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West Linn clips Lady Viks

BASKETBALL: Forest Grove plays visiting West Linn to the wire but loses a close game
by: Tommy Whitcomb, Forest Grove junior Alaura Miller tries to get off a shot during last Friday's non-conference game against West Linn.

Forest Grove had chances to knock off No. 7 West Linn last Friday night, but couldn't make quite enough plays on the offensive end in a 50-42 non-conference setback.

Forest Grove (2-5) trailed 43-40 with under three minutes to play and came up with two big defensive stops, but the Lady Vikings turned the ball over twice in a row on offense and West Linn (7-1) iced the game from the free throw line.

'We made the defensive plays to give ourselves a chance, but we went down and turned the ball over on two straight possessions,' said Forest Grove head coach Po Waiwaiole. 'We didn't get a shot, let alone have a quality possession.'

Both teams played at less than full strength. West Linn was without star Rosetta Adzasu, who torched Forest Grove for 19 points and eight assists during the teams' meeting last season. Forest Grove, meanwhile, played three quarters of Friday's game without senior Kendra Berning, who injured her arm early and sat out after scoring just four points.

April Maslen picked up the scoring slack for Forest Grove with a season-high 12 points.Taylor Janac had seven points and freshman Michelle Vandebergh added five.

'It was tied at halftime and I thought we had outplayed them in the first half,' Waiwaiole said. 'They came out guns blazing in the third quarter and started to pull away. But April came in and kept us close. It was her best offensive game of the year. She worked her tail off.'

West Linn got 14 points from Emily Wattman-Turner and nine from freshman Amy Chistensen.

'We didn't play horribly. We made some mistakes,' Waiwaiole said. 'It was just the accumulation of things. We would give up some easy baskets, we would turn the ball over on a three-on-one. It wasn't because we didn't do the big things we've been working on all season - it was just a lot of little things that added up.'

Forest Grove will travel to Redmond this week for a holiday tournament. The Lady Vikings will play Hillsboro on Thursday, Redmond on Friday and Hood River Valley on Saturday.