The Southwestern Oregon Community College women’s basketball team lost its final two games at the Clackamas Thanksgiving Tournament, but had a great effort against always tough Umpqua on Sunday, even leading 38-34 at halftime before the Riverhawks won 83-74.
Saturday’s game against Clackamas also was close before the Cougars prevailed 68-57.
SWOCC coach Jeff Johnson said his team was strong on defense and rebounded well all weekend.
“We are making those steps to get the wins that we need,” Johnson said. “We are ready to compete when league comes, knowing we can hang with these teams.”
Against Umpqua, Jasey Ramelow had 19 points for SWOCC. Kealani Neves and Abby Neff added 13 points and six rebounds each, Taylor Morris had 11 points and Meghan Hollomon had eight rebounds.
“I thought we played pretty good defense and made them work hard on both ends,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to limit offensive rebounds and we will be right there.”
He said the Lakers trailed by five and had the ball in the final three minutes when post players for each team got tangled up and SWOCC was called for an intentional tripping foul.
The Riverhawks made both free throws and a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession that came because it was an intentional foul to put the game out of reach.
“We were right there,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to find a way to overcome a bad call, missed call, whatever you want to call it and continue to battle and fight for the victory.”
Darian Mitchell had 24 points, Sienna Riggle 21 and Cielo Gonzalez 13 for Umpqua. Grace Campbell had 10 rebounds for the Riverhawks.
On Saturday, Clackamas pulled away from a halftime tie by outscoring SWOCC 27-12 in the third quarter.
Morris had 19 points and Neves 11 for the Lakers. Hollomon had seven points and nine rebounds.
Brooke Bullock had 18 points to lead Clackamas.
“It was a big defensive battle,” Johnson said. “We shot really bad, but we made Clackamas earn every bucket, every point, especially in the first half.
“The big difference is turnovers and our missed shots. We’ve got to find a way to take care of the ball a little better and we’ll be all right.”
The Lakers shot just under 30 percent and missed a bunch of shots at the rim, Johnson said. They also had 27 turnovers.
SWOCC plays Spokane on Friday in the opening round of the Everett tournament.
SWOCC fell to Centralia 79-58 on Saturday to be eliminated from the Red Devil Classic at Longview, Wash.
“The second day of a tournament, it’s always tough when you have a loss the first night,” SWOCC coach Trevor Hoppe said. “You’ve got to respond.
“We had good energy. We just didn’t shoot the ball as well as we would like to.”
Mack Tarver Jr. had 12 points, Terryn Mosley 11 and Jael Vaughn 10 for the Lakers. Ryan Bell had 11 rebounds.
SWOCC shot just 30.6 percent for the game overall and 6-for-28 (21.4 percent) from 3-point range and went just 8-for-14 from the line.
On the plus side, the Lakers took care of the ball better, with 14 turnovers after being hampered by miscues against Spokane a night earlier. They also were close to Centralia in rebounds.
Tyler Ashmore had 17 points to lead Centralia, which led 49-36 at halftime.
“Give Centralia a lot of credit,” Hoppe said. “They play a match-up type defense that you don’t’ see every day. At times it left us a little stagnant on offense where maybe we were standing around too much.”
Hoppe said it was a good experience for the team.
“We want to play a tough and diverse schedule every year and play a lot of different teams,” he said of the preseason. “In November, it’s about learning and growing and getting better and coming together as a team. There’s something to be said about coming together and being on the road and having some tough games.”
After finals early this week, the Lakers head south for the annual Coach Tregs Classic at Eureka, Calif., facing Mendocino on Friday and College of the Redwoods on Saturday.
“We want to do well in the classroom academically and then go down to play two tough teams in the redwoods,” Hoppe said.