Clackamas scores four points in the last 5.5 seconds to win in overtime

OREGON CITY — The Mt. Hood CC men’s basketball team had everything going right late in their game Wednesday night at rival Clackamas CC. The Saints hadn’t trailed at all during overtime, and a Landon Rushton free throw put them up 74-72 with just 10 seconds to play.

When Clackamas came out of a timeout and guard Tim Lott dashed inside the 3-point line it seemed the game would have one of two outcomes. A make and the teams headed to a second overtime. A miss and Mt. Hood would get the win.

What the Saints didn’t account for was Clackamas making two shots in the game’s final 5.5 seconds.

Lott got to the rim and converted a layin in heavy traffic to tie the score. In their rush to get the ball back in play, the Saints failed to see all the white shirts in the backcourt. The Cougars’ Grant Sitton picked off the inbounds pass and let fly with a 15-foot fadeaway that ripped through the net as the buzzer sounded to give Clackamas the 76-74 victory.

The win pushed the Cougars (15-11) into a tie for second place in the South Region going into Saturday’s final regular-season game and also gave Clackamas a season sweep this year against the Saints. Mt. Hood (19-7) fell into a fourth-place tie with Chemeketa and will need a home win over Umpqua on Saturday to have any chance at reaching the Northwest playoffs.

Clackamas maintained a slim lead through most of the second half, but missed free throws kept the door open. Mt. Hood eventually slipped through when Rushton drove inside, gave a pump fake and converted a three-point play to tie the score 64-64 with 17.2 seconds left in regulation.

Clackamas had a chance for the win, but Spencer Bankofier’s 15-footer rattled the rim and popped out.

The Saints started fast in overtime, building a 69-64 lead after center Mac Johnson drew a triple-team effort in the post only to pass out top to Rushton, who buried an open 3.

Mt. Hood would retain a one-possession gap for most of the five-minute session before the Cougars unlikely heroics before the buzzer.

Johnson led Mt. Hood with 20 points, while Rushton added 14 points and Blake Updike sank four long ball to finish with 12.

Lott led all players with 23 points, while Sitton added 22 for the Cougars.

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