West Linn girls race past Lakeridge 70-55
The West Linn and Lakeridge girls basketball teams may occupy opposite ends of the Three Rivers League standings, but that didn't prevent them from coming together for an entertaining and competitive contest on Tuesday night.
The Lions led by 18 points midway through Tuesday's second quarter, but the Pacers rallied there, cut their deficit to just seven early in the fourth quarter and looked as though they might challenge West Linn the rest of the way.
But the Lions rallied with a 17-9 scoring edge in the remaining minutes and powered to a 70-55 victory at Lakeridge High School.
"I feel like, whoever went in, we all really contributed and made an impact," said West Linn senior guard Brooke Landis, who finished with 12 points on 4 of 4 shooting on 3-pointers. "And we made our shots too, so that was nice."
"They're a really good team. They work really hard and together," said Lions senior guard Kennedi Byram, who added 11 points of 4 of 8 shooting from the field (including three "threes") and five assists. "And (Lakeridge's Brooke Clinton), she can hit it."
With the win — West Linn's fourth straight — the Lions improved to 13-2 in the Three Rivers League and kept sole possession of second place (20-3 overall). Lakeridge, meanwhile, lost for the sixth time in its past seven games and fell to 4-10 and a seventh-place tie in TRL play (10-12 overall).
"Obviously, we're going to be a little disappointed with the loss, but in the locker room, we talked about how we had to be proud of how we played," said Lakeridge junior guard Brooke Clinton, who led all scorers with 17 points on 5 of 10 shooting from the field (all of them 3-pointers) and a 2 of 3 day at the line. "When we run our offense, we get shots we want and it just gives us so much energy on and off the bench that we just feed off of each other. It's just a great atmosphere now."
"They are a really good team, they are, but I think at this point … we have nothing to lose so we're just proving to ourselves that we are a team that can compete," added Lakeridge senior guard Laura Barton, who added 13 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the field (including one 3-pointer) as well as four assists.
Both teams came out hot from long-range on Tuesday, each team knocking down four 3-pointers in the opening quarter — Landis and Clinton with two each — and the Lions led just 16-13 when Lakeridge senior guard Sierra Zevenbergen knocked down 1 of 2 free throws with 2 minutes, 7 seconds left in the first period.
But the Lions took over there, piecing together a 19-4 scoring edge over the next 4:07 that included nine points in less than three minutes by West Linn junior guard Katie Schoenborn, "threes" by both Landis and Byram and ended with a 35-17 lead midway through the second quarter.
The Pacers did not fold, though. They answered with a 25-14 run of their own that brought them back within 49-42 late in the third quarter, that stretch powered by eight points each by Zevenbergen and Clinton, and seven more from Barton.
The Pacers were still within 53-46 when freshman Addie Reardon hit two foul shots 23 seconds into the fourth quarter, but the Lions put the game away with a 13-2 run over the ensuing 4:14, with Landis knocking down two more "threes," senior guard Lexie Pritchard adding five points and Aaronette Vonleh two more to put the game out of reach at 66-48 with 3:23 left to play.
"It can be a long season, but we have that goal of making it to the Chiles Center," Landis said. "We just have to keep working hard and playing together."
"I'm really proud of the way we played," Barton added. "We have nothing to be ashamed of. Yeah, we lost by 15, but we didn't ever give up. I think if you weren't looking at the school or you wouldn't know."
Zevenbergen added 14 points for Lakeridge in the loss, Pritchard had 15 for West Linn and Vonleh another 12.