Mt. Hood is never challenged after building a 49-33 halftime lead

by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Mt. Hood guard Jalen Thomas works to get around Chemeketa defender Andrew Saba during the Saints 87-67 home win Wednesday night.

The Mt. Hood CC men’s basketball team pounded the ball inside over and over again Wednesday night for an 87-67 win over visiting Chemeketa — marking the Storm’s first loss in league play.

“We knew we had a size advantage on them, so we just stuck with our regular offense and it worked,” Saints’ center Mac Johnson said.

He finished with a double-double, scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

After trading the lead a dozen times in the early stages, Mt. Hood pulled away with a 26-9 run to end the first half. Denzel Green beat the shot clock with a 3 to put the Saints in front, and the margin quickly expanded to double digits when Jalen Thomas swished a pair of free throws after Chemeketa coach David Abderhalden was hit with a technical foul.

A mix of crashing the boards and forcing turnovers allowed the Saints to attempt 40 shots in the first half — 14 more than the Storm. Of that total more than two-thirds of the team’s attempts came from in the paint — often within five feet of the basket.

Mt. Hood carried a 49-33 lead into the locker room and maintained a comfortable margin throughout the second half.

The Saints (7-10) hit the halfway point of the league season Saturday when they travel to Linn-Benton (5-9) for a 4 p.m. start.

Look for extended game coverage in the Friday, Jan. 25, print edition.

View a photo gallery from the game at …

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