After two double digit playoff wins against the Roseburg Indians (9-16, 3-9 Southern Conference) and the Century Jaguars (22-4,12-2 Pacific Conference), the West Linn Lions (21-5,9-1 Three Rivers League) are once again playing at the Rose Garden for a shot at the State Championship.
On March 3, the Jaguars traveled to West Linn high school for second round playoff game, and in a very physical game the Lions pulled out a 67-56 victory.
” It was the best crowd of my years at West Linn,” Ryan Shearmire, sophomore post, said. “The gym was packed and it was electric.”
According to West Linn high schoool’s athletic secretary Holly Scheid, there were 1500 plus people at the game. By the time game time started there was standing room only. In the beginning, it was a back and forth battle that led to a half time score of 33-28. After the break Hayden Coppedge, sophomore, hit consecutive three pointers to put the team up by 11. As the second half progressed Anthony Mathis, freshman, was hot. After only scoring nine points in the first half, Mathis scored 17 in the second half and went 13-14 from the free throw line to finish the game with a game high and a career high 28 points.
“He’s the best freshman in the state,” Eric Viuhkola, head coach, told The Oregonian.
Shearmire also had a big nights for the Lions scoring nine points, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking five shots. Devon Hawkins, junior, chipped in 13 points from his forward position.
For the Jaguars the leading scorer was Jamel Liggins, sophomore, who had 16.
“He [Liggins] was one of the quickest we’ve played all year,” Shearmire said.” Mitch (Cokley, sophomore) was better, though.”
With this win the Lions have advanced to the quarterfinals which are going to be played at the Rose Garden.
“It feels good. It’s where we expected to be,” Shearmire said. ” We expect to win it all.”
The team plays the Central Catholic Rams (22-4,9-1 Mt.Hood Conference) on March 8 at 8:15 p.m.
On Feb. 29 the Indians made the trip to West Linn and gave the Lions an early scare but in the end the team pulled away for a 62-49 victory.
The Lions led by only one at the end of third and, with only a minute into the fourth, found themselves trailing by four. West Linn exploded for a 19-0 run, which included two three pointers and a four point play by Mathis. By the time the Indians had stopped the run, the Lions had broken the game wide open and cruised to a 13 point victory.
Mathis finished the game with 16 points and Shearmire and Hawkins each scored 14 and 13 points respectively.
The leading scorer for the Indians was Carson Reid, senior, who had 15 points.