West Linn scores wins over the Pacers and Lakers with a showdown at Canby this Friday

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - West Linn's Ashley Johnson gets fouled on a drive to the basket in last week's win over Lakeridge.The West Linn girls basketball team recorded a sweep of the Lake Oswego schools in their last two games, burying Lakeridge 68-28 and then grinding out a 50-29 win over Lake Oswego.

Against the Pacers, West Linn jumped out to a 15-4 lead early, exploiting Lakeridge's lack of size by working the ball into the paint.

The Lions were active on defense all night, deflecting passes and tallying numerous steals. West Linn would close the first quarter on an 11-0 run to lead 21-4 after the opening quarter, a lead which could have been even larger if not for a handful of shots missed close to the basket.

Lakeridge did its best to get back in the game, opening the second quarter on a 10-1 run, getting all of those points from Colleen Ellis, who hit three straight three-pointers.

West Linn quickly answered with an 11-0 run of its own. Megan Longtain got the Lions back on track with a pair of hoops and tough perimeter defense.

“When we do it, we do a nice job of communicating and closing out on shooters,” coach Glen Lee said.

West Linn led 33-16 at the half and then quickly put the game on ice. Lakeridge opened the third quarter with a three-pointer but the Lions answered with a 19-0 run to effectively end the game. West Linn got the ball to Morgan Haskin, who Lakeridge struggled to contain and the Lions led 52-26 after the third period.

West Linn's defense locked down the victory, holding Lakeridge to just two points in the final quarter.

Sidney Kolasinki led four Lions in double figures with 16 points in the game.

West Linn then knocked off Lake Oswego on Tuesday in a tough game where the Lions struggled to find its offense.

The Lions only led 3-1 after the first five minutes of play and had a handful of uncharacteristic turnovers. West Linn led 9-3 after the first quarter but would open the second quarter with nine unanswered point. Still, the Lions had difficult pulling away from the Lakers.

“Give Lake Oswego credit, they did some nice things. We struggled to press against them and we were a little flat,” Lee said.

West Linn missed seven free throws in the second quarter alone but still managed to extend its advantage.

The Lakers had an even more difficult time finding their offense, converting just two field goals in the entire first half, both from leading scorer Ali Binns as West Linn led 25-11 at the break.

West Linn was cold from the field in the third quarter but continued to extend its lead with its defense. Lake Oswego succeeded in slowing the pace of the game down but couldn't take advantage against the Lions' defense.

West Linn would go up by 20 before a late spurt by the Lakers cut the lead to 34-17.

Lake Oswego continued to hang around early in the fourth quarter but never significantly threatened the lead. Genna Hughes had a strong all around game for West Linn, tallying multiple steals and hurting the Lakers on the boards.

Kolasinki went 4-for-4 from the foul line in the fourth quarter to help lock down the win.

West Linn has a huge road game on Friday against Canby. The Lions topped the Cougars at home in overtime earlier this year and another win would all but clinch a top-three finish in league.

“The kids will be up for that one. We'll have to come in focused and play better than we did tonight,” Lee said.

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