Clackamas girls basketball beats David Douglas to share MHC championship
Make no mistake about it — the Clackamas girls basketball team knew its Thursday, Feb. 24, contest against David Douglas was important.
To be fair, the Cavaliers knew they were going to win and knew they would probably win easily — they beat the Scots by 47 points in their first meeting. But Clackamas' players also knew that a victory would likely give them a Mt. Hood Conference co-championship and help them carry their momentum into the upcoming Class 6A state playoffs.
With all that as pretext, the Cavaliers took care of business big-time, routing the Scots 82-22 at Clackamas High School, securing a share of the MHC title and rolling into the playoffs carrying a 14-game winning streak.
"We were trying to get ready for the playoffs and just execute our plays and work hard to get ready (for the postseason)," said Clackamas freshman guard Sara Barhoum, who led all scorers with 27 points (on 11 of 16 shooting from the field, including five 3-pointers), along with five assists, four steals and one rebound.
"We were really working on executing our plays," said freshman point guard Dylan Mogel, who finished with nine points (on 4 of six shooting from the field and a 1 of 3 day at the foul line), along with five rebounds, three steals, three assists and two blocked shots. "It can be hard going against your (teammates) every day, so just going against a defense that's new, we were really working on execution."
"It's not just about the win — it's more about where we go learning together," added senior guard Liv Shackleton, who added 10 points (on 4 of 7 shooting from the field, including two "threes"), along with two assists and one steal. "Obviously, there's a bigger goal than what's in our league and we just have to meet goals as we go."
Beyond their efforts, star freshman guard/forward Jazzy Davidson tacked on 26 points (on 13 of 18 shooting from the field), along with six rebounds, six assists and six steals.
With the win — No. 5 Clackamas' 14th straight — the Cavaliers finished Mt. Hood Conference play at 13-1 (good for a perfect tie with Barlow) and 23-2 overall. No. 37 David Douglas, meanwhile, lost its second straight game and finished fourth in the MHC at 7-7 and 11-12 overall.
The Scots were led by senior point guard Esther Alvarez and her six points (on 2 of 8 shooting from the field, including two 3-pointers), while senior forward Mellian Asmelash added five in the loss.
As to Thursday's game, the Scots held their own for the night's first two minutes, then saw the Cavaliers accelerate away at light speed. David Douglas led 2-0 and 5-4 early, but Clackamas took over from there, closing the first quarter on a crushing 24-3 run that gave the Cavaliers a 28-8 edge at the end of the first quarter. Along the way, Clackamas forced nine first-quarter David Douglas turnovers, most of those from their press and ball pressure.
Barhoum did most of the damage in that 24-3 stretch, hitting 4 of 5 shots (including three 3-pointers) from the field and scoring 11 points in the final 3 minutes, 51 seconds of the quarter, while Davidson scored six points in the opening frame and senior Ella Cave another four.
While the Scots were already deep in trouble, things got even worse for David Douglas in the second quarter. The Cavaliers dropped another 27 points on the Scots in the second period, getting eight points each from Davidson and Barhoum, but even more important was the Clackamas defense.
In that second stanza, the Scots managed just two points — they missed all eight of their shots from the floor and hit just two foul shots — while turning the ball over another 14 times to fall behind 55-10 at the half and essentially putting the Cavs' win on ice.
With their win secure and their MHC co-championship secure, the Cavaliers turned their sights to the coming Class 6A state playoffs, which open Wednesday, March 2.
"Obviously, we want to win it all, but our key is just executing, playing with each other, buying into our culture and coming out as one," Mogel said.
"(The key is) keeping up on working in unison and making sure our team chemistry is there and getting our plays together and building as a team," Shackleton said.
"If we work hard and we come together and really communicate more, we'll be good for playoffs," Barhoum said. "We have everything — we just need to bring it together and execute and we'll be good."
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