West Linn racks up 65 first-half points in a 105-72 victory

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - West Linn senior Elijah Grant looks for room under the basket during last week's season-opener against Tualatin. After the opening minutes, West Linn quickly put the game away, showcasing its high-powered offense.The West Linn boys basketball team kicked off its 2013-14 campaign with a terrific offensive display, running Tualatin out of the gym in a 105-72 victory Tuesday.

The Timberwolves tried to match West Linn's tempo but, after the first five minutes, simply couldn't keep up and the Lions cruised to an impressive victory.

It was an entertaining game to say the least, featuring plenty of fast breaks and a barrage of 3-point attempts.

West Linn opened by getting a pair of 3-pointers from Hayden Coppedge but the Lions were a bit careless with the basketball early on.

The Timberwolves didn't test West Linn in the paint in the early going but had some success on the offensive boards.

Tualatin knocked down its third 3-pointer of the quarter to take a 14-13 but it would be the team's last.

Anthony Mathis quickly countered on the other end with a 3-pointer from the corner for his first points of the game. That sparked a 13-2 run with Mathis scoring 11 of those points. He would finish with 14 points in the quarter, all coming in the final four minutes.

West Linn was more active on defense and created a handful of turnovers and built a 30-22 lead after eight minutes of play.

It was more of the same in the second quarter as Tualatin tried to stay within striking distance. The Timberwolves hovered around a 12-point deficit early on and started to attack the rim with more frequency.

Sophomore Will Mathiessen stole the show in the second period, converting a pair of offensive rebounds into baskets, knocking down a 3-pointer and tallying a big block while giving the Lions a boost off the bench.

Point guard Payton Pritchard helmed the offense with efficiency and made a pretty move to the hoop for a lay-in at the first-half buzzer, giving West Linn a 65-43 lead.

The Lions all but sealed the game in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Pritchard tallied two quick steals and turned them into four points, leading a 10-2 run.

West Linn's lead would swell to 30 points as the Lions got the bulk of their roster into the game.

West Linn's second-string saw plenty of playing time in the final quarter as the Lions confidently put the Timberwolves away.

The Lions will now gear up for a highly anticipated early-season test when they take on Jefferson on Friday.

The teams are both among the best in the state and are the respective defending champions at the 6A and 5A level.

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