Lake Oswego girls muscle past Lakeridge 47-38
The 2018 season has been a battle for the Lake Oswego girls basketball team.
The same can be said for the Lakeridge girls squad.
So it only made sense that when the two teams matched up on Friday for the second yearly Battle of the Lake, it was another toe-to-toe confrontation.
In the end, the Lakers broke open a tight contest with a strong third quarter, held off a determined Pacers rally down the stretch and held on to beat Lakeridge 47-38, Lake Oswego's second win of the year over Lakeridge.
"We came into halftime and we knew we weren't playing up to our potential so we kind of talked about the game plan we talked about before the game and we just turned it all around with a lot of energy," said Lake Oswego junior guard Katy Gilbert, who finished with 10 points, eight of those in the fourth quarter. "Everyone was really excited. The energy lifted everybody that was on the court."
"Everyone worked really hard and put up a hundred percent effort," said Laker freshman guard Janie Ruttert, who added 10 points of her own in the win. "Even when it got a little chippy out there, we stayed together as a team. And even when the other team got mad at us, we all had each other's back."
With the win, the Lakers' second straight, No. 33 Lake Oswego improved to 4-7 and sixth place in Three Rivers League play (7-12 overall). No. 30 Lakeridge, meanwhile, lost for a fourth straight time and fell to 3-8 and eighth in the TRL (9-10 overall).
"I feel that we competed hard against (Lake Oswego) on Friday and never gave up," said Lakeridge coach Jason Brown. "Unfortunately, we had a very poor shooting night. … (If) we get a few more of our shots to fall and the outcome could be much different."
Both teams hit the court with their focus on defense, and both offenses suffered the effects of that effort, with the Lakers leading just 6-2 at the end of the first quarter on two baskets from freshman post Kylin Dawkins and another hoop from Ruttert.
While the Pacers managed just one basket by senior Laura Barton in the opening quarter, they rallied with a 9-8 edge in the second and cut the Lakers lead to 14-11 at the half. Senior guard Sierra Zevenbergen hit twice from the floor, Barton scored again and freshman Addie Reardon sank a pair of foul shots to help cut the LO lead to three.
But the Lakers hit their offensive stride in the third quarter, opening the second half on a 15-6 run that boosted Lake Oswego's lead to 29-17.
Gilbert started that stretch with a steal and a fast break hoop and junior guard Taylor Anders followed with a 3-pointer assisted by Ruttert that gave their team a 19-13 lead with 6 minutes, 30 seconds left in the period.
Then, after Lakeridge junior Brooke Clinton hit a pair of foul shots to make it 19-15, Lake Oswego came back with three straight baskets, the first an Anders shot in the lane following a Pacer turnover, the second a Ruttert pull-up on the fast break and the third a Dawkins inside hoop assisted by Anders that made it 25-15 with 4:20 to go in the period.
Lakeridge sophomore Abbi Fedrizzi stopped the bleeding momentarily with a drive down the left side of the lane, but the Lakers then tacked on two more Anders hoops for that 29-17 edge, the first a fast break basket assisted by Dawkins and the second a left-handed layin with 2:25 remaining in the third.
Gilbert extended that lead to 37-23 — the biggest of the game — when she banked home a shot from the left side with 5:24 left in the game, but the Pacers weren't quite done yet.
They answered with a 13-6 run over a span of 3:23 spearheaded by Reardon and the Pacer defense. The Pacers forced four Laker turnovers in that stretch while Reardon hit two free throws, scored on a drive, then banked home a shot and turned it into a three-point play.
The Lakers held firm with a Gilbert "three" and a Ruttert shot from the left wing, but the Pacers just kept coming, getting an Anna Garrison basket inside, two Fedrizzi foul shots, and finally, two more Reardon free throws to close within 42-36 with 1:26 left to play.
But the Lakers put the game away in the final 1:17 with two Dawkins free throws, another from Gilbert and an Anders fast break hoop assisted by Gilbert to end it.
"We all came together after the first half and realized we can play better than we were playing … and we just turned it around," Gilbert said.
For their part, the Pacers vowed to learn from their Friday loss and come back better and stronger.
"I expect that we will come out ready for battle the remainder of our games, and that we will continue to play with confidence," Brown said.
Anders led all scorers with 13 points and Dawkins added 12 for Lake Oswego, while Reardon had 11, and Fedrizzi, Zevenbergen and Clinton added six each.
Next up, Lake Oswego plays at West Linn at 7 p.m. Tuesday and hosts Sherwood at 7 p.m. Friday, while Lakeridge hosts Sherwood at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and hosts St. Mary's at 7 p.m. Friday.