West Linn boys rally late to beat Westview 56-47
The Westview boys basketball team came out swinging.
The sixth-ranked Wildcats — playing No. 5 West Linn at West Linn High School on Friday, Jan. 10 — led by nine points midway through the second quarter and were still up by five late in the third.
But the Lions landed all the big shots down the stretch, eventually delivering the knockout punch in the fourth quarter to win 56-47 in its non-league finale.
"It felt really good. It was a close one," said West Linn senior guard Bryson Crockett, who finished with nine points on 3 of 8 shooting from the field (with one 3-pointer), along with three rebounds, three steals and one assist. "It was hard to get to the hoop against them, so in the second half we moved it more and we were smarter with the ball and we got layups and open shots."
"The intensity was high. Two good teams going at it so we had to come prepared," said West Linn senior guard Micah Garrett, who led all scorers with 24 points on 7 of 13 shooting from the floor (with six "threes"), along with four rebounds, two assists and one steal. "On defense, we were losing sight of our guys but we talked about it at halftime and we picked it up."
"The first half, we didn't have enough energy," added senior guard Colton Young, who finished with 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting from the field (including three 3-pointers), along with three rebounds and one steal. "In the second half, we came out with a ton of energy and we played together as a team and we got the win."
With the win — West Linn's second straight — the Lions improved to 6-5 overall, while Westview lost for the second straight time and fell to 7-5 on the year.
For the game, Westview was led by senior wing Wayne Jamison, who finished with 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting from the floor (with one "three"), along with five rebounds, two assists and one steal. Teammate Jalen Grable — a junior wing/post — added 11 points (on 5 of 8 shooting from the field and a 1 of 5 day at the foul line), along with six rebounds and one assist.
Westview's Grable and junior Brady Grier teamed up for nine points in the first quarter, but the Lions answered from long range, getting 3-pointers from Garrett, Young, freshman Jackson Shelstad and Crockett, with Shelstad's "three" from the left corner (assisted by Garrett) giving the Lions a 14-13 edge at the end of the period.
But the first four minutes of the second quarter saw the Wildcats take control with a 14-5 run that gave them a 27-18 lead, a stretch highlighted by seven points from Jamison, four by junior Aiden Grady and a Grier "three" from the top of the key for that nine-point lead with 3 minutes, 46 seconds left in the half.
The Lions answered in the remaining minutes, however, putting together an 11-6 stretch that brought them back within 33-29 at the break. Garrett did most of the damage there, hitting 3 of 4 shots (including two 3-pointers) in the final 3:05 of the quarter, and knocking down a leaning runner from the right side of the key in the final second.
The Wildcats held serve for most of the third quarter, keeping their lead at 37-32 when Grable took a pass from senior Aido Acosta and converted with 2:53 to go in the period. But Westview went 0-2 from the field and turned the ball over three times in the final 2:33 of the period, while the Lions got four points from Crockett, a Garrett "three" and two points each by senior Kelton Herrick and Young to push ahead 43-39 entering the fourth.
The Wildcats pulled back within 46-44 when Jamison hit a pullup jumpshot from the right corner with 4:46 left in the game, but West Linn took over from there, outscoring Westview 10-3 in the game's final 3:50, with Young connecting twice late and Crockett finishing an acrobatic drive against three defenders in the key.
"The first half, they were getting back cuts on us," explained Crockett, who's returning to form after a knee injury. "We practiced it, but it's a hard play to guard so we talked about it at halftime, and in the second half, we came out and we were ready for it."
"We had a talk at halftime and we said we couldn't keep letting them get wide open layups at the basket," Garrett said.
"The first half, (we weren't) as tough, but the second half, we came out with some defensive effort and we were there," Young said.
The Lions — who open Three Rivers League play at Lakeridge at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14 — believe they are in a good position for the league race to come.
"We work hard in practice and we compete so I think everybody's ready," Garrett added. "We've got a really talented team and a really great coach. That will take us a long ways."
For West Linn, senior Parker Durbin added two points, a team-high eight rebounds and two assists.
Westview opens Metro League play when it hosts Southridge at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.