The Southwestern Oregon Community College men’s and women’s basketball teams fell to 0-4 in NWAC South Region play when the Lakers were swept in Salem by Chemeketa.
The men suffered another close setback, falling 98-95. The women were beaten 62-54.
Both coaches said they are searching for ways to keep their respective teams’ confidence up so they can get much-needed wins.
“We’re right there in these games,” SWOCC men’s coach Trevor Hoppe said. “Now we’ve just got to do what it takes to get over the hump and know we can do it.
“I know we’ve got the work ethic. I know we have the heart. We’ve just got to somehow find a way at the end of these games to get over the hump.”
SWOCC women’s coach Jeff Johnson said he hopes back-to-back home games this week will help the team find confidence.
“That’s the biggest thing right now,” he said. “We need to get confidence that we can win. I know these ladies can win.
“I need to do a great job of coaching. I’ve got to get them going and get them ready for a big game against Umpqua on Wednesday.
In Saturday’s men’s game, the Lakers led 44-43 at the half and were up six with nine minutes to go in what was a back-and-forth game with 14 ties and 21 lead changes.
Their last lead came at 87-86 on a 3-pointer by Tanner Lewis with 5:37 to go. Moses Miller tied the game again for the Lakers at 91 on a three-point play with just under a minute to go, but Bryson Gray put the Storm in front with a jumper and Dalton Renne hit a pair of free throws to stretch the lead to four. The Lakers never got closer than three the rest of the way.
Miller had a phenomenal game for the Lakers with 31 points. Keenan Reynolds added 17, Jake Gomez 14 and Ransford Ntow Jr. 10.
“Moses Miller really got going,” Hoppe said. “He was attacking the whole game.”
Both teams shot the ball well. The Lakers made 16 3-pointers and the Storm 13. Reynolds was 3-for-4 from long range in the loss.
Brennen McNabb led five Chemeketa players in double figures with 18 points. Former Coquille standout Seth Waddington also played for the Storm, but did not score.
The Storm improved to 3-0, tied for first place in the NWAC South Region with SWOCC’s next opponent, Umpuqa.
“Both teams were playing at a high level,” Hoppe said. “It was a tough game. I will take that effort and that heart and that attitude that we had tonight any day of the week.”
SWOCC’s women stuck with the Storm until the third quarter, when the Storm outscored the Lakers 20-9 to turn a three-point halftime edge into a comfortable lead. Chemeketa then held its lead in the final quarter.
“The biggest difference for us is we missed a lot of shots in the paint area,” Johnson said. “Normally we finish. For some reason, we couldn’t finish offensive possessions in the paint area.”
Kalan McLotahn and Majestic Moler each scored 20 points for the Storm in the win.
Madison Bell had 12 points to lead the Lakers, while Keiko Aotaki and Kaylee Wegner added 11 and nine points, respectively, off the bench.
Johnson maintained confidence the Lakers can turn things around. Their three losses have come against teams with a combined 9-2 league record and Umpqua is 2-1.
“I told them it’s a long season,” he said. “There’s 12 games left.”
The women tip off at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and 2 p.m. Saturday, when Portland visits. The men follow the women each day.