Lake Oswego boys power past Canby to retain league lead
Day after day and game after game, the Lake Oswego boys basketball is proving that it can play with the Three Rivers League's best.
The Lakers proved it again on Friday, Jan. 31, when they knocked off Canby 59-48 at Lake Oswego High School, keeping their unbeaten TRL record intact.
"Canby is a very well-coached squad with quality league wins on its resume," said Lake Oswego coach Marshall Cho. "We were fortunate to come out with a home win thanks to the cushion we gave ourselves through the first three quarters of play."
With the win — Lake Oswego's third straight and fifth in its last six games — the Lakers (10th in the latest Class 6A coaches poll and 13th in the OSAA power rankings) improved to 5-0 in Three Rivers League play and 9-8 overall. For Canby — the Cougars are 26th in the OSAA power rankings — the loss marked its third straight defeat and dropped its TRL record to 3-3 and its overall mark to 9-9.
The Lakers used their deadly outside shooting and balanced scoring to take control in the first quarter, getting two 3-pointers from senior post Grant Brauner, another "three" from senior guard Jack Chlumak and four points from junior post Trace Salton to take an 15-11 lead.
The Cougars tried to stay close from long range, getting a pair of 3-pointers from sophomore Alexander Evans and another "three" and five points from junior Aftanom Ovchinnikoff.
Lake Oswego was even better in the second period, outscoring Canby 18-11 to boost its lead to 33-22 at the half. Salton led the way with seven points in the stanza, while senior post Jake Archambo added another four and Chlumak tacked on a 3-pointer. Ovchinnikoff stayed hot for Canby, adding five more points while junior guards Riley Knutson and Diego Arredondo both hit "threes."
Then, in the third quarter, the Lakers posted a 12-11 scoring edge over the Cougars that pushed their lead to 45-33, with LO senior guard Sam Abere going for five points, Salton for three and junior guard Grayden Smith adding a 3-pointer.
Arredondo and Ovchinnikoff added four each for Canby and Evans a "three" in the period.
The Cougars battled back as best they could in the fourth quarter behind Ovchinnikoff's six points and five by Knutson, but the Lakers kept them at bay thanks to five points each from Abere and Chlumak to win 59-48.
"We have to show more discipline in finishing out games and we will address that in the coming days of practice, with West Linn coming on Wednesday and the second round of league starting on Friday," Cho added.
For the game, Salton led Lake Oswego with 16 points, followed by Abere and Chlumak with 12 each and Brauner with seven. Ovchinnikoff led all scorers with 20 points, Evans had 11 and Knutson eight in the loss.
Next up, the Lakers will host similarly unbeaten West Linn (5-0 in TRL play, 12-5 overall) for the league lead at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, then host Tualatin at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7.
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