Barlow drops Clackamas 82-76 in OT, closes in on Mt. Hood boys title
With enough time for one shot, the Barlow Bruins put the ball in Evan Inglesby's hands.
Inglesby nailed a 3-pointer with two seconds left to send the game into overtime, and Bruins went on to an 82-76 road win over the Clackamas Cavaliers in Tuesday night's clash of Mt. Hood Conference heavyweights.
Barlow's Jesse White finished with a game-high 30 points and Inglesby added 29 to help the Bruins (14-6, 9-1 Mt. Hood) take over sole possession of first place with four games remaining in the regular season.
"This is a really tough place to play," said Inglesby, the Bruins' 6-foot-1 senior. "Clackamas hadn't lost at home all year, so we knew it was going to be a grind the whole game.
"The game had its highs and lows, and they had their runs and we had our runs, but we just had to stay composed."
There were seven ties and 10 lead changes before Clackamas' Ben Gregg made two free throws with 15 seconds to play in the fourth quarter to give the Cavaliers a 71-68 lead.
Barlow's Joey Wolcott then missed a 3-pointer from the top of the arc and in the battle for the rebound, Clackamas' Damon Erickson grabbed the ball and stepped on the end line, giving the Bruins the ball with 5.9 seconds left.
Bruins' coach Tom Johnson called timeout and drew up with Wilson Weber and Inglesby setting a double screen for White, and then Weber setting a screen for Inglesby with Jaren Hunter inbounding the ball from under the basket.
"We wanted the ball to go to either Jesse or Evan," Johnson said. "Jesse was the most likely guy that they were going to defend, and Even did a great job of decoying and coming off the Weber screen to get open."
Inglesby caught the ball near the top of the arc with Clackamas' Jackson Jaha closing in on his left side. Inglesby took one dribble to the right and then let the shot fly.
"It was a good pass, I made a move, and that's just a shot I practice all the time," Inglesby said. "All that practice finally paid off. It felt great."
The Cavaliers were visibly shaken when Ingleby's shot hit the mark.
"It was a tough shot he made," said Gregg, Clackamas' 6-9 junior who was defending the inbound pass. "I've got to give all props to Inglesby. We defended it as well as we could. It was a tough shot. He made it.
"I think that just kind of changed the whole mood of the game going into overtime. Barlow had the momentum and we were a little gassed."
Clackamas won the opening tip in OT, but Barlow forced a turnover and then got the ball to Wolcott for a 3-pointer from the left corner that put the Bruins in front 74-71 with 3:09 to play.
The Bruins played with the lead the rest of the way, putting the game away when Gregg missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer and Wolcott converted a transition lay-up to make it 81-76 with 14 seconds left.
"I told the guys, I hurt for them," Cavaliers coach Cameron Mitchell said. "Both teams played great. There was no, 'We letup,' or 'We gave it away.' No, Barlow played great, they hit huge shots, we hit huge shots, we made big plays, they made big plays, and … the old cliché is, 'They made one more play than us.'"
Wolcott finished with 18 points for the Bruins, who extended their win streak to nine games and moved a step closer to what could be their first league title since 2017-18 and their first outright Mt. Hood championship since 2005-06.
"We felt if we came in here and executed that we would put ourselves in position to win," said Johnson, who registered career win No. 601. "It was anybody's game, really, down the stretch.
"Honestly, I think a key in the fourth quarter was Wilson Weber got a couple of offensive rebounds for us that game us a couple of extra possessions. And in a game like that, extra possessions are huge."
Gregg led Clackamas with 26 points, Erickson finished with 24, and Izzy Baker and Ryan Lewis added 11 each for the Cavaliers (15-5, 8-2), who had their five-game winning streak snapped.
"Both teams knew it was going to be a great battle," Erickson said. "We played as hard as we could, but we came up a little short in overtime."
Erickson had the hot hand early and knocked down five 3-pointers in the first half, including one that gave the Cavaliers their largest lead, 38-28, with 3:17 to play in the second quarter.
Barlow then closed the half on an 8-4 run, climbing within 42-36 after Wolcott converted a lay-up off a Clackamas turnover to close the half.
"I was glad that we were within striking range at halftime the way Clackamas shot the ball the first half," Johnson said. "Erickson was unreal the first half, but I felt really good about the poise we played with down the stretch."
With the win, the Bruins swept to two-game league series with the Cavaliers for the second season in a row.
"It just kind of shows what kind of program we have," Inglesby said. "We're a senior-heavy group and most of us have been playing together since the sixth grade and that team chemistry that we have really showed through tonight."
League play resumes Friday with Barlow returning home to face Gresham (14-6, 5-5), while Clackamas goes on the road to take on Central Catholic (14-6, 7-3). Both games are scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m.
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