The West Linn Lions (18-6, 8-2 Three Rivers League, #2 seed) battled the McMinnville Grizzlies (13-10, 8-5 Pacific Conference, #7 seed) in a win-or-go home playoff game the Lions dominated The Grizzlies in all four quarters and finished with a 74-55
victory to advance to the second round of the 2013 OSAA State Playoff Tournament.
West Linn started the game off hot, led by Hayden Coppedge, junior, who earned eight early points. By the end of the first quarter, the Lions had a commanding 11 point lead, 25-14.
Along with the strong offensive attack, West Linn was able to stop McMinnville on defense allowing 14 points in the first, and 13 in the second quarter. The Lions were able to create shots and were able to conduct their offense with ease and by the halftime buzzer, West Linn led 46-27.
Coming out of the locker room, Coppedge started the second half with two big blocks and was able to dominate the entire game. The Lions were also helped by Anthony Mathis, sophomore, who with every shot helped West Linn inch closer and closer to the second round.
The Lions netted 32 points in the last two quarters and outlasted the Grizzlies for a dominating first round victory.
West Linn was led my Mathis and Coppedge who scored 26 and 24 points, respectively. The team was also helped by Ryan Shearmire, junior, who had 11. Together the three of them scored 61 points. Mathis and Shearmire were selected to First Team All-League for their excellent performance throughout the year.
Despite these honors, all of the players are looking to stay focused on the playoffs. Shearmire said that the team will continue to win in the playoffs “if we play good defense and share the ball more.”
The Lions’ next game is this Friday against the Westview Wildcats (13-10, 6-4 Metro League, #3 seed) at 7 p.m at West Linn High School. West Linn played Westview back on Jan. 8 and won 64-56.