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Bruins pick up three blowout wins in four days at Lake Oswego's holiday tourney

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Barlow point guard Kennedie Shuler sizes up defender Augustina Decker during Mondays 64-36 win over The Dalles.

3rd place game — Lake Oswego Shootout

Team Score
The Dalles

LAKE OSWEGO — The Barlow girls basketball team set the tone from the opening tip and never trailed in a 64-36 win over The Dalles in the third-place game of the Lake Oswego Shootout on Monday afternoon.

The Bruins 6-foot-4 center Libby Mathis knocked the tip-off forward and teammate Melanie Hiu ran onto the bouncing ball, took two dribbles and finished a layup.

Just a few ticks into the game, and Barlow had a lead it would not relinquish.

"We always try to set the tone at the tip and deflate the other team with that," Mathis said.

Point guard Kennedie Shuler took a long path to the hoop to extend the lead when she dribbled around a screen at the top of the arc, lost her defender and continued down the far side of the lane for another Bruins' layup.

A few trips later, Emory Miller took the ball at the elbow and looped a pass over the outstretched hand of a defender perfectly finding Mathis on the far block. She was left with a quick pivot to the hoop before putting a shot softly off the glass for another easy two.

Barlow kept it going early in the second quarter when a long pass came down the floor. The Dalles' Kilee Hoylman went high into the air to get her hands on the ball, but she crumpled to the floor on the landing. Shuler pounced on the loose ball and alertly found teammate Annie Koenig alone under the hoop for a 19-12 lead.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Barlows Libby Mathis hauls in a pass and turns to the basket for two of her game-high 15 points in Mondays 64-36 win over The Dalles.

The Dalles would climb back to within three points midway through the quarter, but the Bruins responded with a 10-point run that put the game out of reach before halftime.

Shuler and Hiu combined on a give-and-go to finish a fast break to highlight the scoring spree that would send the Bruins into halftime with a 33-19 lead.

"We started defending the better, forcing them to the right side, and that produced turnovers and got us out on more fast breaks," Mathis said.

The second half started with Miller finding Mathis again inside for an easy two, and Lindsay Barden sank a 3-pointer out of the corner to extend the margin to 38-19.

Barlow would keep the Riverhawks doubled up on the scoreboard through most of the second half.

"When we get a big lead, we want to keep the throttle down," Shuler said. "It's still a chance for us to get better."

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Barlows Emory Miller launches a baseline jumper over a Riverhawks defender in the first quarter.

Late in the third quarter, Shuler set up for an inbounds pass under her own basket. A flash of eye contact was all that was required for teammate Koenig to express that she was wide-open in the corner of the floor. The referee handed Shuler the ball and it immediately went to Koenig, who side stepped a defender and swished a 3-pointer.

Mathis led the Bruins with 15 points and half-a-dozen blocked shots.

The Bruins opened the tournament with lopsided wins over a pair of Washington schools, beating Mercer Island and Battleground by a combined 96 points. A third Washington opponent, Inglemoor, provided a stronger challenge handing Barlow a 52-46 defeat in the semifinals.

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This story is slated for our Friday, Jan. 3, print edition.

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