Lake Oswego boys rally past West Linn 58-47 in overtime
The West Linn boys basketball team tried to run away from Lake Oswego right from the start of its Wednesday, Feb. 5, showdown.
Then, after the Lakers responded in the second quarter, the Lions pushed out to another solid lead late in the half.
Lake Oswego countered to tie the game midway through the third period, only to see the Lions pull away yet again.
But when the Lakers responded once more, tied the contest, forced overtime and took control there, it was the Lions who had no answer.
Lake Oswego used an 11-point scoring edge in the extra period and left West Linn behind to win 58-47 at Lake Oswego High School. In the process, the Lakers extended their unbeaten Three Rivers League record to 6-0 while the Lions lost for the first time in TRL play and fell to 5-1.
"We talked about how we hadn't taken advantage of our opportunities earlier in the year and so we were talking about … taking advantage of the opportunities that LO basketball gives us," said Lake Oswego senior guard Jack Chlumak, who led his team with 15 points and 11 rebounds. "And playing West Linn — we were both 5-0 — that's as big an opportunity as you can wish for and we just got the job done."
"We just buckled down and decided that we weren't going to lose this game," said Lake Oswego senior guard Sam Abere, who scored all 10 of his points after halftime. "We are still figuring some things out, but our team, we have a lot of grit and we believe in ourselves. We believe in each other and that's really helped us push through adversity."
With the win — the team's fourth straight — the Lakers improved to 6-0 in TRL play and 10-8 overall. The Lakers are ranked 10th in the latest Class 6A coaches poll and 11th in the OSAA power rankings.
West Linn — fourth in the coaches poll and sixth in the OSAA power rankings — saw its eight-game winning streak snapped and fell to 5-1 in TRL play and 12-6 overall.
"Obviously, it's not going to feel good tonight, but we've just got to get back in the gym tomorrow and get ready for Friday," said West Linn senior guard Micah Garrett, who led all scorers with 17 points, 13 of them before halftime.
"It's going to hurt tonight, but tomorrow, we're back in the gym," added West Linn freshman guard Jackson Shelstad, who broke loose for nine points in the third quarter, but suffered through a 5 of 21 shooting night. "Everybody's going to lose a game. You've just got to bounce back."
The Lions hit the ground running on Wednesday, racing out to a 10-1 lead in the game's first 3 minutes, 29 seconds. In that stretch, Garrett hit twice from the field and added a foul shot, senior guard Bryson Crockett added a 3-pointer and senior post Joe Juhala also hit once from the field.
But the Lakers began their first comeback late in the opening period, putting together a 16-9 run over a span of 5:53 to close within 19-17 midway through the second quarter. Chlumak and Laker senior post Grant Brauner each hit twice from the floor in that stretch, while junior post Trace Salton knocked down four straight foul shots, the last two making it 19-17 with 3:56 to go in the half.
The Lions pushed ahead 28-20 behind a Garrett "three" and baskets from Juhala, Shelstad and senior guard Colton Young, and took a 28-23 lead into the half when Chlumak grabbed a rebound and went coast to coast to score with three seconds remaining.
The Lakers then put together a 7-2 edge at the start of the third quarter, getting two baskets from Abere, a Salton foul shot and a short jumphook in the lane from Chlumak to tie the game for the first time at 30-30 with 3:35 remaining in the period.
The Lions just kept punching, though, coming back with a 13-2 run that seemingly gave them control of the contest at 43-32 when Shelstad hit a floater from the right baseline at the end of the fast break with six seconds remaining in the frame.
The Lions knocked down six straight shots in that span, with Shelstad burying a "three" and hitting four times in a row while Garrett also scored twice.
The Lakers just kept coming, though, getting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from senior guard Casey Graver set up by Abere at the end of the third quarter, and using that shot to kick off a 15-4 run that eventually tied the contest at 47-47 and sent the game into overtime.
Following Graver's shot, the Lions hit just one of their next nine shots from the field (along with 2 of 6 free throws), while the Lakers got four points each from Abere and Chlumak, with Chlumak rebounding a missed Lion free throw and taking it the length of the court to tie the game at 47-47 with 12 seconds remaining.
Then, after each team failed on a chance at the end of the fourth quarter, the Lakers took over in overtime. While the Lions missed all eight of their shots and turned the ball over four times in OT, the Lakers got an Abere basket, two straight scores from Salton (both assisted by Abere), 3 of 4 free throws from Graver in the final 34 seconds, and two more foul shots by Chlumak to forge their team's win.
"We might have gotten down 10 or 11 at one point, but we knew we could come back because we've been in that place before. I just think that preseason and all that stuff got us ready for today," Chlumak said. "We executed at the end just based off our confidence."
"I think we came out playing a little scared and that's not who we are," Abere said. "Once we decided to buckle down and communicate, that in turn led to the kind of amazing defense we can play."
On their end of the court, the Lions promised to learn from their loss and come back stronger.
"I think we are definitely a better team than them, (but) they deserve that game because at the end, we started playing bad," Shelstad said. "They deserve that win, but next game, I think we'll get them."
"I just think that we need to work on our offense. We should have been moving around more," Garrett added. "I don't necessarily think that their defense was better the second half, we just weren't good on offense and we were taking bad shots."
Salton finished with 14 points and Graver 10 for Lake Oswego, while Crockett added nine for West Linn.
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