West Linn girls basketball powers past Lakeridge 62-43
The Lakeridge girls basketball team got the statement win it wanted on June 4.
West Linn's girls, however, are determined to make a statement every game.
The Lions proved that big-time on Wednesday, June 9, when they routed the Pacers 62-43 at West Linn High School.
"We just wanted to come out strong because we knew that they beat Tualatin the other night so we just wanted to make sure that we are the most dominant team in the league," said West Linn senior Payton Shelstad, who finished with eight points on 3 of 10 shooting from the floor (with one 3-pointer and a 1 of 2 day at the foul line), along with six rebounds, four steals, two assists and one block. "After our loss to South Medford, I think that really stirred something in us to make us want to stomp on everyone from the get-go."
Junior wing Campbell Sheffield said her team's defense played a key role in the victory.
"I think we stayed glued to our players really well because that was our plan coming in," said Sheffield, who finished with six points (on 3 of 7 shooting from the field), along with nine rebounds and one blocked shot. "(We just wanted) to stay glued to our player and not let them shoot the 'three' and I think we did a good job doing that."
With the win — the Lions' sixth in their last seven games — West Linn improved to 7-0 in Three Rivers League play and 7-2 overall. Next up, the Lions will host St. Mary'a for their Senior Night at 7 p.m. Friday, June 11.
The Pacers — who handed previously unbeaten Tualatin its only loss on June 4 — saw their five-game winning streak snapped and fell to 6-2 in TRL play and 6-2 overall.
"I think we just didn't come out fully ready," said Lakeridge senior Addie Reardon, who finished with seven points (on 2 of 10 shooting from the floor with two "threes" and a 1 of 2 day at the line), along with four rebounds and one assist. "They scored a couple of baskets early and we weren't hitting and I think that just kind of affected us the whole rest of the game."
"We just needed to play as a team more," said junior Kemper Flood, who finished with 11 points (on 4 of 10 shooting from the field with three 3-pointers and an 0 for 1 day at the foul line), along with five rebounds, two steals and one assist. "I think we started doing that more at the end, but ultimately, it just mattered about how we came out and we just need to be ready for Canby on Saturday."
The Lions — led by 6-foot-3 senior post Aaronette Vonleh's 31 points (on 11 of 16 shooting from the field and a 9 of 14 day at the foul line), along with 13 rebounds and four blocked shots — started the day on an absolute roll.
On offense, West Linn scored on 11 of its 17 first-quarter possessions, getting 14 points from Vonleh to accelerate to a 21-7 lead after one frame. The Pacers, after trailing 11-0 midway through the period, stayed alive thanks to two Flood "threes" — those coming on back-to-back possessions in the final 1 minute, 7 seconds of the stanza — to close within 21-10.
The Lions answered with another sledgehammer of a quarter, dropping a 22-11 edge on the Pacers in the second period that extended their lead to 43-21 at halftime. Vonleh was in the middle of everything again, tacking on another eight points, while senior teammate Cami Fulcher buried two 3-pointers and Sheffield added another four points.
Flood added another five points (including a "three") to try and keep the Pacers competitive, but on this day, it just wasn't enough.
The Pacers notched a 13-11 scoring edge in the third quarter — Reardon hit a pair of 3-pointers and Lakeridge closed within 52-32 when junior Reese Ericson rebounded her own miss and scored late in the frame — but still trailed by 20 (at 54-34) entering the fourth period.
From there, Reardon rebounded a missed Flood free throw, got fouled herself and hit one foul shot to cut her team's deficit to 54-37 with 6:29 left on the clock, but the Pacers got no closer down the stretch.
Shelstad scored five of her eight points in the final stanza and helped the Lions keep their comfortable lead down the stretch.
"Our goal is to win league," Shelstad said. "Even though it's a weird season, we still want to win league and dominate so we're just trying to crush every team."
For West Linn, Fulcher added nine points (she went 3 of 10 from the field with two "threes" and a 1 of 2 day at the line), along with eight assists, five rebounds and three steals. For Lakeridge, sophomore Keelie O'Hollaren led the way with 12 points (on 5 of 16 shooting from the field and a 2 of 2 day at the line), along with six rebounds, one steal, one assist and one block.
"I just tried to bring a little energy off the bench and it helped," Flood said. "I thought any mistake wouldn't really matter, so I just … let it go and it ended up falling and I think it really helped. And we played as a team once we got going."
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