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Laker boys take over second place at midway point in league

After playing in a pair of games that were a bit too close for comfort against Lakeridge and West Linn, the Lakers completed a stellar first half of the league schedule with one of their best efforts of the year.

Lake Oswego knocked off Clackamas 51-40 to take sole possession of second place, just one game behind No. 1 Oregon City. The Lakers took an early lead, withstood a spirited rally by the Cavaliers and won a free throw contest in the final minutes of the game to preserve the victory.

'It was one of our better games this year and it was one where we had to play well to win,' coach Mark Shoff said.

Perhaps the biggest bright spot of the evening was the play of Max Jacobsen, who had struggled in the team's two previous contests.

Jacobsen, who failed to reach double digits in scoring against Lakeridge and West Linn, poured in 26 points, over half of his team's offensive output. He was aggressive when he received the ball and made life difficult for the Clackamas defenders.

'Max was more forceful. He didn't hesitate. He hit some shots early and that got him going,' Shoff said.

The team also benefited from the return of Scott Leedy to the line-up who had been sidelined with an injury.

Lake Oswego knocked the Cavaliers on their heels early. Catlin Blyth hit a three-pointer and the Lakers fed Jacobsen inside as the Lakers built an early seven-point lead after the opening quarter.

Lake Oswego threatened to blow the game open in the second quarter but every time the Lakers would start a run, Clackamas would hit a big shot to stay in the game.

The lead stayed at seven points heading into halftime and, after the break, the Cavaliers came out with renewed energy.

Clackamas quickly made it a one-possession game. Lake Oswego recovered enough so as not to give up the lead and continued to have an advantage in the paint.

The Lakers also played good defense for the majority of the contest and they were able to keep their slim advantage early in the final quarter. Lake Oswego continued to get the ball close to the basket and, as a result, got to the line as well.

The Lakers were far from perfect, hitting 13 of 22 foul shots in the period but it was enough to bolster the lead.

Late in the game Clackamas was forced to foul intentionally to prevent the Lakers from running out the clock. Lake Oswego only knocked down two field goals in the final quarter but the Cavaliers' shooting touch went south down the stretch and allowed Lake Oswego to pull away for the big victory.

'It was good to see the guys respond after some tough games against Lakeridge and West Linn. They played with more urgency and I was pleased with their mental effort,' Shoff said. The Lakers rolled through the opening six games of their league schedule with only a loss to top-ranked Oregon City as a blemish. And Shoff hopes for similar success from his team in the final weeks of the regular season.

'It's not how you start, it's how you finish. I'd like to go 5-1 again and 6-0 would be great. This is the time of year when the good teams start getting better,' Shoff said.

Game scoring

Clackamas 7 10 13 10: 40

Lake Oswego 14 10 10 17: 51

Clackamas:

Seiler 11, Earnest 9, Bankoffer 6, Papenfuss 5, Mauerman 4, Young 3, Coleman 2, Huff, Rowland.

Lake Oswego:

Jacobsen 26, Babcock-Krenk 12, Halberg 4, Leedy 3, Blyth 3, Randall 2, Rulli1, Anthony.