Mt. Hood drops heartbreaker in overtime
GRESHAM — With their playoff lives hanging in the balance, Mt. Hood just let one slip through their fingers.
Despite leading for the majority of the game, the Saints struggled to get hoops down the stretch as they fell to Portland — the top team in the NWAC South— by a score of 83-76 on Thursday night.
Even in defeat, Mt. Hood head coach John Hawley was proud of the way his team competed with one of the best teams in the NWAC.
"I'm real proud of the kids. They really came out and battled tonight against a tough team," Hawley said. "We had some guys step up and do some big things for us early on…I think our biggest problem is that we can't stay focused long enough and (Portland) was a lot more physical than us late in the game."
It was a rough shooting night for the Saints as they went just 28-of-83 (.337) from the field. Conor Geiger and Steven Fair led Mt. Hood with 14 points apiece, but were a combined 8-of-34 (.235) on the night.
Devin McShane chipped in with 12 points and Ethan Channel came off the bench to add 10 points.
"We proved that we could play with (Portland), we just couldn't put the ball in the basket," McShane said. "They just made more plays than we did. We stopped attacking and we stopped doing what was working."
The Saints were sluggish on offense to start as they could only manage three points in the first eight minutes of the game and got themselves down 12-3. But after a floater by McShane broke the drought, Mt. Hood started to seize the momentum.
A 3-pointer by Geiger and a three-point play by Kyler Haynes helped the Saints complete an 11-3 run to cut the Portland advantage to one. Mt. Hood took the lead moments later on an alley-oop from Fair to Vlad Katin.
"Once we had some guys hit some shots, we started to get into a flow after starting the game very poorly," Hawley said.
Look for extended coverage in the Feb. 27 print edition.