Lake Oswego girls battle, learn at Nike Interstate Shootout
The Lake Oswego girls basketball team was ready to step into harm's way.
The Lakers, hosting the 24-team Nike Interstate Shootout at Lake Oswego High School from Dec. 27 through Saturday, knew it wouldn't be easy, but they also knew just how important it was to test themselves against the best.
In the end, Lake Oswego went 1-3 in the tournament's tough Swoosh bracket, but also learned and improved a bundle along the way.
"I think what we're really learning is we just have to stick together and play as a team," said Lake Oswego junior guard Katy Gilbert. "It's a long four days, but it's a fun four days."
"This is a good team," added freshman post Kilyn Dawkins. "They make sure that everyone is involved and everyone is together so it's been pretty nice."
Lake Oswego opened its tournament with a 51-37 loss to South Salem on Dec. 27, followed with a 37-35 loss to Hermiston on Dec. 28, knocked off Hillsboro 52-46 on Friday, then dropped a 60-51 decision to McNary in their Swoosh bracket finale on Saturday.
Defending Class 6A state champion Southridge won four straight games to claim the Swoosh bracket title, beating Desert Oasis of Nevada 71-43 in the Saturday championship. In the tournament's GameDay bracket championship, Springfield beat Lakeridge 54-40 on Saturday.
South Salem 51, Lake Oswego 37: The Lakers were right there in their tournament opener, trailing South Salem just 8-7 after the first quarter, 19-14 at the halftime and 34-28 after three periods.
But the Saxons held the upper hand in the final frame, outscoring the Lakers 17-9 to forge their 51-37 victory. Victoria Stafford and Hilary James led the way for South Salem in the fourth, with Stafford scoring seven of her game-high 18 points in the period, while James added five of her 16.
The Lakers scored just once from the field in that final quarter — on a Janie Ruttert basket — but tried to stay close by hitting seven of eight free throws, including 5 of 6 by Dawkins.
For the game, Dawkins finished with 13 points, Gilbert added 10 and Taylor Anders had five.
Hermiston 37, Lake Oswego 35: The Lakers were even better, and even closer, in their game two loss to Hermiston.
Lake Oswego trailed just 27-26 entering the game's fourth quarter, then fell behind 33-30 when Hermiston's Jordan Thomas took a pass from Madison Wilson and scored from the right block with 3 minutes, 29 seconds left in the contest.
The Lakers rallied with a putback by Megan Woolard and, after a Wilson free throw, tied the game at 34-34 after Ruttert made a steal that set up a pretty Ruttert-to-Gilbert-to-Woolard break with 1:05 remaining.
Lake Oswego then forced a turnover, got one Ruttert foul shot and saw Dawkins rebound the miss. She was fouled but missed her attempt to leave the Lakers' lead at 35-34 with 43 seconds to go.
But Hermiston's Hannah Thompson drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key on the Bulldogs' ensuing possession — their only "three" of the game — to push ahead 37-35 with 28 seconds left. Woolard and Dawkins both had good looks on the Lakers' next possession, and after a missed Hermiston free throw, Gilbert's 12-footer from the left wing bounced out just before the final buzzer.
"I think we gave it our all for sure," said Gilbert, who led her team with 16 points. "In the end, we finished strong and it's just a bummer that we didn't come out with the win."
"We all fought hard as a team to get there," added Dawkins, who finished with six points. "It was frustrating, but it is what it is."
Anders added six points in the loss, while Thomas led all scorers with 19.
Lake Oswego 52, Hillsboro 46: The Lakers broke through on Friday, though, putting together a 26-17 edge in the game's middle two quarters to knock off Hillsboro.
Anders, a junior guard, broke through for her best offensive game of the tournament, racking up a game-high 19 points that included five in the second period, six in the third and another six in the fourth to help her team pull away.
Ruttert added five points in the second quarter (including a three-pointer) as the Lakers posted their biggest edge of the game, outscoring the Spartans 16-8 in the period. Ruttert finished with 13 points in the win, Dawkins added 10 and Gilbert eight.
For Hillsboro, Isabel Mosley led Hillsboro with 12 points but went scoreless in the fourth quarter, while teammate Kylie Fernstrom added 11.
McNary 60, Lake Oswego 51: The Lakers started fast again in their tournament finale against McNary, getting nine first-quarter points from Gilbert to grab a 15-10 edge against the Celtics.
But the second and third quarters were disastrous for Lake Oswego, with McNary posting a 12-3 edge in the second and a 23-13 margin in the third to take a commanding 45-31 lead.
The Lakers rallied in the fourth quarter, getting three three-pointers and nine points from Woolard, six from Anders and five from Gilbert, but it wasn't enough.
Gilbert finished with 18 points, Woolard added 11 and Anders had 10. For McNary, Kailey Doutt led the way with 16 points, Paige Downer scored 15 and Leah Doutt added 12.