Lake Oswego girls get tested in Nike Interstate Shootout
Things won't come easily for the Lake Oswego girls basketball team this year.
With only four returning varsity players from a team that went 4-21 a year earlier, the Lakers know the challenges that lie ahead.
They got some first-hand experience that reinforced all of that during the 2019 Nike Interstate Shootout, held Dec. 27-30 at Lake Oswego High School.
The Lakers opened the 16-team tournament with a 55-48 loss to Milwaukie on Friday, Dec. 27, followed up with a 41-39 defeat to the The Dalles on Saturday, Dec. 28, then dropped a 35-25 decision to Sherwood on Sunday, Dec. 29.
While the Lakers were disappointed with their results, they knew that every challenge they faced would help them get better.
"I think that we just need to play harder and know that each game is not going to be easy," said Lake Oswego junior Emma Jeanson. "We just need to work on our skills and make shots and everyone needs to know their personnel and work hard."
"Our biggest weakness is our experience because there's only four of us who are returning varsity members and you just can't replicate game experience in practice," said Lake Oswego senior Megan Woolard. "So for us to be able to compete with any team at that level, it will just boost our confidence and our ability to perform."
After their three losses at the start of the Nike Interstate Shootout, the Lakers saw their 2019-20 season record fall to 2-6.
Editor's Note: The Lakers concluded their participation in the Interstate Shootout on Monday, Dec. 30, after the Lake Oswego Review's print deadline.
Milwaukie 55, Lake Oswego 48: The Lakers were dead in the water at the start of the tournament opener, managing just two baskets in the first quarter while Milwaukie broke loose to take a 21-4 lead behind Polly Raugust's 10 points and another eight from Cali Denson.
"We've just got to make sure we start faster," said Lake Oswego sophomore Kate Anders, who finished with 14 points in the loss. "We just started the first quarter had we didn't have any energy or intensity."
To their great credit, however, the Lakers began to battle back in the second quarter, outscoring the Mustangs 19-10 behind Anders' three 3-pointers and another two "threes" from Woolard to close within 31-23 at halftime.
Lake Oswego kept its foot on the accelerator in the second half, too, getting seven third-quarter points from Jeanson, five by Anders and a "three" from Woolard to tie Milwaukie 38-38 at the end of the frame.
The Lakers took their first lead at 44-41 when Woolard buried a 3-pointer two minutes into the fourth, but Denson took over down the stretch, scoring 11 of her game-high 29 points in the final period to give her team the win.
Woolard hit five 3-pointers in the contest and led her team with 15 points, while Anders added 14 and Jeanson 13.
The Dalles 41, Lake Oswego 39: The Lakers were competitive again in their second contest at the Shootout, pushing The Dalles to the very end before the Riverhawks pulled away late to win.
The Dalles led 11-7 at the end of the first quarter and 22-15 at the half, and still led 28-23 entering the fourth period. But Anders did her best to shoot the Lakers back into contention, knocking down three 3-pointers and scoring 11 of her game-high 18 points in the final eight minutes.
On this day, however, it wasn't enough. The Dalles got four points each in the fourth quarter from Kilee Hoylman and Rainie Codding, as well as a 3-pointer by Jenna Miller, to secure its win.
Jeanson added nine points for Lake Oswego in the loss, while Hoylman and Codding led the Riverhawks with 11 points apiece.
Sherwood 35, Lake Oswego 25: Former Three Rivers League foe Sherwood provided another stern test on Sunday, grabbing a 12-6 lead at the end of the opening frame, and holding LO to just a single basket in the second quarter while boosting its lead to 17-8 at halftime.
Jeanson rallied her team in the third quarter, though, breaking loose for 11 points (including three 3-pointers) to bring the Lakers back within 23-19.
But Sherwood stepped up in the final quarter, getting five points from Julia Leitzinger and another four by Amanda Jensen to keep Lake Oswego at bay.
For the game, Jeanson led the Lakers with 15 points and Anders added another 10. Klaira Ray led the Lady Bowmen with 11.
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