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Laker boys drop OT game to WL

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN Jason Luhnow pulls down a rebound between a pair of Canby players in Lake Oswego’s win over the Cougars last week. It was a bizarre game as both offense were sluggish to start the game leading to an 11-11 halftime score.

The grind of the high school basketball season slows down a bit over the next two weeks with Three Rivers League teams getting two Tuesdays off in a row due to finals schedules.

For the Lake Oswego boys, the slight break comes at an advantageous time.

The Lakers dropped a heartbreaker in overtime to West Linn last week and then endured a sloppy opening half against Canby before pulling away from the Cougars to move to 2-1 in the TRL.

Lake Oswego had a chance to win the game on the final possession but missed on a strong drive to the basket which forced overtime.

"We haven't closed out games well. That's probably been one of our worst features this year. In all five of our losses we've had the lead," coach Mark Shoff said.

The Lakers had a rough night shooting but got off to a good start in front of the home crowd.

Lake Oswego led 17-14 before West Linn started to get into a rhythm.

The Lions had a good night from three-point range hitting 10 of 23 attempts and West Linn was able to build a 32-28 halftime lead.

Lake Oswego's defense was solid for most of the contest and the team put the clamps on the Lions coming out of the locker room.

The Lakers regained the lead in the third period and took a two-point advantage into the fourth quarter.

West Linn made a concerted effort to slow down Lake Oswego's Calvin Hermanson all night, hounding him away from the ball to limit his touches.

Hermanson would still end up with 16 points while Collin Caslick and Jack Anderson also scored in double figures.

Midway through the final period it looked like the Lakers were starting to pull away as they went up by six points.

But West Linn was resilient and forced overtime.

The Lions scored early in the extra period and were then able to slow the game down, eventually forcing Lake Oswego to foul.

West Linn also rebounded well in overtime and the Lakers' cold shooting finally caught up to them in the 63-60 loss.

"We have to execute better. Right now we just don't know where our shots are coming from," Shoff said.

Then against Canby on Friday, Lake Oswego's shooting took a turn for the worse.

The Lakers only scored two points in the first quarter in what became a comedy of errors at times.

"We couldn't even really get on the guys that much. When you have a guy like Calvin who's one of the best shooters in the state go 0-for-10 in the first half on good shots, it's just one of those nights," Shoff said.

Lake Oswego scored just 11 points in the opening half but, fortunately, the team's defense was stellar as it held Canby to an equally poor shooting percentage.

As a result, the game was tied at the bizarre score of 11-11 heading into the break.

But the Lakers slowly started to find their shooting touch in their newly reopened gym in the third quarter.

Lake Oswego doubled its scoring output from the first half, scoring 23 points and building a double-digit lead which the Lakers were able to maintain in a 50-38 win.

It was a balanced attack on offense for the Lakers. Jason Luhnow led the way with 12 points while all 10 players who got into the game also got into the scorebook.

Lake Oswego will now gear up for the first Civil War game of the year, taking on a dangerous Lakeridge team on the road.

"They could easily be 3-0 in league right now. They're very capable of getting on a run," Shoff said.

The Pacer boys come into the game following a 61-48 loss to Clackamas. Lakeridge was in the game until the final minutes.

After the Cavaliers grabbed a slim early lead, the Pacers fought back multiple times but could never complete the comeback and wore down in the closing minutes.

Lakeridge knocked off Canby last week 49-45 in a defensive showcase.

The Cougars shot the ball well early on but the Pacers held Canby to just five second-quarter points to grab a slim lead at the half.

The score was just 30-27 Lakeridge at the end of the third quarter and the Pacers played a smart final period to seal the win.

Lakeridge was efficient on offense and hit a handful of clutch free throws to pick up its first league victory.

Justin Luevano, Michael Walker and Madison Pihl all scored in double figures.