The Lions force more than 30 turnovers to pull away from Lake Oswego at home

by: VERN UYETAKE - Courtney Landis splits a pair of Lake Oswego defenders in West Linn's victory on Friday.Playing in front of a large crowd that gathered in support of Steve Forsyth, a West Linn resident who was killed in the Clackamas Town Center shooting, the West Linn girls outlasted Lake Oswego at home 72-45 on Friday.

A terrific showing on offense in the first half allowed the Lions to build a 21-point lead at the half which the Lions held onto against a young Lakers squad.

Both teams started the game hot with Lake Oswego knocking down its first four shots.

But the Lions were anything but fazed and went 8-for-13 in the quarter, which included three three-pointers. Guard Ashley Johnson knocked down two of those shots from behind the arc and had eight points in the period.

West Linn also forced eight turnovers in the first half, getting three steals from Hannah Matthiessen.

The Lions led 24-14 at the end of the first quarter and quickly extended that lead.

Lake Oswego opened the second period with turnovers on four straight possession. The Lakers had 21 turnovers in the first half which allowed West Linn to take control of the game.

“It took us a little while to get going but then we stepped on the gas in the second quarter,” coach Glen Lee said.

Johnson stayed hot as well, hitting another three-pointer and pouring in 15 points in the half.

Post Morgan Haskin was also effective when she was in the game, finishing with eight points and five rebounds but her minutes were limited due to foul trouble.

“We've been so pleased with Morgan's process. She's just getting stronger every day and been a huge plus for us,” Lee said.

Courtney Landis also made her presence known, particularly on defense with three steals in the second quarter.

With the Lions comfortably ahead, the third quarter was a bit ragged on both sides. The Lions and Lakers each cooled off considerably and the pace of the game slowed as well.

West Linn knocked down only four field goals in the third quarter, two of which came from Kaylor MacLaughlin off the bench.

The Lions continued to keep Lake Oswego at bay in the fourth quarter and the majority of the roster saw playing time.

For the game, Johnson finished with 17 points, Julia Boyd-Helm added 14 while Landis ended up with nine points and six steals.

The Lions had Tuesday off for finals week but will take on Canby in a key tilt at home this Friday at 6 p.m.

“They'll put a lot of pressure on us and try to get up and down the floor,” Lee said. Friday's game will also mark West Linn's annual Hoopin' For Hope night, a fundraiser to support breast cancer research.

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