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Lions cool off Lakeridge girls

by: VERN UYETAKE Lakeridge’s Anna Gassner battles for a loose ball against West Linn’s Brittany Smith in last week’s league opener against the Lions.

In basketball, the game after an emotional and draining victory is always a tough task.

The Lakeridge girls basketball team found that out the hard way on Friday when it had to follow up its double-overtime win against a ranked Beaverton team by taking on a solid West Linn team in its league opener.

The Lions were focused from the opening tip and Lakeridge never found its rhythm in a 56-37 loss.

Before Friday's game, Lakeridge's lowest scoring output of the season had been 49 points but West Linn played stingy defense and the Pacers were ice cold from the outside.

The Lions jumped on Lakeridge right from the start, bolting to a 13-4 lead as they had their way with the Pacers in the paint.

West Linn fed its two posts and out-rebounded Lakeridge 16-5 in the opening stanza.

Rebounding has been an issue for the Pacers all season long and the Lions exploited that weakness, out-rebounding Lakeridge by 30 in the game.

West Linn led 17-8 after the first quarter and never looked back.

The Lions' Julia Boyd-Helm had a terrific night on both ends of the floor as she led West Linn in scoring and also guarded Kyleigh Young and Nicole Blizzard throughout the game.

Lakeridge was held to just 13 points in the first half, nine of which were scored by Young.

The Pacers also didn't hit a three-pointer in the first two quarters, something that is normally a signature for the team.

Lakeridge stopped the bleeding somewhat in the fourth quarter and got three-pointers from Ellee Daskalos and Colleen Ellis but could never make a significant dent in the Pacers' lead.

The Lions were a bit sloppy in the third quarter but continued to dominate on the glass and led 44-30 heading into the final quarter.

West Linn would eventually up that lead to 20 points as it put the contest away quickly.

Blizzard scored six of her 12 points in the fourth quarter but the Lions came away with the big win.

Lakeridge was scheduled to play Canby on Tuesday but the game was postponed until Wednesday evening.

Lakeridge will then host Clackamas on Friday.