC finished 7-9 and in sixth place in the South Region.
“All in all, this year, I’m very proud of this team and how hard they played, how hard they competed and just how well they represented themselves and their family and SWOCC every day,” Hoppe said. “I’m proud to be their coach. I really enjoyed this group.”
Clackamas, Chemeketa and Umpqua tied for third at 9-7 and Umpqua lost out on the tiebreaker as the other two advanced to the NWAC tournament.