Jefferson boys basketball edges away to beat Lake Oswego 68-57
The Lake Oswego boys basketball team showed powerful Jefferson just what it was capable of in the first half of their Wednesday, May 26, game at Lake Oswego High School.
But the second half showed that the youthful Lakers — they return just one starter from a year ago — still have a lot to learn, squandering a nine-point second-quarter lead on the way to a 68-57 non-league loss to the Democrats.
"I think a lot of it was fatigue in the COVID season," said Lake Oswego senior Trace Salton, who led the Lakers with 26 points on 10 of 22 shooting from the floor (with two 3-pointers) and 4 of 6 free throws. "We were getting tired, but a lot of it, I think, was we were more connected in the first half than the second half."
"In the first half, we were swinging the ball and we showed patience," said senior Ryan Hooper, who added 12 points on 4 of 7 shooting (with two "threes") from the field and 2 of 2 foul shots. "I would have liked to see us get back better in transition defense and stop them (in the second half). That's their style of game, just running the ball."
The Democrats were led by junior Lamar Washington's 29 points on 9 of 21 shooting from the field (with one 3-pointer) and 10 of 15 free throws. Senior Brandon Hopson added 15 points on 5 of 11 shooting (with one "three) and 4 of 4 foul shots, and junior Trejon' Williams scored 13 points on 6 of 7 shooting from the floor and 1 of 5 free throws.
With the loss — the Lakers' second straight and third in four games — Lake Oswego fell to 1-3 overall (the Lakers are also 1-2 in Three Rivers League play). Jefferson, meanwhile, won for the fourth straight time and improved to 4-0 overall (the Demos are also 2-0 in Portland Interscholastic League play).
The Democrats broke on top early to lead 6-0 while the Lakers missed their first six shots from the field and turned the ball over twice in the game's first 3 minutes, 33 seconds. Washington did most of the damage in the first quarter for Jefferson, scoring seven points on 3 of 5 shooting and one foul shot.
But Lake Oswego closed the quarter on a 13-5 run to take a 13-11 lead, with Salton shaking off a slow start to turn in a three-point play and back-to-back pull-up jump shots for seven points of his own.
The Laker defense, which forced seven Jefferson turnovers in the first quarter, came up with another five takeaways in the second period and used a more efficient effort on offense to take control.
Lake Oswego outscored Jefferson 15-8 in the first 4:34 of the period to extend its lead to 28-19, getting a 3-pointer from Hooper, a putback from Max Archambo, another "three" by Marcus Lee, another basket by Archambo, a baseline jumper from Lee and a Hooper 3-pointer from the right corner with 3:26 left in the half.
But the Demos steadied themselves down the stretch, got four points from Hopson in the final two minutes of the period and closed within 32-28 at the break.
The third quarter was a pitched battle that featured four ties — the first at 34-34 on Hopson's fast break "three" from the right corner two minutes into the period — before the Democrats took the lead for good at 42-40 on two Washington foul shots near the end of the frame.
The Lakers were still within 49-46 when Salton buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key midway through the fourth quarter, but Jefferson held the upper hand down the stretch. Hopson and Washington led the way there, with Hopson hitting four straight free throws and one field goal, while Washington added nine points in the final 2:35 to seal his team's win.
"We're still playing for each other, we're still trying to take the charge, to make the extra pass, but we weren't on the same page like we were in the first half," Salton said.
Despite the loss, Hooper saw lots to like about his team's performance in the first half.
"Before the game, our keywords were 'poise' and 'patience' and I thought we took those to heart in the first half," he said. "We were just swinging the ball and playing for our teammates and hitting open shots."
Archambo added six points and Lee five in the loss.
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