AP NEWS

UCC men avoid overlooking Clark, get 72-68 win

February 24, 2019

WINCHESTER — With a battle for first place looming next week, the Umpqua Community College men’s basketball team avoided a letdown against the Clark College Penguins on Saturday.

John Morrill-Keeler and Eric Klekas scored 15 points each and the Riverhawks fought off Clark’s second half comeback attempt for a 72-68 win in the Northwest Athletic Conference South Region game.

No. 4 Umpqua (19-8, 12-2 South) will next visit No. 3 Lane on Wednesday with the South Region crown on the line. The Riverhawks and Titans (23-3, 12-2) are tied for first after Saturday’s games.

UCC built a 40-36 lead in the first half behind 12 points from Klekas. Sophomore Connor Shaw added seven of his 10 points in the first half in his second game since returning from a back injury that kept him out for four contests.

The Riverhawks built a 49-40 lead on a Klekas 3-pointer with 15:47 to go in the second half and stretched the advantage to its largest point at 69-58 with 4:30 remaining. Clark (13-12, 5-9 South) finished the game on a 10-2 run, but the comeback charge fell short as time ran out.

“I don’t know if it was an issue of guys looking ahead to Wednesday night’s game or not,” Umpqua coach Daniel Leeworthy said of the Riverhawks’ inability to put the game out of reach. “I thought our energy was pretty good before we started the game, but we got the job done.”

When the idea of a trap game came up, Leeworthy said he was definitely concerned about his team getting caught by its own lack of focus.

“Clark is a quality team. You can’t look past any opponents and I’m just happy we got the job done,” he said.

The Riverhawks defeated the Titans, 68-64, at home on Jan. 30 and another victory would clinch the South Region title for UCC.

CLARK (68) — Parker Gaddis 9-17 3-4 22, Scarpelli 1-5 0-0 3, Moore 8-14 0-1 17, Fernstrom 3-10 1-1 7, Garrison 5-6 2-4 12, Smith 1-2 0-0 2, Scott 1-5 0-0 3, Endresen 0-1 0-0 0, Schinkelwitz 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 29-63 6-10 68.

UMPQUA (72) — Eric Klekas 5-12 2-2 15, John Morrill-Keeler 6-15 3-4 15, Shaw 4-10 1-4 10, Martin 3-5 0-0 9, Mortensen 1-3 0-0 2, Gilbert 1-2 0-0 2, Campbell 1-1 2-2 4, Sutton 0-0 0-0 0, Benzel 3-6 0-0 7, Peterson 3-4 2-3 8, Marz 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-58 10-15 72.

Halftime — 40-36 UCC. 3-Point Goals — Clark 4-13 (Scarpelli 1-3, Moore 1-2, Gaddis 1-2, Scott 1-1). UCC 8-19 (Shaw 1-3, Martin 3-5, Klekas 3-7, Benzel 1-2). Total Fouls — Clark 12. UCC 10. Rebounds — Clark 33 (Fernstrom 8). UCC 31 (Morrill-Keeler 7). Assists — Clark 13 (Gaddis 7). UCC 16 (Shaw 5). Turnovers — Clark 11. UCC 11.