The Southwestern Oregon Community College women's basketball team suffered a heartbreaking loss to Mound Hood to open the NWAC South Region season on Wednesday, falling 70-69 on a late bucket by the Saints.
SWOCC's men also fell in Gresham, losing 93-88 in Gresham.
The Lakers are on the road again Saturday, at Clackamas.
SWOCC's women led 33-32 at halftime in a game that was close most of the way.
Kassidy Ellett made a jumper in the lane with six seconds to go to give the Saints the win.
"It was a good game all the way through," SWOCC coach Jeff Johnson said. "The biggest difference is the free throws. We shot 13 of 25 and lose by one point — and we get 11 more (free throws) than they do.
"We've just got to find a way to finish at the free throw line."
Jessica Petersen made two free throws with 43 seconds to go to give the Lakers the lead and Mount Hood made one with 25 seconds to go. The Lakers then missed two, leading to Ellett's game-winner.
Jasey Ramelow scored 19 points to lead the Lakers and Petersen added 14.
Keiko Aotaki scored 10 points off the bench, including a couple of give 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. Meghan Holloman had eight rebounds, though only scored three points on 1-of-7 shooting. Holloman sat out the fourth quarter with a hand injury and Johnson said he hopes she will be able to play Saturday.
Courtney Jackson had 24 points for Mt. Hood and Tasha Beckett had 10 off the bench. SWOCC limited the Saints to 38 percent shooting overall and 22 percent from 3-point range.
"We just kept grinding away, getting good stops defensively," Johnson said. "It's a real good, hard Southern Region game like we expect."
SWOCC fell to 5-7 overall and Mount Hood improved to 10-4.
SWOCC men's coach Trevor Hoppe also said he was proud of his team's effort in its close loss.
The Lakers took a one-point lead into the halftime break on a 3-pointer by Moses Miller and led by nine in the second half before the Saints rallied.
"We turned the ball over a little too much in the second half," Hoppe said. "We had 13 turnovers in the second half. In a game decided by five points, taking care of the basketball becomes paramount, and stepping up and making our free throws."
The Lakers were just 14-for-23 from the line.
Miller scored 23 points to lead all scorers, but SWOCC shot just 15.7 percent from 3-point range and 50 percent from the line in the second half.
Miller had six assists and five steals in addition to his scoring, Keenan Reynolds scored 14 points with eight rebounds, Connor Sailors had 12 points off the bench and Jake Gomez added 10 points and 14 rebounds.
"We rebounded better," Hoppe said.
Kahlon Whitley was one of five Saints in double figures, leading the way with 21 points. Carter Arrasmith added 18 points and eight rebounds.
"It was a good game for both teams," Hoppe said. "They just got us there in the end."
Now the Lakers, 5-8 overall, go face another tough team in Clackamas, which was 10-2 in the preseason.
"Let's buckle up and enjoy this ride, because every Wednesday and Saturday here for about the next two months, this is what it's going to be like."