Lions unbeaten through four home games for first time since 2012-2013 play-in run

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Lions senior guard Drake Dow (22) drives up the court against Forest Grove senior guard Kyle Thompson (20) Tuesday.

The Lions got their wheels rolling again with an 82-78 home win over Class 6A Sunset Wednesday.

St. Helens (4-4 overall) survived the Apollos (2-5) in the second game of a back-to-back, in the first of which Class 6A host Forest Grove (3-4) got away 52-43 Tuesday.

The Lions remain perfect through four home games, improving on their 3-1 start in the friendly confines of the Jungle on the way to the 2012-13 Class 5A play-in round.

"We shot 35 percent from the field [against Forest Grove], 47 percent from [the free throw line], had 20 turnovers and a season-low 30 rebounds," St. Helens coach Jordan Massinger said. "Our team has been under the flu for the past two weeks, but we are trying to persevere and learn from every game. A key stat from this year is [that] we have held a lead up to the third quarter in every game [as of Tuesday] -- seven of seven. We only held leads in seven of 23 games we played last year [and] we won five last year, so all in all we are looking improved."

Jacob Falk's fifth double-double came via 14 points and 13 rebounds, which followed his 17-point, 14-rebound performance in a 70-67 loss Friday, Dec. 15, at No. 8 The Dalles (5-2).

Drake Dow, despite illness, played to 11 points Tuesday after coming away with 16 points and six assists in The Dalles.

"A couple of close games," said Dow, a senior guard. "We didn't quite do everything we wanted against Forest Grove, so we made some changes and got the win tonight [against Sunset]."

Owen Wolfe's six points, 11 rebounds, four steals and five assists proved vital in the Lions' near-upset of The Dalles, especially in tandem with Joe Rea's career-high 25 points.

"We have a lot of talent right now," said Rea, a sophomore guard. "We had a rough start [against Forest Grove], but if we execute plays we'll have better chemistry, and I feel once we're back on track we'll be unstoppable."

St. Helens can keep its home court streak alive against first-time Class 4A champion Seaside, Coach of the Year Bill Westerholm and all-Cowapa League junior guards Chase Januik and Payton Westerholm, who beat the visiting Lions 93-63 last season, as the Seagulls are scheduled to visit at 7:15 p.m. Dec. 27.

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