West Linn boys power past Lakeridge 76-48
The West Linn boys basketball team did what it needed to do on Tuesday.
The eighth-ranked Lions, still battling for playoff position in the Three Rivers League, led by just eight points midway through the third quarter of its contest at Lakeridge High School, but closed the contest on a 33-13 run that powered its 76-48 victory.
"We started out very slow. We kind of underestimated Lakeridge, but we found a way to come back and just do our thing and get the 'W,'" said West Linn sophomore wing Damiko Tidmore, who finished with 14 points on 3 of 4 shooting from the floor and an 8 of 10 day at the free throw line.
"The first four minutes of the game were just awful," said West Linn sophomore guard Micah Garrett, who led all scorers with 17 points on 3 of 7 shooting from the field (including three 3-pointers) and an 8 of 10 day at the foul line. "But then coach (Tyler Toney) talked to us and we had to pick it up."
With the win — the team's fourth in its past five games — the Lions improved to 9-3 in Three Rivers League play (14-8 overall). No. 43 Lakeridge, meanwhile, lost for a second straight time and fell to 1-11 in league (2-20 overall).
"In the first half, I think we definitely shook them," said Lakeridge senior guard Jake Fedrizzi, who led his team with 15 points on 5 of 15 shooting from the field (including one 3-pointer) and a 4 of 5 day at the line. "But in the second half, we kind of started off with a couple of bad spurts."
The Pacers started with a spurt of their own, getting three early points from senior post Cort Gerot and grabbing a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
But the Lions awakened there, finished the quarter on an 18-3 run over the period's final 3 minutes and 42 seconds and took an 18-10 lead into the second stanza. West Linn senior wing Jalen Thompson and junior guard Drayton Caoile hit two 3-pointers each in the period, and sophomore guard Andre Best tacked on five points in the final 24 seconds of the quarter.
The Pacers hung around though, getting five early second-quarter points from junior Cam Feik (including a three-pointer), Fedrizzi scoring 10 points in the frame and senior Mitch Gerot taking a pass from senior teammate John Struik and scoring inside to bring his team within 29-26 with 1:32 to go in the half.
The Pacers were still within 35-31 when junior Carter Larrance rebounded Fedrizzi's miss and scored early in the third, and trailed just 43-35 on Cort Gerot's two free throws with 4:24 remaining in the period, but the Lions ended Lakeridge's hopes there.
The Lions closed the game on a 33-13 run over the game's final 12 minutes, that span highlighted by seven Tidmore points, six each from Garrett and senior Max Michelon, and five from Best to leave the Pacers behind.
Tidmore explained the importance of his performance in the Lions' second game without senior post Keishon Dawkins, an Oregon State football commit who recently had shoulder surgery that will likely end his basketball season.
"With Keishon going down, I needed to pick up what he left with rebounding and all the stuff he did with the big body," he said.
"We got it down to about 10 or so, but then we brought it back again," Fedrizzi said. "We just need to get over the edge where we're just trying to keep up with guys."
Thompson added 11 and Caoile 10 in the win, while Gerot finished with nine for Lakeridge.