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West Linn girls vault to No. 3 in Oregon

Lions open league avenging earlier loss to No. 4 Clackamas


by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - West Linn's Genna Hughes dodges West Salem defenders en route to the basket in last week's victory over the Titans. The West Linn girls basketball team has built up steam heading into its league opener Friday, picking up two more impressive victories against West Salem and Jesuit to wrap up the preseason.

Last week, the Lions confidently put away the Titans at home 63-43. West Linn was never really threatened in the game, sealing it with a big run to open the third quarter.

West Linn was relentless on defense to start the game, creating turnover on the perimeter to create fast breaks.

The Lions also got West Salem into early foul trouble, getting into the bonus in the first quarter. That helped open up things inside where West Linn converted some easy baskets.

The highlight of the opening quarter was point guard Caitlin Malvar's hustle play. She made a diving save on a ball to record a steal, picked herself up and received a pass which she then took for a reverse layup, helping the Lions jump out to a 16-8 lead.

West Linn had some chances to blow the game wide open in the first half but missed some easy opportunities. Still, 3-pointers from Ashley Johnson and Sidney Kolasinski helped pace an 8-0 run.

The Lions got into a bit of foul trouble themselves in the second quarter with post Morgan Haskin picking up her third foul, but the Lions' defense continued to give the Titans fits.

A late 3-point play from Malvar made it 33-19 at the half.

West Linn all but put the game away in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Kolasinski started to assert herself, keying an 11-2 run that pushed the lead above 20 points.

The Lions were then able to salt the game away from that point.

Then, in a rare Monday contest, the Lions soundly defeated Jesuit at home 62-43 to finish off what has been a terrific non-league schedule.

West Linn is 11-2 and finds itself with the No. 3 ranking in the state by the OSAA. With the girls basketball landscape seemingly wide open, it could make for a terrifically entertaining few weeks in the Three Rivers League.

The Lions open up league play at home Friday at 6 p.m. against Clackamas. The Cavaliers gave West Linn one of its two losses this season and are currently ranked right behind the Lions at No. 4.



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