COOS BAY — It was a tale of two halves Saturday afternoon for the Southwestern Oregon Community College women’s basketball team.
The Lakers held third-place Mount Hood to 27 first-half points en route to leading by six at the break. The defense was sound. The offense was fluid. But it didn’t last.
The visiting Saints hit 11 second-half 3-pointers and ran away with an 86-67 win Saturday afternoon at Prosper Hall. Jasey Ramelow had 18 points in the loss and Bri Rosales led Mount Hood with 16 off the bench.
“We’re coming out flat in the second half,” Lakers coach Jeff Johnson said. “This isn’t the first time. We’ve probably had six or seven games where we come out flat. We gotta figure out a way to get ‘em going.”
Johnson was left shaking his head after the effort, wondering how he can ramp up energy following the halftime break.
“How? I haven’t figured that,” Johnson said. “I guess I’ll be contacting coaches and go, ‘Hey, how we focus? How do we get that energy up not 10 minutes into the quarter but right off at the buzzer there?’ That’s the thing.”
It’s been an unfortunately consistent problem for the Lakers this season, starting second halves, and often it wastes quality first halves where the energy was solid from the jump.
Saturday was no different.
SWOCC shot 57 percent (8-of-14) from the floor in the second quarter when SWOCC’s fortunes changed after a rough initial period. The Lakers hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter — two from Jessica Petersen (14 points) and one from Keiko Aotaki (six points).
After trailing 17-12 entering the second quarter, SWOCC outscored Mount Hood 21-10 in that second quarter, taking a 33-27 lead into the break.
“We did a good job of rotating on our defensive zone, flying out,” Johnson said. “The big difference is they were making shots in the second half. We were tired. You could tell we were tired with only seven players.”
Everything changed in the third quarter.
Mount Hood has a bevy of shooters and they all got hot. The Saints went 11-of-12 from deep after halftime and scored 27 third-quarter points.
Hunter Boske (15 points) was 5-of-7 by herself from 3-point range. Madison Allen (13 points) was 3-of-5. Courtney Jackson (11 points) hit a 3-pointer and Rosales was 4-of-5 from deep.
SWOCC made 11 field goals in the second half. Mount Hood made 11 3s.
“Like I told ‘em pregame, ‘Here’s their shooters, but you can list all of them because they’ll all shoot it,’” Johnson said. “Apparently they all shot it well tonight.”
It was difficult for SWOCC to overcome the sudden barrage.
Mount Hood used a 12-4 run to turn its halftime deficit into a 39-37 lead and never looked back, and it continued into the fourth quarter. Mount Hood made all three of its third-quarter bombs and was 8-of-9 in the fourth, using the 3-ball to pull away for the 19-point win.
“They came out to shoot the ball and that’s exactly what they did,” Ramelow said. “I think we could’ve done better maybe getting out faster on 3s and not leaving ‘em as much, but there’s nothing you can do about it. They were all on fire and feeding off each other’s energy. So there’s nothing you can do to stop that.”
SWOCC, though, still has some hope of a top-four finish in the NWAC South Region and will become Mount Hood fans down the stretch.
“We’re not eliminated,” Johnson said. “We’re gonna need a lot of help down the way. Now we’re gonna be Mt. Hood fans cheer them on and have them help us out hopefully and beat some teams for us.”
SWOCC visits Lane on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.