Bulldogs lead by double digits in the first half, but Panthers steal 5-0 run in final minute

The Woodburn boys basketball team played like a top-10 team in the first half of Friday's home contest, but the visiting No. 8 Central Panthers (10-2, 2-0 Mid-Willamette) finished the game like the top-10 team that they are, going on a 5-0 run in the final 45 seconds to steal a win away from the Bulldogs.

PHIL HAWKINS - Woodburn junior Trevor Karsseboom led the Bulldogs with 16 points against the No. 8 Central Panthers in the team's 46-44 loss on Friday.
Woodburn (4-8, 0-2) came out strong against their league rivals from Independence, putting on a defensive showcase in the first half.

Led by the sharp shooting of Trevor Karsseboom and playmaking ability of Justice Ashpole, the Bulldogs controlled the first two quarters of play on Friday, building a 12-point lead at one point before heading into the lockers with a 27-17 advantage over the Panthers.

But Central roared to life in the second half, doubling their score in the third quarter to cut Woodburn's lead to 37-34 heading into the final eight minutes of play.

The Panthers took their first lead since going up 2-0 in the first quarter on a breakaway layup to go up 40-39 with four minutes left.

But the Bulldogs fought back, retaking the lead on a 3-pointer from Victor Ramirez with two minutes left on a deft pass from Elias Barajas to go up 42-40.

After the Panthers went 1-of-2 on free throws on the other end, Karsseboom took the rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup to increase Woodburn's lead to 44-41 with 45 seconds left in the game.

That's when the Panthers went on their final run, hitting a field goal on their next possession to cut Woodburn's lead to 44-43, then forcing the Bulldogs into a turnover that led to a layup from Brendan Lesmeister with 5.6 seconds left in the game.

Lesmeister was fouled on the play and hit the ensuing free throw to put the Bulldogs behind by two.

Karsseboom had a contested shot to win the game from near the top of the 3-point line, but it hit the front of the rim just before time expired.

Karsseboom led the team with 16 points in the loss, while Ashpole added six points, 11 rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals.

Earlier in the week, the Bulldogs dropped a 77-60 game at South Albany (9-3, 2-0) to open their Mid-Willamette Conference schedule.

Woodburn continues its league slate on the road this week with games at Dallas (2-9, 1-1) and No. 1 Silverton (10-1, 2-0).

Phil Hawkins can be reached at 503-765-1194 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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