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Saints knocked out of playoff chase after loss


by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Mt. Hood CC guard Landon Rushton drives through a crowd of SW Oregon defenders during the second half of Saturdays 76-67 loss to the Lakers.

The Mt. Hood men’s basketball team stalled out for a key stretch of the second half and couldn’t recover during a 76-67 loss to SW Oregon on Saturday that ended their hopes of reaching the Northwest playoffs.

After falling behind by as many as eight points midway through the second half, the Saints found themselves back with a chance after Thomas Simien converted a three-point play in the paint to slice the margin to 60-57 with 8:08 left.

The window was open for Mt. Hood to slip in front, but the Saints missed back-to-back fastbreak opportunities.

That was only the start of the trouble.

With its season in the balance, the Saints went four minutes without a point.

SW Oregon wasn’t lighting up the scoreboard either, but the Lakers did enough on the defensive end to stay in control of the game.

Mt. Hood center Cody Mitchell ended the dry spell when he powered over the top of Dereck Miller to score two points on a baseline drive.

But the Saints were never able to shrink the gap to a one-possession game.

The Lakers sealed the victory by going 7 for 8 (.875) at the free-throw line over the final minute. Dexter Williams Jr. barely moved the net on his four makes.

The loss leaves Mt. Hood (5-7) in sixth place heading into the final week of the regular season.

Look for extended coverage, including a recap of the women's game, in the Tuesday, Feb. 19, print edition.

View a photo gallery from the games at ...