The Lions take No. 3 Clackamas to the wire before using two big runs to get past Lakeridge

The West Linn girls basketball team nearly toppled No. 3 Clackamas at home in its league opener last week and then rebounded with a solid 73-46 victory over Lakeridge on Tuesday.

Against the Cavaliers, the game came down to the final three minutes with the Lions nearly pulling off their biggest win of the season before settling for a hard-fought 59-48 loss.

Clackamas got off to a strong start in the game, taking a slim 18-14 advantage after the opening period. The teams were never separated by more than a few possessions for the majority of the game and the Lions did a nice job in the paint to out-rebound Clackamas.

The Lions cut the lead to three points at the half and received balanced scoring with three players reaching double figures and eight different girls getting in the scorebook.

Clackamas maintained its three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter but the Lions would tie the game with less than four minutes to play.

However, a pair of costly turnovers allowed the Cavaliers to quickly regain the advantage and West Linn was soon forced to foul. Clackamas hit free throws down the stretch to extend the lead and the Lions could make up ground in the final minutes.

“It was a possession game and we were right there,” coach Glen Lee said.

Morgan Haskin, Ashley Johnson and Sydney Kolasinski all finished the game with 11 points. Kolasinski also had six assists while Haskin had five blocks.

“We learned some things and we're definitely looking forward to playing them again,” Lee said.

West Linn would get back in the win column quickly on Tuesday, taking down Lakeridge on the road in impressive fashion.

The Lions opened the game with an 11-0 run getting strong drives to the hoop from Julia Boyd-Helm and some easy baskets in the paint from Haskin. But the Pacers knocked down three three-pointers in the first period to stay in the game.

“They're a dangerous team. We're up 11-0 and all of the sudden it's 13-9. You never know what can happen against them,” Lee said.

Lakeridge tightened up its defense in the second quarter and the Lions went cold from the field. Haskin continued to be a bright spot as she poured in 12 points and had five rebounds in the first half alone.

Still, the Pacers were within striking distance, trailing 33-19 at the break.

West Linn quickly put things out of reach with its play in the first four minutes of the second half. The Lions started the third quarter on a lightning-fast 20-2 run as the lead ballooned to 30 points.

“We wanted to play with energy tonight and I thought we did a really nice job especially to start the third quarter,” Lee said.

Lakeridge would do its best to keep things competitive, opening the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run of its own but the Lions put the game away convincingly.

Five different players scored in double figures for West Linn. Haskin had 16 points and eight rebounds and Kolasinski had 15 points. Johnson Boyd-Helm and Hughes each had 10 points. Boyd-Helm filled up the stat book with eight assists and nine rebounds in the game as well.

The Lions will take on Lake Oswego at home this Friday.

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