Guard duo leads Clackamas CC men to 114-79 romp over Southwestern
Clackamas Community College's Robert Ford and Clay Sullivan made their case Saturday as one of the most potent backcourt tandems in all of Northwest Athletic Conference men's basketball.
Ford did a little bit of everything with 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists -- his fourth triple-double of the season -- and Sullivan knocked down a season-high seven 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 27 points, leading the Cougars to a 114-79 romp over visiting Southwestern Oregon at Clackamas CC's Randall Hall.
Adam Gehrig added 22 points and Tariq Harris chipped in 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Cougars (12-2, 2-0 NWAC South), who led wire-to-wire in running their win streak to five games.
"Yeah, man, I'm just doing whatever I can to help my team win," said Ford, the 6-foot freshman point guard from Jefferson High School. "This was a big game. We knew Southwestern was going to fight hard, but we stayed together as a team and had a good game.
"I feel we're getting better and better with every game we play."
Sullivan, the 6-3 freshman shooting guard from Vernonia, had the hot hand early, hitting five of his first six shots with three 3-pointers as the Cougars raced out to an 18-3 lead in the first five minutes.
"If I make my first shot, it's usually nice after that," Sullivan said. "I start feeling confident and I just look to knock down as many as I can."
Sullivan finished the half with 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field with four 3-pointers as the Cougars went to the break with a 51-29 lead.
"Clay came out really hot," Ford said. "Once we saw him hit two in a row, we were going back to him until he missed. He just stayed on fire all night."
SWOCC's Carson Washburn scored off a Clackamas turnover to cap a 13-5 run that cut the Cougars' lead to 14 points, 56-42, with 16:41 remaining, but that was as close as the Lakers would get in the second half.
Sullivan helped put the game out of reach when he hit twice from long range -- his sixth and seventh 3-pointers of the game -- to push the Cougars' lead to 81-51 with 11:03 remaining.
"I was talking to a teammate in the parking lot before the game and saying, 'You know, I think I'm going off for like five 3s today,'" Sullivan said. "Then I got a couple more, so that was nice.
"I had a few open shots in the corner, and then we ran plays for me where I ran back and forth and through screens just to get the shot off. Most of the shots were actually pretty open. I'm not sure why they didn't adjust, but ..."
For the game, Clackamas shot 50 percent (36 for 72) from the field, including an impressive 51.3 percent (20 for 39) from beyond the arc. The Cougars also had a 58-38 advantage in rebounds.
Southwestern's Moses Miller finished with a team-high 23 points and Keenan Reynolds added 15 points for the Lakers (5-9, 0-2), who shot 34.2 percent (26 for 76) from the field and 22.2 percent (8 for 36) from 3-point range.
CLACKAMAS CC 96, PORTLAND CC 73: Clay Sullivan led five Clackamas players in double figures with 21 points and Robert Ford added 19 points, 11 assists, six rebounds, and four steals, pacing the Cougars to a road win Thursday over Portland Community College.
Tariq Harris finished with 14 points, Mathias Nchekwube scored 12 off the Clackamas bench, and Matt O'Brien chipped in 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds for the Cougars (11-2, 1-0 NWAC South).
"It was a fun game," Ford said. "PCC is a pretty good team. They came out really hard and they fought, we fought, and then we started to come together as a team."
PCC jumped out to a 15-5 lead in the first five minutes and then CCC's Adam Gehrig followed up his own miss and scored, touching off an 18-2 run that gave the Cougars a 23-17 lead.
CCC's lead was 34-28 when Ford set up Elliott Hesse for a lay-up that sparked a 16-1 run over the closing 3:24 of the half and pushed the Cougars lead to 50-29 at the break.
Another 10-3 Clackamas run to open the second half extended the lead to 60-32 and the Cougars maintained at least a 19-point lead the rest of the way.
"Coach insisted that they could come back at any time," Ford said. "So, we kept the same mindset that we had in the first half, kept taking the game to them, kept pushing it down their throat, and we came out with the 'W.'"
This story is slated for our Jan. 10, print edition.