The Southwestern Oregon Community College women’s basketball team picked up a big road win Saturday, edging Clark 62-59 in Vancouver, Wash.
The Lakers built a 52-41 lead through three periods and then held on in the fourth.
“Clark made a good comeback there at the end,” SWOCC coach Jeff Johnson said.
Meghan Holloman made a free throw with 12 seconds to go to give the Lakers a three-point lead and Kealani Neves got a steal as Clark was trying to set up a tying shot.
“We just found a way to win,” Johnson said.
That was good, he said, “considering we didn’t shoot the ball very well, 27 percent for the game.”
Neves made five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 26 points for SWOCC. Jasey Ramelow added 14 points and Taylor Morris eight.
Holloman, in her second game back from a wrist injury, scored four points, but contributed with 13 rebounds and six assists. Morris had seven rebounds.
Neves had a big 3-pointer with 2:19 to go after Ramelow blocked a shot that could have tied the game for Clark and Holloman grabbed the rebound.
“We just kept making enough plays to get the win,” Johnson said. “It’s a good confidence builder for us.”
Jodi Thomasian had 21 points and Turner Joy grabbed 18 rebounds for the Penguins.
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SWOCC wasn’t able to repeat a game-winning shot from a week earlier at the buzzer in a win over Mount Hood, coming up just short against Clark 92-90.
Clark’s Sean Johnson hit the game-winning 3-pointer with eight seconds to go and the Lakers missed a 3-pointer as time ran out.
The Lakers led 48-41 at the break, but the Penguins caught up and the teams went back and forth through much of the second half, which included nine lead changes.
“Both teams were playing at a high level,” SWOCC coach Trevor Hoppe said. “Both teams shot it well, shooting 50 percent. Both made 10 3-pointers. They out-rebounded us by a couple.”
Mack Tarver Jr. gave the Lakers the lead with 59 seconds to go and they got the ball back, but weren’t able to add to the advantage, missing a shot for a potential three-point lead. Johnson grabbed the rebound off that miss with 19 seconds to go and then hit the game-winner.
“It’s just a heartbreaking loss after playing so hard and with so much energy,” Hoppe said. “The South Region, every game is a battle. The records are out the window. Every team is going to fight and claw and scratch and we just came up a little short.”
Clark got just its second league win while the Lakers fell to 4-6 in the South Region.
The Lakers got the bulk of their scoring from just two players, with Jael Vaughn scoring 35 and Tarver 31. Those two combined to shoot 7-for-12 from 3-point range, but the rest of the squad was just 3-for-15.
Johnson, who had 10 assists, led five Clark players in double figures with 25 points on a near-perfect shooting night. He went 9-for-10 from the floor, including hitting all four of his 3-pointers, and also made all three of his free throws.
The Lakers, who missed a chance to pull within a game of fourth place and instead fell two games behind Chemeketa in the race for a spot in the NWAC tournament, will try to bounce back at home Wednesday against Lane.
“We’re all a little down, but you can’t stay down because we have to turn around and get ready for Lane on Wednesday,” Hoppe said. “Every game is important now in the second half of the season.”