The last time the Southwest Christian School Wildcats met North Clackamas Christian on the Hardwood, they didn’t know much about them. There wasn’t much tape on them, it was within the first two weeks of the season. But Friday (Jan. 31) night, the Wildcats came into their Oregon Class 1A Valley 10 match-up with the visiting Saints from North Clackamas very prepared. Southwest Christian roared out of the gates launching an all out aerial assault to stake claim to a huge first half lead. The Saints would never recover suffering their tenth straight loss in a 53-31 blowout in Beaverton.
“We knew their two big (guys, Jon Hull and Morgan Harris) were pretty aggressive inside", states Southwest Head Coach Don Schaeffer. He added that they knew they had to “jam the inside” and attempt to take away their inside game. Which worked fairly well as the Saints frequently had a hard time controlling the ball inside leading to many early turnovers. North Clackamas, at times really just looked lost on offense.
The Wildcats did a good job of executing their game plan on offense, really dissecting the Saints’ defense well to exploit them on the perimeter, as Senior Connor Stephenson was able to pick his shots seemingly at will.
“They’re real big inside and they kind of left the outside shot open”, states Stephenson. The senior being too modest and humble there. The three-point arc looked virtually like a deserted island when Stephenson and his teammates toed the stripe to ring up three points. Stephenson finished with a Game-High 25 points. He acknowledged the preparation they put in this week was a big key in this game.
“We really prepared well for this game, we got to watch a lot of film and go over what we knew they did well last time”. The last time these two schools met was back in December in Oregon City. Southwest Christian took that game as well, albeit much closer in a 44-41 win.
Stephenson scored the game’s first five points on Friday night (Jan. 31), and scored 11 of his 25 points in the first quarter helping the Wildcats to a 17-6 lead after the first stanza. North Clackamas had their best stretch of the game in the second quarter, scoring 16 points in the frame, but were still outscored 17-16 and trailed by 12 at halftime.
The Second Half was much more lower scoring as North Clackamas Christian didn’t hit double digits in points for the half. Southwest Christian wasn’t much better, having a slow scoring third quarter, holding a 6-4 edge in that stanza, before the bench closed out the Saints in the final quarter, outscoring them 13-5.
It’s down to the home stretch of the regular season for Southwest Christian and the final four games for the Wildcats, who are now tied for second place in Valley 10 play, with Portland Lutheran, will be the toughest stretch of the season and it starts tonight (Feb. 1st) in Damascus, OR.