West Linn girls escape Sherwood upset bid 24-23
There were many things that Friday's West Linn at Sherwood girls basketball game was not.
It was not easy.
It was not fast-paced.
And it most certainly wasn't pretty.
In the end, however, it was a win for the Lions, with West Linn piecing together a 6-1 scoring edge in the fourth quarter to beat the Lady Bowmen 24-23 at Sherwood High School.
"They just hold the ball and it's so frustrating sometimes, but we got through it," said West Linn senior guard Kennedi Byram, who didn't score but finished with four steals — including the takeaway that set up the game-winning score — and two assists. "That's just not the way we play so it's kind of hard, but we pulled it out and I'm happy we could come together as a team on defense."
"In the locker room (after the game), it was like 'Oh my God. We got through it. We beat Sherwood,' even though it was just one point," said West Linn freshman guard Cami Fulcher, who finished with two points and a steal in the win.
With the victory, the fifth-ranked Lions won for the fifth straight time and improved to 7-1 in Three Rivers League play and 14-2 overall. No. 25 Sherwood, meanwhile, saw its two-game winning streak snapped and fell to 2-5 in TRL play and 7-8 overall.
There was nothing about West Linn's win that was easy, with the Lady Bowmen getting seven first-quarter points from senior Lauren Scarvie (she went 2 for 2 from the field — including a 3-pointer — and hit both her free throws in the quarter) and taking a 12-4 lead when junior Kaytlin Cooke knocked down two foul shots with 1 minute, 5 seconds left in the period.
But the Lions' defense stiffened in the second stanza, holding the Lady Bowmen to just 2 of 9 shooting from the field while outscoring them 9-4 at the other end to tie the contest 16-16 at halftime.
Freshman post Aaronette Vonleh knocked down two shots in the period, junior Alyx Burkhartzmeyer scored on a putback after a missed Lexie Pritchard foul shot, and Pritchard took a pass from senior Lizzy Herrick and connected from the left block to tie the contest with 13 seconds left in the half.
But West Linn — plagued by turnovers all night — went stone cold in the third quarter, going just 1 for 7 from the floor and scoring two points in the quarter while also turning the ball over four times.
Sherwood's offense didn't exactly light up the night in the third period either — the Lady Bowmen went 2 of 4 shooting and 2 of 2 from the foul line while making four turnovers of their own — but did enough to grab a 22-18 lead at the end of the stanza. Scarvie hit once in the third, junior Aubrie Emmons made two foul shots, and junior Alex Verkamp made it 22-18 when she got open inside, took a pass from Emmons and scored with 40 seconds left in the quarter.
The Lions, however, got it done in the fourth quarter, starting with a Vonleh hoop 1:22 into the period, then seeing Fulcher score inside 2:02 later to tie the contest at 22-22.
One possession later, Byram made a steal, pushed the ball upcourt and passed to Vonleh on the right block. She missed her first shot, missed her second, rebounded the ball again and finally scored to give West Linn a 24-22 edge with 2:17 left to play.
On their end of the court, the Lady Bowmen missed their first four shots from the floor in the quarter and turned the ball over twice on their first six possessions.
Sherwood then ran 1:07 off the clock before Scarvie was fouled on a drive and went to the foul line with 13 seconds remaining. But Scarvie missed her first attempt, made the second and West Linn ran out the final seconds as Sherwood fouled at the end of the game.
"I think we got rushed when they were holding it, so when we finally got the ball, we were like 'Go, go go' and it was easy to lose sight of trying to get a good shot," Byram said.
For the game, Vonleh went 6 of 13 from the field and led West Linn with 12 points while teammate Brooke Landis added five points. Scarvie paced the Lady Bowmen with 10 points on 3 of 6 shooting from the field (with one 3-pointer) and a 3 of 4 day at the line. Emmons added nine points in the loss.