WINCHESTER — The talent, depth and spirit of the Umpqua Community College men’s basketball team was on full display Saturday in the UCC gym.

In this shortened 2021 spring season that was created by the coronavirus pandemic, the unbeaten Riverhawks are clearly the class of the Northwest Athletic Conference’s South Region.

Umpqua put a thumping on Southwestern Oregon, demolishing the Lakers of Coos Bay 115-69 to improve to 11-0 on the season. The Riverhawks are 8-0 in South Region play.

No fans were allowed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“If they were doing rankings (for the NWAC), I’m sure we’d be No. 1,” Umpqua coach Daniel Leeworthy said. “We’re obviously very talented. It’s exciting we’re undefeated, and we hope we’re undefeated at the end of the season.

“It’s a little bittersweet in some ways because we’re not going to have the big (NWAC) tournament. We thought we were going to win last year (the tourney was canceled) and think we’d win this year, but the best we can do is win the South Region and region playoffs and go undefeated.”

The Riverhawks used a 23-4 run midway through the first half against the Lakers (1-7) to take a 38-17 lead and never looked back.

Will Harris led six UCC players in double figures with 17 points, 10 coming in the second half. Nathan Webb and Cody Fredrickson each scored 15 points, Isaac Lungren had 14, Trey Johnson 13 and Hayden Wood 11.

The Riverhawks shot 59% from the field, including 64% from 3-point range. Umpqua was credited with 29 assists, led by Fredrickson with nine. Johnson was the top rebounder with nine. Fredrickson also made four steals.

“That was the first time we’ve put together a full 40-minute game,” Lungren said. “We want to hang a banner with the South Region championship. For the sophomores, we want to finish some unfinished business that we didn’t get to accomplish last year.”

The Riverhawks were certainly lighting up the scoreboard and enjoying themselves, getting contributions from their bench. Triston Mask, an Oakland High School graduate, chipped in eight points with a pair of 3-pointers in just three minutes of playing time.

“We can go long stretches with playing really well, but sometimes we turn the ball over or don’t rebound. Today was a display of putting 40 minutes together,” said Fredrickson, who has signed with Division II Adams State of Alamosa, Colorado.

“We haven’t played everyone (in league yet). With the team we have, the way we play and chemistry, I think we can beat anyone, especially when we play like that.”

Umpqua led 53-30 at halftime and hiked the lead to 47 late in the contest.

Players on the bench roared their approval after a teammate would make a positive play on the court.

“Our bench has been terrific all season long,” Leeworthy said. “Everyone loves each other on this team, which is incredible. Everyone is really close and everyone is excited for each other. I always say the strength of our team is our team.”

Lungren agreed.

“Today was probably the most excited we’ve been,” he said. “We get excited for everybody.”

“We all want each other to succeed, and that really shows on the court,” Fredrickson added.

Cade Baker scored 13 points, Tige Voorhees netted 12 and Kase Peterson had 11 for the Lakers.

The Riverhawks are scheduled to host Mt. Hood at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

SOUTHWESTERN OREGON (69) — Cade Baker 6-12 1-3 13, Keperling 3-7 2-2 8, Baasch 3-7 1-2 7, Bingham 1-2 0-0 2, Lauby 2-4 0-0 4, Voorhees 5-16 0-0 12, Rowe 3-10 0-2 7, Henderson 0-2 0-0 0, Elk 2-5 0-0 5, Berry 0-0 0-0 0, Lackey 0-1 0-0 0, Peterson 4-8 3-3 11. Totals 29-74 7-12 69.

UMPQUA (115) — Will Harris 6-9 2-2 17, Webb 6-10 0-0 15, Fredrickson 6-13 3-3 15, Wood 4-5 0-0 11, Johnson 6-15 1-1 13, Lungren 5-9 0-0 14, Sofia 0-1 0-0 0, Hiatt 3-3 1-2 7, Smith 2-2 0-0 5, Mask 3-3 0-0 8, Sherwood 1-1 0-0 2, Schofield 0-0 0-0 0, Jeppson 4-5 0-0 8. Totals 46-78 7-8 115.

Halftime — UCC 53-30. 3-Point Shots — SWOCC 4-30 (Keperling 0-2, Baker 0-3, Voorhees 2-10, Rowe 1-5, Baasch 0-2, Bingham 0-1, Lauby 0-2, Henderson 0-2, Elk 1-3, UCC 16-25 (Johnson 0-1, Lungren 4-8, Webb 3-4, Wood 3-3, Smith 1-1, Harris 3-5, Mask 2-2, Jeppson 0-1). Total Fouls — SWOCC 12, UCC 10. Rebounds — SWOCC 33 (Keperling 9), UCC 43 (Johnson 9). Assists — SWOCC 13 (Baker, Rowe 3), UCC 29 (Fredrickson 9). Turnovers — SWOCC 14, UCC 7.

Tom Eggers can be reached at teggers@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4220.

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Sports Editor

Tom Eggers is the sports editor for The News-Review. He can be reached at teggers@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4220.

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