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Lakers split games as NWAC playoff race heats up

Feb. 14—The Southwestern Oregon Community College men's basketball team snapped a two-game losing streak with a strong second half in a 74-64 win over visiting Chemeketa on Saturday.

The Lakers trailed 39-34 at the break, but held the Storm to just 25 points in the second half.

Logan Deal had 20 points for the Lakers and Zach Jefferson added 14. Colby Whicker had 11 and Logan Prince 10.

The win was a big one for the Lakers after they lost at home to Portland the previous Saturday when they had a chance to move into a tie for first place, and then fell at Linn-Benton 78-65 on Wednesday.

The Lakers are in a tight race for the South Region's four spots in the NWAC tournament.

Portland is 9-1 and Linn-Benton is 5-3, with several games still to make up. SWOCC is 8-4, Umpqua 7-4 and Clackamas 6-4.

This week is huge for SWOCC, with games Wednesday in Roseburg against Umpqua and at home Saturday against Clackamas. The Lakers finish with road games against Mount Hood on Feb. 19 and Clark on Feb. 24.

WOMEN

SWOCC's women saw a fourth-quarter rally come up just short in a 71-67 loss to the Storm on Saturday.

Chemeketa led 54-41 entering the final quarter and held on.

Jaci Powers had 14 points, Kailina Hamilton 11, Skylar Willey nine and Raegan Bruner eight for the Lakers in the loss. Bree Peters had 32 points and was a perfect 10-for-10 from the line for the Storm.

Saturday's loss came on the heels of a one-point setback Wednesday to Linn-Benton, which edged the Lakers 52-51.

SWOCC erased a fourth-quarter deficit in that game, but Linn-Benton took the lead with a minute to go on two free throws by Katelynn Weaver and then survived as the Lakers missed a couple of shots in the final seconds.

Willey had 14 points, Powers 11 and Cloee McLeod nine in the loss.

SWOCC fell to 2-10 in league play.