West Linn girls start fast to beat Lakeridge 66-44 on Friday
The West Linn girls basketball team wanted to make a big start.
Lakeridge's girls were looking for a big upset.
In the end, it was the Lions' big post — 6-foot-3 junior Aaronette Vonleh — who made the biggest difference, pouring in 38 points to fuel West Linn's 66-44 win over Lakeridge at Lakeridge High School on Tuesday, Jan. 14.
"West Linn came out with a lot of energy and … Lakeridge was unable to stop Aaronette Vonleh," said West Linn coach Brooke Cates. "This was a great team win for us."
With the win — West Linn's third straight — the Lions (fourth-ranked in the latest Class 6A coaches poll) improved to 1-0 in Three Rivers League play and 7-4 overall. Unranked Lakeridge, meanwhile, saw its two-game winning streak snapped and fell to 0-1 in TRL play and 8-3 overall.
"We really had a tough time putting the ball in the basket early and dug ourselves quite a hole," said Lakeridge coach Jason Brown. "We have to do a much better job of defending their post player. She really hurt us."
The Lions hit the accelerator early and hit it hard, going to Vonleh for six first-quarter points while junior teammate Cami Fulcher added another four and junior Payton Shelstad buried a 3-pointer to stake their team to a 17-7 led at the end of the period.
The Pacers tried to stay close behind senior Abbi Fedrizzi's 3-pointer and a pair of baskets from junior Keely Lipp and sophomore Reese Ericson, but the Lions had more trouble — most of it in the form of Vonleh — waiting in the second quarter.
There, Vonleh broke through for 13 points while the Pacers managed just four as a team and West Linn extended its lead to a commanding 35-11 margin at halftime.
After struggling with its shooting throughout the first half, Lakeridge came to life in the night's final two quarters, with freshman guard/wing Keelie O'Hollaren breaking free for all 18 of her team-high total in the contest's second half.
O'Hollaren poured in nine points in the third quarter and another nine in the fourth — hitting one 3-pointer in the third period and another three in the fourth — while junior Addie Reardon added a pair of third-quarter "threes."
Together, O'Hollaren, Reardon, Lipp and Ericson kept their team within one point of the Lions in the night's final 16 minutes, but the Pacers never made any meaningful inroads against West Linn's big advantage.
The main reason was that the Lions just kept feeding Vonleh and she just kept converting, tacking on another 11 points in the third quarter, and finally, an additional eight in the fourth. For the game, she knocked down 18 of 23 shots from the field and 2 of 7 foul shots.
Beyond Vonleh's 38, junior Audrey Roden added eight points for West Linn and sophomore Alana Molden added six. For Lakeridge, it was O'Hollaren with 18, Lipp with eight and Reardon with six.
"We fought back and eventually started making some shots," Brown said. "We showed some grit and toughness in the second half. We'll do better next time."
"Lakeridge came out the second half with a never-quit attitude and scored 19 in the third quarter," added Cates, noting that her Lions finished with 14 assists and only eight turnovers.
Next up, the Lions will host Tigard at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, while Lakeridge hosts Canby at 7:15 p.m. Friday.
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