The Mt. Hood women’s basketball team dropped a pair of games last weekend at the Clackamas Thanksgiving Tournament, losing to the Pierce College Raiders and the George Fox University junior varsity Bruins in Oregon City.
One of the losses was close, the other a runaway.
In the Saints’ opener on Nov. 29, they trailed Pierce at the half by just four points, 41-37. They had shot well from the field, at 56 percent.
But second half seemingly caught Mt. Hood off guard. The Raiders outscored the Saints 55-22 and pulled away to win, 96-59, feasting off 43 Saints turnovers, compared with their own 23, for the game.
The Saints were led by sophomore guard Whitney Warren’s 15 points, four rebounds and three assists. Freshman center Marley Yates had 11 points and seven rebounds; and freshman guard Alana Wilson added 10 points.
Head coach Tyler Rose tried to explain the turnover-riddled second half.
“We were ready to handle anything Pierce had to throw at us and it showed in the first half,” Rose said. “Pierce did not change anything in the second half and we just didn’t show up. We made some adjustments, but could not execute to a point where we could gain any control.”
In Saturday’s contest against George Fox’s JV squad, the Saints responded with poise while fighting hard during a 61-58 loss, committing only 18 turnovers for the game.
Mt. Hood was led by Yates with 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals, followed by sophomore power forward Megan Nelson, who had 10 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.
The Saints trailed the Bruins 41-37 at the half, and stayed close to the end.
Rose credited Yates’ play in the middle. She “keyed us defensively by making players change their shots or think twice about driving, and her post defense was very active,” he said.
Tonight and Saturday, the Saints play in the Warrior Classic, held in Walla Walla, Wash. The four participating teams are Columbia Basin, Mt. Hood, Portland, and Walla Walla community colleges.
Rose predicts improved play. “We will continue to prepare this week to handle pressure,” he said. “We are looking to improvise a little bit more to counter what teams throw at us, and I feel we will walk away from this weekend feeling a lot better than the last.”