The West Linn girls basketball team recently wrapped up a solid summer season, featuring close to 40 games and some impressive showings in its three tournaments.
The Lions closed out the summer with what has become an annual trip to the San Diego Classic and finished 4-2 against some strong competition.
In pool play, West Linn got off to a terrific start, holding its first two opponents from Savanna and San Dieguito to 39 points combined in a pair of easy victories. West Linn then fell to Huntington Beach 43-25 to take second in its pool.
In bracket play, the Lions picked up a narrow 39-37 win over Canyon County before dropping a back-and-forth battle with Culver City 39-36. But West Linn would close out the tournament on a high note, playing strong defense again in a 39-24 win over Carlsbad.
'This was by far the best we've competed down there in the three years that we've been going,' West Linn coach Glen Lee said. 'They play a different style of basketball down there. It's a little faster, and it's good to see that.'
The showing was one of a handful of highlights for the Lions in the past couple of months. Another high point was the team's victory in the West Salem Tournament, which included wins over Silverton, West Salem, Crescent Valley and Lebanon.
'I was very pleased. We had a few little injuries, but overall we learned a lot and that's what the summer's all about,' Lee said.
Lee made it a point to get as many players into games as possible to see what his squad will look like heading into next winter.
'We're pretty excited. We have our whole back court back with Karly (LeVeque), Julia (Boyd-Helm) and Brittany (Smith) and we have two very strong posts returning who got a lot of minutes later year,' Lee said.
Lee was most impressed with his team's improvement in court awareness.
'We did a good job recognizing who was hot in certain games, and we really learned the important of good ball-handling and what a difference strong guards can make,' Lee said.
West Linn will be returning one of the more experienced teams in the league next year, a league that will be exceptionally strong once again. Oregon City returns another state title contender but, with Clackamas graduating Jen Reese, the Three Rivers League could be more wide open than it's been in a few seasons.