West Linn stymies the Pioneers with defense in an 82-42 win

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Hayden Coppedge knocks down a jump shot in West Linn's road win over Canby last week. West Linn's boys basketball team played with renewed focus defensively against Oregon City Tuesday in an 82-42 victory after a tough two-game stretch that saw the Lions tested into the fourth quarter.

After taking the best shot from Lake Oswego and Canby in a pair of frustrating contests, the Lions dominated the Pioneers at home, using a stifling trap to put the game away in the second quarter.

West Linn never trailed, scoring the first 10 points of the game and refusing to give up any easy baskets.

“I didn't feel like we'd been playing badly. We just weren't focusing on defense and sprinting to help. We know when we press we're going to give up some open jumpers, we just don't want to be giving up layups,” coach Eric Viuhkola said.

The Lions would then go on a 15-0 run to open the second quarter, building an incredible 37-7 lead at one point. Somehow, the lead could have actually be larger for West Linn as the Lions had 13 turnovers in the opening half.

“We got a little sloppy and careless at time but we did a nice job making (Oregon City) uncomfortable,” Viuhkola said.

Still, West Linn led 42-15 at the half and was never threatened.

It was a team effort by the Lions from start to finish. An amazing 12 different players scored for West Linn led by Anthony Mathis with 15. Payton Pritchard had 14 points and eight assists and the Lions were able to let up on the throttle in the second half.

The victory followed a harrowing win in Canby last week. Playing in a packed house on the road, the Cougars gave the Lions everything they could handle, using a stellar shooting performance to hang with West Linn until the final minutes.

The Lions had an early 9-0 run to grab the lead but Canby played with confidence and took every open shot it could get, knocking down a handful of jumpers to match the Lions.

Hayden Coppedge had 10 points in the first quarter for West Linn.

The Cougars continued to fire away and ended up shooting nearly 50 percent from behind the 3-point line in the game.

Canby took the lead at 40-38 midway through the quarter but a 3-pointer from Pritchard quickly returned the advantage to the Lions.

After not scoring in the first quarter, Mathis rattled off eight straight points for West Linn but the Lions only led 41-39 at the half.

“We were lucky that we shot the ball pretty well, too. There's going to be nights when you don't shoot well and we have to find a way to win those games,” Viuhkola said.

It was more of the same in the third quarter and Canby was hunting for an upset, only trailing 49-45 with one quarter to play.

However, West Linn's experience paid off in the fourth quarter as the Lions were unflappable even in the tough environment.

West Linn executed on offense better than it had all game and, although the Cougars still shot the ball well, the Lions were able to extend the lead and close out a tough 81-72 victory.

“The core of this team is really good down the stretch and they kept their poise,” Viuhkola said.

West Linn is 5-0 in league and still unbeaten against 6A opponents with just five games left in the regular season.

After a break on Friday, the Lions will take on No. 2 Clackamas Tuesday on the road.

“They're one of the teams that scares me the most just because they're so athletic,” Viuhkola said.

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine