Clackamas guys taste defeat at the hands of the top-ranked West Linn Lions

by: JON HOUSE - Clackamas post David Reese hauls down a rebound in traffic in last Fridays game with top-ranked West Linn. The Cavaliers lost 63-43, after playing the Lions tough through most of the first half.Clackamas’ and Oregon City’s boys basketball teams both came up short in their Three Rivers League boys basketball openers, played last Friday on the road.

The third-ranked Clackamas Cavaliers met their match at top-ranked West Linn, losing 63-43, while the unheralded Pioneers dropped a 62-60 heartbreaker at 12th-ranked Lakeridge.

Battling back from a 23-12 first-quarter deficit, the Pioneers lost on a last-second layup by Pacer 6-3 senior post Max Minervini.

Oregon City’s loss came despite a standout performance by 6-5 senior Brad Martin, who scored a game-high 24 points.

Lakeridge was led by senior guard Reggie Oliver (21 points) and junior wing Eric Dungey (17 points), who passed the ball in to Minervini for the game-winner.

Clackamas’ game with West Linn was a defensive battle, with bodies on the floor and both teams struggling to find the basket, especially in the first half.

West Linn missed on 14 of its first 16 shots in the first quarter, while the Cavaliers made three of their first eight shots, but had five costly turnovers.

West Linn led 8-6 at the end of the first period. It was still a two-point game, with West Linn up 14-12, when Andrew Gutwig made one of two free throws with just 3:43 remaining in the first half.

But that’s where the Lions made their move, outscoring their guests 18-4 through the end of the half and the first two minutes into the third quarter.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Anthony Mathis and Hayden Coppedge early in the third period made it 32-16 West Linn, and the Lions had the game in hand.

Aggressive offensive play was pivotal for the Lions in breaking the game open. They attacked the basket throughout the game, which lead to Cavalier fouls and frequent trips to the free-throw line.

While the Lions found the mark on 25-of-34 attempted free throws (74 percent), the Cavaliers shot only five free throws in the game, making three of them.

Thanks in large part to Clackamas’ scrappy half-court defensive play, the Lions had one of their worst shooting nights of the season in the run of play, making only 17-of-47 shots from the floor, for a cool .361 shooting percentage.

The Cavaliers found the mark on 19-of-44 field goal attempts.

West Linn earned a 37-27 advantage on the backboards; Clackamas turned the ball over 21 times, while the Lions had 12 turnovers.

West Linn had a balanced offensive attack, led by Anthony Mathis (19 points), Hayden Coppedge (14 points), Ryan Shearmire (12 points) and Payton Pritchard (12 points, 5 assists).

Keaton Bankofier (13 points) and David Reese (10 points) were the only Clackamas players in double digits in scoring.

With the win, the top-ranked Lions improved to 11-4 on the season, while Clackamas slipped to 12-3 with the loss.

In games this Friday, Clackamas hosts eighth-ranked Lake Oswego (9-5, 1-0), while West Linn entertains Lakeridge (13-2, 1-0).

“Being ranked the top team in the state means we have a lot of pressure on us,” Coppedge said. “But we like that pressure.”

Oregon City High School’s boys basketball team breezed by Hood River on Jan. 14, winning 71-53 in its final tuneup for the league season.

The Pioneers surged to an 18-9 lead in the first quarter and a 41-24 advantage by halftime, and coasted home from there.

Oregon City had a balanced attack, with Trevon Bradford (15 points, 6 assists), Briggs Young (15 points, 5 assists), Brad Martin (11 points), Austin DeWitz (9 points) and Chris Mengis (8 points) heading up the effort on offense.

Young and Martin both cashed in three times from beyond the arc. Martin was 4-of-7 from the field; Mengis was 4-of-6 from the field.

DeWitz played a strong game all around, hauling down nine rebounds, rejecting four shots and stealing the sphere three times. Oregon City finished the preseason with a 9-4 record.

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