OLYMPIA – Moral victories don’t count in basketball win-loss columns, but how well her team executed against one of the Cascade Collegiate Conference’s top women’s basketball teams was one of the direct messages Evergreen women’s basketball coach Monica Heuer delivered to her team postgame after a double-overtime loss to Oregon Tech.
Her players’ body posture set the tone for her postgame speech after Saturday night’s 90-83 loss to the Owls, who improved to 17-3 overall.
“We made sure we left with that,” Heuer said, ‘Sit up, don’t have a defeated posture, because you did not play defeated basketball.’”
After playing catchup for most of regulation, Evergreen (6-8 overall, 2-5 CCC) had the lead in the final 10 seconds of both regulation (68-66) on Sammi Clark’s 3-pointer and in the first overtime (76-74) on Natasha Trinidad’s turnaround in the lane, only to see OIT both times hit the tying shot or free throw to extend the game.
“They always had to make the play, whether it was to tie it or to separate us in the end,” Heuer said.
The Owls of Klamath Falls, Ore., rank first in the CCC in scoring defense, allowing their opponents to a league-low 56.7 points per contest. The Geoducks’ 83 points in the most OIT has surrendered this season, and the play of Clark (24 points) and Brittany Gray (19 points, 13 rebounds) was a big reason.
But in the second overtime, fatigued set in for Evergreen, as OIT (17-3 overall, 5-3 CCC) outscored Evergreen 17-4, including an 11-2 run in the 5-minute extra session. Tess Armstrong, who finished with 14 points, had nine straight as part of the Owls’ run. Karissa Dixon had a game-high 26 points.
Evergreen was 1 of 5 from the field and committed three turnovers in the second 5-minute overtime session. Fresh off an 86-72 loss to Southern Oregon Friday night, four players played 40 or more minutes, including Clark, who played 50. Clark leads the CCC in minutes per contest (36.2).
“By the time you get into second overtime,” Heuer said, “you have to be mentally tough. I don’t think this will be the last time we’ll go into overtime. This was the first time, but I don’t think it will be the last.”
Evergreen 90, Oregon Tech 87: Jordan Rawls hit two free throws with 28 seconds left to give the Geoducks a six-point lead -- the team's largest of the second half -- and held off a late rally by Oregon Tech to earn their first win in Cascade Collegiate Conference play.
The Geoducks (2-12 overall, 1-6 CCC) shot 49.2 percent from the field (30 of 61) and had four players in double figures, led by Dre Taylor's 20 points.
Northwest Nazarene 80, Saint Martin’s 76: Despite converting 11 first-half 3-pointers, Grayson Moore’s 3 with 44 seconds left broke a 73-all tie to give the host Crusaders the lead for good in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference game in Nampa, Idaho.
Ryan Rogers had a game-high 22 points to lead the Saints, who felt to 5-9 overall and 2-4 in GNAC play.
Riley Carel and Evan Coulter each had 13 points and had a combined nine assists.
Saint Martin's 85, Alaska Anchorage 78: Angela Gelhar's career-high 36 points led the Saints (10-4, 4-1) to their first win in Anchorage since 2006. Gelhar, out of Prairie High, hit 9 of 15 field goals, including 6 of 9 from 3-point range and nailed 12 of 14 free throws in the win.