The Lakers improve to 6-1 in league to remain tied for first place with West Linn

{img:187730}There's no place like home.

Not if you're the Lake Oswego boys basketball team, anyway.

The Lakers ran their 2017-18 home record to 5-0 on Friday night, beating Tigard 64-42 in a battle of 5-1 Three Rivers League teams at Lake Oswego High School.

"It was a great win," said Lake Oswego senior wing J.R. Schilling, who led all scorers with 17 points on 7 of 13 shooting from the floor (including one 3-pointer) and a 2 of 2 day at the foul line. "We just did what we do on the home court — we haven't lost here yet — and it was a great win. It's a big-time game."

"That's kind of what we focus on on the home court with every team," said Laker senior post Shawn Elliott, who added 12 points on 5 of 10 shooting from the field and a 2 of 2 day at the free throw line (along with four steals and two assists). "It's just a huge advantage so we try to take advantage of it."

With the win — the team's third straight — the Lakers improved to 6-1 in the TRL (12-5 overall) to remain tied with West Linn for first place. Tigard — which played without 6-foot-6 senior post Austin Dufort due to illness — saw its five-game winning streak snapped and fell to 5-2 and second place in the TRL (9-7 overall).

"We came out flat in the first half and the second half," said Tigard junior wing Stevie Schlabach, who led his team with 12 points on 5 of 12 shooting from the field and a 2 of 2 day at the foul line (along with three blocks, three assists and two steals). "We definitely need to play better and we can't turn the ball over 20 times when we're playing a good team and expect to come out with a win."

"We played, not poorly, but we didn't play our best on defense," added Tigard junior wing Jazz Ross, who finished with seven points on 3 of 5 shooting from the field (including one 3-pointer) and also had four assists. "We definitely should have got more stops. And like our coach said, they're a good team and if you play bad against a good team, you're going to get your butts kicked."

The Lakers opened Friday's game at a dead sprint, hitting four of their first six shots (including "threes" by Brandon Roberts and Schilling) and taking a 10-0 lead when Roberts took a Josh Angle pass and scored left-handed with 4 minutes, 33 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Tigers, however, rallied back into contention after missing their first seven shots of the game. Schlabach knocked down three straight shots in less than two minutes, freshman Drew Carter buried a 3-pointer, and sophomore Max Lenzy made a steal and converted on the fast break to bring his team within 14-12 with 42 seconds left in the period.

The Tigers were still within 21-15 when Schlabach drove the baseline and scored on a reverse with 5:32 to go in the half, but the Lakers scored 12 of the final 19 points in the half to grab a 33-24 lead. Schilling collected eight straight points in that stretch — six of those on back-to-back three-point plays — and junior Grant Fuson ended the run when he took an Angle pass and scored on the fast break.

The Tigers got an early "three" in the second half from senior Jake Leavitt to move within 35-27, but Lake Oswego closed the quarter on a 14-4 run to extend its edge to 49-31. Elliott scored on back-to-back possessions early in the period, Schilling hit twice and Angle added a 3-pointer to knock the Tigers back on their heels.

In that same span, Tigard made 2 of 4 shots but also turned the ball over five times in the final 6:16 of the frame.

"Coach (Marshall Cho) was saying that once we get up 10 or 12, that's when we really have to punch them," Elliott said, "so we were really aggressive and trapped them and got some turnovers and got some easy layups."

"Another thing that hurt us was we turned the ball over a lot," Ross said. "We've got to play smarter. You can't do that against a team like that."

Tigard inched back within 49-36 when Ross took a Carter pass and buried a 3-pointer from the left corner with 5:15 left in the game, but Lake Oswego made sure the Tigers got no closer, ending the game on a 15-6 run highlighted by four more points from Elliott and a three-point play by Angle.

For the game, Lake Oswego forced 13 turnovers and gave the ball back just nine times, with Angle adding 13 points and seven assists, and Sam Abere providing three steals and a key defensive effort against Schlabach. Lenzy added eight points for Tigard.

In upcoming games, Lake Oswego play at Newberg at 7 p.m. Tuesday, while Tigard hosts West Linn at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Contact Sports Editor Miles Vance at 503-330-0127 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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