Lake Oswego girls shine in Battle of the Lake win over Lakeridge
It hasn't all been easy for the Lake Oswego girls basketball team this year.
The Lakers opened the year with a revamped lineup, a tough schedule and just three wins in their first 10 games.
And all that's what made Friday's 54-40 win over Lakeridge in the twice-yearly Battle of the Lake so rewarding. The Lakers led 10-5 after the first quarter, 23-12 at the half and 35-17 at the end of three periods before the Pacers rallied late in the contest.
"It was good," said Lake Oswego junior wing Taylor Anders, who finished with nine points in the victory. "We're working a lot on our energy on the court so that was a big deal for us. I think our energy and our bench energy and our willingness to be there for each other was what won us the game."
"I think what helped us win the game tonight was our energy," agreed Lake Oswego freshman post Kilyn Dawkins, who led all scorers with 17 points. "In past games, we didn't have the energy that we had tonight, but when we had it, we kind of smacked them with it and kept going."
With the win, the Lakers improved to 1-2 in Three Rivers League play and 4-7 overall, while the Pacers fell to 1-2 in league and 7-4 overall.
"Even when we did get tips and steals on defense, we started not running our offense and playing a little bit frazzled on the offensive end," said Lakeridge junior wing Brooke Clinton, who led her team with 13 points. "I think if we would have just slowed ourselves down … I think we would have had this game in our hands."
"We came in thinking it was going to be easier than it was and they showed that they came to play and they wanted it more," said Lakeridge freshman wing Addie Reardon, who scored five points on Friday.
The Lakers built their Friday win on defense, holding the Pacers to single-digit scoring in each of the game's first three periods and giving themselves plenty of time to build a solid lead before Lakeridge's offense finally got going.
The Lakers pushed out to a 10-5 lead in the first quarter, then saw Anders score five points (including a three-pointer) and Dawkins four in the second period as they extended their lead to 23-12 at halftime.
There was more trouble ahead for the Pacers in the third quarter, too. Lakeridge missed all seven of its shots from the field in the third, turned the ball over five times and scored just five points from the foul line (three of those from sophomore Abbi Fedrizzi).
The Lakers, meanwhile, saw Dawkins hit all four of her shots from the floor and 2 of 3 free throws to score 10 of her 17 points in the frame.
"I felt good," Dawkins said. "We swung the ball around nice which moved the defense and got me open and got us good looks outside and we made good passes outside for the 'three.'"
The Lakers extended their lead to 35-15 when Dawkins took an Anders pass, scored on the fast break and turned the sequence into a three-point play with 1 minute, 8 seconds left in the quarter.
Lake Oswego's lead eventually crested at 25 points in the fourth quarter, the last time at 48-23 when sophomore Megan Woolard took a Janie Ruttert pass and drilled a three-pointer with 4:33 left in the contest.
But the Pacers, to their great credit, kept playing hard and finally found their offensive rhythm in the game's final minutes. They closed the game on a 17-6 run highlighted by three-pointers from Reardon and Clinton, and nine points from Maddie Grimes in the last 2:59 of the game.
"The good thing about this league is that you get to play each team twice and we're going to come to their gym ready to play for sure," Clinton said.
"Anything can happen in these games, especially with rivalries," Reardon added. "I think we learned that we have to come ready to play and practice how we want to play."
Ruttert added 10 points for Lake Oswego while Laura Barton had seven for Lakeridge.