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Saints win trophy in overtime

by: SANDY POST: DAVID BALL - Mt. Hood CCs Oleg Marandyuk drives the baseline to get to the basket during the Saints 75-73 overtime win over Treasure Valley in Sundays championship game at the Portland CC Crossover tournament.  PORTLAND — The Mt. Hood CC men’s basketball team moved its win streak to 10 games with a 75-73 overtime victory over Treasure Valley in the title game of the Portland CC Crossover tournament Sunday night.

The Saints went in front to stay when Oleg Marandyuk drove the baseline and put a soft shot off the glass for a 74-71 lead with 1:50 to play.

Teammate Thomas Simien would seal the victory without putting the ball through the hoop. Instead, it was a series of rebounds that kept the ball away from Treasure Valley.

The first saw him dive under the basket, twist his body in mid-air and fling the ball to teammate Landon Rushton at the top of the 3-point arc. The Saints kept possession and drained more time off the clock.

“I saw the ball and went after it. I was glad one of my teammates was there to catch it,” Simien said. “Treasure Valley wasn’t going to give up, so we had to get the rebounds and finish it off.”

The Saints missed the mark with a 3 from the corner, but once again Simien was in position to grab it off the rim. The Chukars were finally forced to foul as the clock rolled to under 20 seconds.

Marandyuk made 1 of 2 at the line to put the Saints up 75-73.

Treasure Valley guard John Fletcher dribbled through a crowd and got to the rim for a chance to tie, but his shot slid off the iron and who else was on the spot to take in the miss but Simien.

“We had a bunch of sophomores on the floor in overtime and they showed really good poise,” Saints coach Geoff Gibor said.

Mt. Hood center Mac Johnson led all scorers with 24 points, while Denzel Green didn’t miss a shot, going 5-for-5 from the field and 4-for-4 at the line for 15 points.

The Saints improved to 11-1 with the win.

“We’re winning games, but we having to battle for every win,” Gibor said. “I’m hoping it will help us out in the long run. These guys had a rough freshman year, so it’s nice to see them having some success.”

The teams traded the lead eight times in the first half with Mt. Hood going ahead 17-15 after Barlow High graduate Brock Otis knocked down his second 3-pointer of the night and clapped his hands emphatically while backpedaling to play defense.

He went 4 for 9 (.444) from beyond the arc and finished with 18 points.

“They were running a zone, so the 3s were open,” Otis said. “I have the green light in that situation, so I took the ball and fired it.”

The Saints took a 31-29 lead into halftime after Johnson beat a double team on the edge of the lane and spun to the front of the rim for two points.

Otis kept his hot shooting touch early in the second half, swishing a 3 from in front of the Saints bench. On the next possession, he drove the baseline and pulled up short to swish a 12-foot jumper from behind the glass.

Mt. Hood held a slight lead through most of the second half before the Chukars moved in front on a fadeaway shot by John Fletcher with 5:52 left in regulation.

The Saints pulled even 61-61 when Landon Rushton sent an inbounds pass off the back of a Treasure Valley play, grabbed the deflection and was fouled on his way to the hoop. Rushton hit 1 of 2 at the stripe.

The Saints open the South Region schedule at 4 p.m. Saturday against SW Oregon. Those two teams have combined for the South's best records in nonleague action.