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LO girls make strides in first two league games

The Lakers battle West Linn and Canby but open 0-2 in TRL play

Photo Credit: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lake Oswego's Gillian Mair finishes off a fast break after coming up with a defensive steal during the Lakers' league-opening game at home against West Linn last week. Although the wins haven't shown up in league play yet, the Lake Oswego girls basketball team is off to a strong start and continuing to show vast improvement from where the program was a few years ago.

Last Friday, the Lakers battled West Linn, a preseason top-10 team, until the final horn, leading at the half before cooling off in a 50-42 defeat.

The Lakers opened the game hot from behind the three-point line. Gabby Bruno hit a pair of deep shots to stake her team to an 8-6 advantage and Lake Oswego was tied with the Lions 13-13 after the first quarter.

Lake Oswego played with confidence, handling West Linn's pressure with ease and working the ball for good shots.

Morgan McKinney came alive in the second quarter with back-to-back baskets and Lake Oswego would lead 21-15, its largest advantage of the game.

Bruno would hit her third three-pointer of the half later in the quarter as the Lakers clung to a 24-22 advantage at the break.

However, West Linn made some key adjustments at halftime. Lake Oswego had controlled the paint earlier in the game, forcing the Lions into taking jump shots and doing a nice job on the glass.

But West Linn made a concerted effort to work the ball inside more in the third quarter and was more aggressive at the rim.

The Lions would grab the lead and hold the Lakers to just seven points in the quarter but Lake Oswego still only trailed 34-31.

West Linn opened the fourth quarter on a 7-2 run as it started to seize control of the game but senior Julianna Ramey did her best to keep her team within striking distance.

Ramey had 10 of her 14 points in the second half, hitting a deep three-pointer after a Gillian Mair steal and basket to make it a five-point game with less than two minutes to play.

But West Linn hit its free throws down the stretch and was able to grind out the victory.

On Tuesday, Lake Oswego took on another strong squad in Canby and this time it struggled a bit against the press.

The Lakers were stymied by turnovers in a 53-39 loss. The Cougars also had their outside shooting touch working early in the contest, draining five three-pointers to jump out to a big lead.

Lake Oswego continued to battle with Ramey again leading the charge in the fourth quarter but it wasn't enough to overcome the Cougars who dropped Lake Oswego to 0-2 in league.

The Lakers will play Tualatin Friday and then LaSalle in a non-league competition before gearing up for the Interstate Shootout.

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