Tatyana Lyles hits winning shot for Saints
NWAC South Region
|Mt. Hood CC Saints|
|Clackamas CC Cougars|
OREGON CITY — The pressure was on when Mt. Hood Community College sophomore Tatyana Lyles received the ball at the top of the arc with the game on the line Wednesday night.
Then she realized she had seen this before, settled her nerves and went on the attack. She took a couple dribbles to her left, drew contact from her defender and hit a 12-footer in the lane to send the Saints to a pivotal 63-61 road win at rival Clackamas.
"I looked up and it was just like our practice drill 'Memphis'," Lyles said. "It got down to seven seconds, and I heard my coach (Jeremy Vandenboer) yell 'attack', and in that moment I knew I would make it."
Lyles finished with a game-high 23 points.
Clackamas had 2.8 seconds to find the answer.
Kylie Guelsdorf inbounded the ball to Brooke Bullock, who took two dribbles inside the arc, then whipped a pass to the corner where Ambreece Gaskins let fly with a 3 for the win. The shot clipped the back of the rim, floated high over the hoop and dropped to the floor.
"This is a huge win. It puts us solidly into second place, and unless something crazy happens, we've secured a playoff spot," Mt. Hood coach Jeremy Vandenboer said.
The Saints (17-7) moved alone into second place in the South Region after Lane took an unexpected loss to SW Oregon on the same night. Mt. Hood hosts undefeated Umpqua at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Clackamas had a chance to pull ahead with 30 seconds left, but a layup slid off the rim, and Mt. Hood's Emily Webber reached up high to claim the rebound while surrounded by three grey shirts. She maintained possession, until Vandenboer was able to call timeout to set up the winning play.
"I just had the mentality that 'I'm getting this rebound', I didn't care who else was there," Webber said.
On a night where the Saints were missing two post players due to injury, Webber stayed on the floor for the full 40 minutes and finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Mt. Hood battled back from down 12 points early in the second half, sparking their comeback by beating Clackamas down the floor for layups on numerous occasions.
"The biggest thing for us tonight was rebounding," Lyles said. "Once we had done that we know to look up the floor. If we have people running, we have to reward them by sending them the ball."
Lyles did just that to connect with Aliyah Dade for a layup and a 57-51 lead that prompted Clackamas to call timeout with 4:48 to play.
Coming out of the break, Lyles went to the floor to tie up a Clackamas ball handler and forced a traveling violation in the process. Mt. Hood took possession, and Mina Sete found Bri Rosales cutting to the hoop for an easy two.
After a missed free throw on the Clackamas end, Webber flew past the defense for another breakaway bucket and a seven-point lead with 3:23 left.
Clackamas drew even heading into the final minute after Bullock and Guelsdorf hits 3s on back-to-back trips.
CLACKAMAS 87, MT. HOOD 85 — Robert Ford was fouled on his way to the basket with 0:09 left and sank both free throws to provide the host Cougars with the winning points. Mt. Hood got off a 3-point try at the buzzer, but the shot sailed over the top of the hoop.
Clackamas remains in first place in the South and clinched a playoff berth with the victory, while Mt. Hood missed a chance to gain ground on Chemeketa in the chase for the region's final playoff spot.
The team traded the lead eight times in the second half with Mt. Hood going ahead for the final time when Leonard Dixon sent a fast ball down the sideline that hit Austin Forrar in stride. He dribbled into the lane, then wrapped a pass around his defender to feed Jahville Collins for a layup. A few minutes later, Jarrod Burks drew a blocking foul in the backcourt and sank both free throws to put the Saints up 81-76 with 4:10 to play.
Collins led the Saints with 27 points, while Ford poured in a game-high 31 for Clackamas.
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This story is scheduled for our Friday, Feb. 14, print edition.
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