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The Lions, playing for the first time since Dec. 20, accelerate to victory Friday.

PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - West Linn senior guard Zeke Viuhkola pulls up for a shot during his team's 66-44 non-league win over Westview at West Linn High School.The West Linn boys basketball team was — to use a horse racing term — champing at the bit.

The Lions, who lost a week's worth of games to a COVID-19 outbreak and hadn't played since Dec. 20, made up for lost time on Friday, Jan. 7, taking out their frustrations on Westview in a 66-44 non-league win at West Linn High School.

"Overall, we've got a lot of things we need to clean up and work on," said West Linn senior guard Zeke Viuhkola, who led all scorers with 21 points in the win. "(But) it was really good to be able to get back out there for another game finally so we can keep trying to get better every week."

"(We've) got a lot to clean up. We were pretty rusty, but played pretty hard as a team," added junior guard Jackson Shelstad, who added 17 points in the victory. "(But it was) great to be back and get the win, and hopefully, build off of it."

With the win, the Lions' fourth straight, West Linn improved to 4-0 overall. Westview, meanwhile, lost for the third straight time and fell to 2-8 overall.

Westview senior post Kohl Sinai led the Wildcats with 11 points, while junior post Amare Rolie added 10 points in the loss.



While West Linn eventually won big, it took a while for the Lions to shake off two weeks' worth of rust. The two teams traded shots in Friday's first quarter, with Viuhkola knocking down two 3-pointers and pouring in eight points, while Shelstad and Hamper each hit "threes" of their own and scored five points in the opening period.

The Wildcats, however, got 3-pointers and five points each from Rolie and sophomore Alex Choi, while Sinai added four points to help Westview stay within 22-18 at the end of the opening quarter.

As competitive as the first quarter had been, the second and third periods were pretty much all West Linn all the time. The Lions, led by Shelstad and Hamper, dropped a 17-5 bomb on the Wildcats in the second quarter to push ahead 39-23 at the half. West Linn kept its foot on the accelerator in the third quarter, too, outscoring Westview 22-9 and extending its margin to 61-32 at the end of the frame.

Shelstad dropped seven points on the Cats in the second quarter and five more in the third, Hamper went for five in the second, and Viuhkola did the rest in the third stanza, hitting two "threes" and breaking out for 10 of his game-high 21 points.

The Lions coasted home from there to win their first game of 2022. Senior wing/post Peyton Durbin added eight points in the victory.

"The main keys for us were just playing really hard and playing our basketball," Viuhkola said.

Next up, the Lions host Sherwood at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, then open Three Rivers League play by hosting Lake Oswego at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12.


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