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PREPS: West Linn downs cold Crusaders in 6A semis

Jesuit High’s touted defense was overmatched Friday afternoon, and the Crusaders' offense could not make up the difference against defending state champion West Linn.

The No. 5-seeded Crusaders were outplayed by the No. 1 Lions throughout their Class 6A semifinal, and Jesuit's hopes of a state championship ended in a 65-46 loss at the Moda Center.

“It was a matter of mental lapses,” Jesuit forward Jack Nadelhoffer said. “We thought we were good to go. But they were hitting shots when we were playing the best defense we could.”

Jesuit will play either South Salem High in the third-place game Saturday at 3:15 p.m.

“If we find the energy to play, we should be fine,” Nadelhoffer said. “But it’s always tough to come off a big loss and find that energy when it’s not as big of a game as we wanted to play in.”

West Linn moved into the state championship game, 8:30 p.m. Saturday, against Sheldon.

West Linn advanced by making 21 of 38 shots from the field (.553) and 7 of 15 from the 3-point line (.467).

Jesuit’s lack of height in the post prevented the Crusaders from working the ball inside, and Jesuit often had to settle for 3-pointers. But their perimeter shooting was off throughout the game. The Crusaders were 8 of 30 (.267) from beyond the arc. Overall, Jesuit went 15 of 54 from the field (.278).

“We got the ball inside a little bit,” Jesuit guard Jack Bell said. “Their zone wants us to shoot 3s, and we got some open looks. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t knock them down today. They are big inside, and they have a lot of length. It was tough to get shots up inside.”

Payton Pritchard’s 18 points led West Linn. Anthony Mathis scored 15, and Ryan Shearmire added 14.

Jesuit’s Ryan Bay was the only Crusader in double figures, with 11 points.

Jesuit took a 6-2 lead with 4:29 remaining in the first quarter. West Linn then went on a 19-5 to finish out the frame. CJ Sitton capped the spree with a 3-pointer that left his hand just before the buzzer sounded.

The Lions led 37-20 at halftime and 49-34 after three quarters.