Portland CC comes back in second half for 85-77 win

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - Portland CC's Warren Edmondson pulls down a rebound in front of Mt. Hood's Denzel Green during the Panthers' 85-77 win Wednesday night.The Portland Community College men’s basketball team stayed in the race for the South Region title with an 85-77 win at Mt. Hood CC on Wednesday night.

The Panthers had the upper hand when Warren Edmondson drilled a 3-pointer for a nine-point lead as the clock rolled under seven minutes.

But Mt. Hood made a charge when center Mac Johnson dived under the basket to save a rebound. Brock Otis found Landon Rushton with a cross-court pass that led to a 3 at the other end. Otis added a 3 of his own to bring the Saints within two points with 4:30 left.

But that was as close as Mt. Hood would get.

Portland regained some breathing room when Josh Turner swished a long ball. Moments later, Carl Appleton brought in a loose ball and fired a pass down the center of the court that Edmondson chased down for a layup and a 78-71 lead with less than three minutes to play.

The Panthers were patient down the stretch, running the shot clock all the way down twice to keep the ball out of Mt. Hood’s hands. Edmondson provided the clinching points when he beat the shot-clock buzzer with a deep 3. Portland went 5 for 7 (.714) from beyond the arc in the second half.

Mt. Hood hit more than half of its shots over the final 10 minutes, but could never regain the lead.

Portland (16-8) moved into a three-way tie at the top of the South Region, while Mt. Hood (17-6) slipped a game back, tied with Clackamas for the fourth and final playoff spot.

Mt. Hood held a 36-32 halftime lead, but Portland moved in front to stay early in the second half after Edmondson swatted down a pass at midcourt and raced in for the layup.

Edmondson and Turner shared the team lead with 18 points apiece, while Mt. Hood center Mac Johnson led all players with 29 points.

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