Lake Oswego cant find its offense in a season-ending defeat

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Hannah Plott and the Lake Oswego girls basketball team couldn't mount a second-half comeback in their play-in game at Sunset Friday. The season came to a disappointing end for the Lake Oswego girls basketball team last week as it fell to Sunset in its play-in game 43-29.

The Lakers, who showed more confidence than they had in months in their season-ending victory over Lakeridge, appeared apprehensive against the Apollos and never found a rhythm on offense.

Lake Oswego lost a close game with Sunset in the preseason, losing in the fourth quarter after Julianna Ramey went down with an ankle injury that cost her the majority of the season.

The young Lakers, many of whom were playing in their first sudden death game of their careers, couldn't take advantage of some opportunities early in the second half and stumbled late.

“In some ways it was kind of a carbon copy of that first game. We spotted them an early lead, came back and then lost it down the stretch,” coach Jeff Bair said.

Both teams took a while trying to figure out the opposing defense to start the game. It was a low-scoring affair for the first two quarters and, despite a handful of unforced turnovers against Sunset's man defense and some cold shooting, Lake Oswego did well to stay within striking distance.

“I think both teams were pretty even. For whatever reason we just didn't click on offense and I take the blame for that. I tried to incorporate some things and I think it got us thinking too much,” Bair said.

Lake Oswego's defense was solid for much of the contest, not allowing many second-chance opportunities and limiting the Apollos' in transition.

The Lakers trailed by four at the half and, early in the third quarter, Lake Oswego quickly erased that deficit.

But the tide soon shifted and Sunset was able to convert turnovers into easy buckets, reestablishing the lead.

The Lakers started to rush things, faced with a second-half deficit in a must-win game, and the result was contested shots on offense.

Sunset would build the lead to double digits and advance to the state tournament.

It was a tough finish for Lake Oswego, which finished the regular season with a bit of momentum. However, the future remains bright for the team. The Lakers showed flashes of potential this season and lose just one senior from the entire roster.

Lake Oswego often started four freshmen this year and the bulk of the team consisted of freshmen and sophomores.

“I'm very optimistic. I know we'll improve in the offseason and I think we've found a style that suits us. It's still a rebuilding process though and we know that,” Bair said.

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