The Lions dont have an answer for Calvin Hermanson and the No. 1 Lakers

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - West Linn's Jarrod Howard reacts as a Lakeridge defender goes for a steal in the Lions' victory over the Pacers last week.The West Linn boys basketball team never recovered from Lake Oswego's fast start on Tuesday, falling to the No. 1 Lakers for the second time this year 68-55.

Calvin Hermanson, who didn't factor much into the Lakers' earlier win over the Lions this year, carried the Lakers on Tuesday on both ends of the floor. Hermanson led all scorers with 33 points, hurting West Linn inside and out.

Hermanson scored Lake Oswego's first 10 points as Lake Oswego jumped out to a 10-1 lead and never trailed in the game.

The Lions could only muster seven points in the first quarter and trailed 22-7, digging themselves a big hole against one of the top-ranked teams in the nation.

West Linn remained cold from the floor to open the second quarter as Lake Oswego extended its lead. However, the Lions didn't quit. West Linn chipped away at the lead, getting strong play from Ryan Shearmire to whittle the advantage down to 11 points before a Lake Oswego jumper at the end of the half upped the advantage to 38-25.

The Lions did a nice job on the glass all night, out-hustling the Lakers to rebounds and getting second opportunities.

Hermanson opened the third quarter by draining a contested three-pointer and Lake Oswego upped its lead to 23. Again West Linn tried to battle back, getting the advantage down to 15 but the team was hampered when Anthony Mathis picked up his fourth foul.

The Lakers were firmly in control in the fourth quarter with Hermanson drilling another three-pointer on his team's opening possession.

The loss followed a big win on Friday, taking down a dangerous Lakeridge team 85-59.

When the two teams met previously, Lakeridge took a lead into the fourth quarter before West Linn rallied for a win.

This time, the Lions took control of the game in the second quarter and never looked back.

Both teams started out the game hot although West Linn missed a handful of chip shots from close to the basket.

Shearmire had a big first half, exciting the crowd with two early dunks, a block and a three-pointer. Lakeridge rallied back late in the first quarter, getting three straight baskets by point guard Reggie Oliver to knot the score at 18-18.

West Linn point guard Payton Pritchard answered with a three-pointer of his own at the buzzer.

Shearmire and Oliver continued to pace their respective teams early in the second quarter but a pair of three-pointers by Mathis helped the Lions start to pull away.

West Linn went on a late run and got another buzzer beater from Shearmire to lead 46-31 at the half.

The Lions were cold to start the third quarter, not getting on the board for the first three minutes when a three-pointer from Ty Cleleand broke the drought.

That sparked a 10-1 run which started to put the game out of reach.

West Linn's bench also gave the Lions some important minutes late in the quarter, particularly from Alejandro Venecia, who had six points.

West Linn led by 20 with one quarter to play and then cruised to victory.

The Lions will travel to Canby this Friday and will close out the regular season next week at home against Oregon City.

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