GIRLS BASKETBALL: Lakers come from behind to beat Jesuit 56-54
by: vern Uyetake, Lake Oswego's Margaret Johnson puts up the game-winning basket with 29 seconds remaining in Friday's showdown with Jesuit. Johnson was fouled and made the three-point play, giving the Lakers the lead for good in a 56-54 win at home.

LAKE OSWEGO - Margaret Johnson scored 21 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, to lead Lake Oswego to a come-from-behind 56-54 nonleague victory over Jesuit on Friday.

It was a see-saw battle that pitted two of the top four teams in the state and the fans got their money's worth as the game featured 12 lead changes and seven ties. Seven of those lead changes came in the fourth quarter. The last lead change came with 29 seconds left when Johnson scored on an inside spin move and was fouled. She then converted the free throw to put third-ranked Lake Oswego ahead for good at 55-54. The fourth-ranked Crusaders had a chance to regain the lead on their next possession but Meaghan White came up empty after making a nice inside move with 18 seconds left.

To preserve time, Jesuit quickly fouled Lake Oswego's youngest starter, sophomore point guard Sarah Griffin, with 13.5 seconds left. Griffin promptly missed her first attempt from the line but hit her second to put Lake Oswego ahead 56-54.

Jesuit still had a chance to tie, or maybe even win, but Laura Nilsen's jumper from just inside the three-point line was slightly off the mark and caromed out of bounds with five seconds left. The Lakers were then able to run out the remaining time.

Johnson, a 5-foot-11 forward who will play for the University of Santa Barbara next year, played her best game of the season and she was three points shy of the career-high 24 points she scored in a playoff game against Redmond two years ago.

But she got off to somewhat of a slow start against Jesuit, scoring just two points in the first quarter. However, her teammates started quickly as the Lakers jumped to an early 8-2 lead. That represented Lake Oswego's largest lead of the game.

The Crusaders then turned the game around with a 10-2 run that featured two three-pointers by White and a pair of two-pointers by Taylor Towne. That gave Jesuit its first lead of the game at 12-10. Jesuit then led almost the entire second quarter and enjoyed a five-point lead on two occasions.

Johnson scored six points in that period to help keep the Lakers within striking distance. But Jesuit still led 29-25 at intermission after a layup by Erin McDonnell. Jesuit, which also led for most of the third quarter, had its biggest lead of the night when Nilsen hit a jumper to make it 37-31 with 5:21 left in the third.

The margin could have been even bigger if not for the eight third-quarter points by Lake Oswego's Avery Lee. She finished the game with 10 points and was the only other Laker besides Johnson to score in double figures. Lake Oswsego started making its move late in the third when Johnson converted a three-point play to tie the game at 38. That started a string of four ties during the next four minutes.

It was at that point that Johnson took over. Three of the four baskets she scored in the final period gave the Lakers the lead. But Jesuit always seemed to have an answer.

The Crusaders had their last lead of the game when White hit a three-pointer to make it 52-50 with 1:36 left. White lead the Crusaders with 14 points while Caroline Lilley added 11.

Read more about this game in the next issue of the Lake Oswego Review

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