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The Lakers lead in the first, second and third quarters, but fall short in the fourth

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Lake Oswego senior Brandon Roberts drives to the basket early in his team's 52-40 loss to Jesuit in the semifinals of the Class 6A state tournament at the Chiles Center on Friday.The Lake Oswego boys basketball team was following the script.

The Lakers, a day after blitzing Oregon City in their Class 6A state tournament opener, started fast again on Friday against Jesuit in their tournament semifinal.

Top-seeded Lake Oswego led No. 4 Jesuit by 10 points in the first quarter, by 13 midway through the second and looked for all the world as if it were en route to its first big-school state championship game since 2012.

But the Crusaders had other ideas.

Jesuit battled back within one point in the third period, entered the fourth quarter down just two, then racked up a 14-point scoring edge in the final eight minutes to win 52-40 at the Chiles Center on the University of Portland campus.

"We just got away from what got us there," said Lake Oswego senior Josh Angle, who finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. "Our defensive intensity was good in the first half, but then we had a lot of lapses in the second half."

"I think a lot of it had to do with just us, keeping that same energy that we came out with," said Lake Oswego senior Fred Harding, who added 10 points and seven rebounds in the loss. "They hit shots and we didn't at points — that was a deciding factor as well."

"We always talk about, in these settings, early leads don't last," said Lake Oswego coach Marshall Cho. "We got the lead and we got away from some of the stuff we were doing. Hopefully, this is a lesson that they'll be able to learn and grow from."

With the loss — which snapped the Lakers' eight-game winning streak — Three Rivers League champion Lake Oswego lost for the first time since Feb. 1 and fell to 23-5. Next up, the Lakers will face second-seeded South Salem in the tournament's third-place game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The Mountain Valley Conference champion Saxons (23-5 overall) fell to No. 3 Jefferson 77-63 in its Friday semifinal.

"We look forward to having an opportunity to play again tomorrow," Angle said. "We have another game and … we're excited for the first opportunity to bring home a trophy the Lake Oswego since 2013."

"I love to play basketball with these guys," Harding added. "It's an honor to play for one another. I look forward to coming out and having that chance."

Metro League champion Jesuit, meanwhile, won for the fifth straight time and improved to 22-6 overall. The Crusaders will face Jefferson — the Democrats were second in 2018 and first in 2017 — in the 6A state championship game at 3:15 p.m. Saturday.

Lake Oswego-Jesuit Basketball

As to the Lakers' fast start, Lake Oswego got it done on both ends of the court, knocking down 6 of 11 shots and both its free throws in the first quarter to lead 10-0 6 minutes 20 seconds into the game and 14-5 at the end of the period, with senior Brandon Roberts scoring six points in the stanza.

Defensively, Lake Oswego held Jesuit to just 2 of 8 shooting from the field (with one 3-pointer) while forcing the Crusaders to turn ball over four times.

The Lakers then extended their lead to 20-7 midway through the second quarter when Harding scored from the left block and turned his basket into a three-point play with 4:08 remaining in the half.

While neither team did much offensively in the second quarter — the two teams tied 8-8 in the period — Harding's dunk off a pass from junior Sam Abere with 2:10 left in the half gave the Lakers a 22-13 advantage at the break.

Lake Oswego's lead was still nine when Angle hit a left-handed floater in the lane with 5:53 to go in the third quarter, but the Crusaders began to creep back into contention after that.

In the final 5:09 of the third quarter, Jesuit seniors Aiden Williams and Justin Bieker scored five points each, and junior Matthew Levis added a 3-pointer that brought their team within 31-29 at the end of the period.

Jesuit then grabbed the lead thanks to its long-range marksmanship at the start of the fourth quarter and sealed their win at the foul line, knocking down 13 of 14 free throws in the game's final 1:58.

Williams hit two "3s" in the first 1:34 of the fourth quarter to lead 35-31, and following back-to-back hoops by Bieker, the Crusaders took control at the foul line. Senior Will Sheaffer did the heavy lifting in those final minutes, hitting eight straight free throws while Bieker and sophomore Roy Bunn knocked down two each for Jesuit.

On their end of the floor, the Lakers hit just 2 of 12 shots from the floor in the final quarter and 5 of 8 free throws.

"It boils down to a handful of plays — it could have gone either way," Angle said. "But nevertheless, I'm proud of this group, especially the seniors."

"We had really good energy (early in the game), but there was an obvious dropoff in the second half," Harding added. "I don't feel like we lost that much, but Jesuit came out with more energy and I think it was a mixture of the two, obviously."

McKinney and Roberts added seven points each for Lake Oswego. For Jesuit, Williams finished with 20 points, six rebounds and two steals, and Bieker had 14 points, six rebounds and two steals.

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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