Cougars seek league title

Clackamas basketball teams look to improve for late season success

Good enough to win will not allow a team to become great in the league.

Clackamas Community College’s basketball teams are playing well, but according to their coaches, some improvements need to be made in order to win league.

The teams are entering into their league schedule with overall winning records both at 12-6. The men’s and women’s teams look to be competitive in their divisions to try to claim the league championship, or at least finish in the top four to claim a spot in the playoffs.

At the start of the season, men’s basketball head coach Clif Wegner would have graded his at a 74 percent. In the last few games, Wegner said his team has raised their performance to a solid 84 percent. Wegner would like to see his team do a better job of taking care of the basketball. The team had 30 turnovers against Lane Community College.

Women’s basketball head coach Jim Martineau said his team is better than average but not outstanding. There are two areas where the women need to improve offensively and defensively.

Martineau has been happy with his team’s improvements defensively but they still need to get better. Inconsistencies  with gaps of two to four minutes have been offensive problems for the women.

“Generally, our goal always is to win league,” said Martineau, who has been apart of nine league championships in his 18 years with the program. “And after that it’s to finish in the top four the qualify for playoffs. So, those are the two big goals every time we get into league.”

On Saturday, Jan. 16, the teams faced off against Umpqua Community College.

The women struggled to get shots to fall their way during the first half and made adjustments at halftime to get their 70-66 win.

“At first we were so tense,” said sophomore guard/forward Jo Paine. “We came to play today. You can tell by the outcome of the game we came to play.”

Paine described the game as a good challenge for the team because they will compete against UCC again, at  UCC’s court and possibly in playoffs.

Going forward into league, sophomore forward Lauren Lindley said, “I’m really looking forward to it. Cause I think we made a statement today [against UCC].”

The men led by as much as 12 points in the first half and had a 49-40 lead going into halftime, but UCC chipped away the lead in the second half and even at one point took the lead, but CCC ended up pulling away in the final two minutes for a 100-94 win.

“They’re a really good team,” said Parker Gaddis, a freshman guard. “Even though we had a lot of momentum, we knew they were going to come out swinging at us.”

Sophomore center Vince Boumann said,“I’m just really glad that we can keep our momentum going. It was definitely a great win and I’m proud of my team for executing.”

Wegner’s teams have finished in the Southern Region top three the last 16 consecutive seasons.

“We’re excited about our team, and we think we’re going to get better,” said Wegner. “I think we have a lot of improvement that we can and will make as the season goes into January and February and hopefully peak at playoff time.”

The top two finishers in league will host playoff games before going into the NWAC championship tournament.

On Jan. 18, the Cougars faced Portland Community College. The men’s team won 83-76 and the women’s team lost 87-72.