The Raiders used a 34-2 scoring run in the second half to beat the Saints of Mt. Hood Community College 96-59, in their season opener at the Clackamas Thanksgiving Tournament! With only a 4pt lead at the half the Raiders came out hot with blazing defense, forcing 43 Saint turnovers. On the night the Raiders had 21 steals, led by Alyssa Simonson (sophomore - Covington, WA) with six. Simonson was 2nd in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) in steals last season, behind former teammate Carli Elwin, who now plays for NCAA Division II Minot State.
Freshman, Haley Hutchinson (Twin Falls, ID) had a stellar debut, leading all scorers with 25-points on 12-for-16 shooting, in addition to her eight rebounds, three assists and five steals. Fellow freshman teammate Nakesha Hatchett (Portland, OR) tallied her first double-double of the season with 19-points and 12 rebounds. Hatchett shot 5-for-14 from the field and 9-for-12 from the line, dished out three assists, grabbed three steals and blocked two shots.
Also, in double digits for the Raiders was Mackenzie Lancaster (SO. Puyallup, WA) and Simonson, with 19-points and 13-points respectively. Lancaster was 3-for-4 from beyond the arc and a perfect 6-for-6 from the line. Simonson had seven assists and six steals, to go along with her 13-points.
The rest of the weekend did not go as well for the Raiders, as they dropped their next two games against South Region powerhouse Clackamas Community College (4-0) and Southwestern Oregon Community College (4-2).
The Cougars of Clackamas jumped out to an early lead and went into the locker room at halftime with a comfortable 47-28 cushion. The game seemed to be out of reach, but someone forgot to tell the Raiders that. The Raiders outscored the Cougs in the second half and got as close as 10 points but it wasn’t enough. Rebounding seems to be a huge deficiency for the Raiders, as they were out rebounded by 15, leading to 12 second-chance points.
Hayley Hutchinson led the way for the Raiders with 20-points, seven rebounds and three steals. Also in double digits were Nakesha Hatchett and Mackenzie Lancaster, with 13 and 14-points respectively.
The Raiders recovered quickly from the loss the night before and jumped all over the Lakers and went into half time with a 15-point lead, and led by as many as 22 points. The fire that sparked them seemed to fizzle down to a mere smoke signal by the end of the game. Alyssa Simonson had arguably one of the best games of her career with 23-points, 12 rebounds, six assists and three steals. Shooting Guard Kami Hansen (FR. McCammon, ID) got herself out of a rut and chipped in 20-points and added seven rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Simonson fouled out with nearly four minutes to play in regulation. Without the composure of one of only three sophomores on the court the Raiders became unraveled and saw their 22 point lead dwindle to a 9-point deficit. The Raiders lost 88-85 in the closing minutes of the game. The Raiders fell to 1-2 while the Lakers improved to 5-2 on the season!
The Raiders (1-2) return home for their home opener against the Orcas of Whatcom Community College (2-2). Game time is slated for 6pm Wednesday December 4, 2014 at the HEC (Health Education Center).