West Linn overcomes slow first half, defeats Oregon City

The West Linn Lions (14-5, 4-1 Three Rivers League) took on the Oregon City Pioneers (10-8, 0-5 TRL) at Oregon City High School and earned a gutsy road victory after struggling in the first two quarters and being down 29-27 at the half.

The Lions defense stepped up coming out from halftime, allowing only six points and scoring 14 of their own to regain the lead going into the fourth quarter 41-33. In the fourth, the offense exploded and never looked back.

West Linn pulled away, putting up 23 points in the fourth. In the last five games the Lions have averaged 20.6 points in the final quarter. Along with the explosive offense, the Lions hounded Oregon City on defense and never allowed them to score 20 or more points in a single quarter. The Lions won, 64-49.

West Linn’s Anthony Mathis, sophomore, helped lead the Lions to victory. He led the team in scoring with 28 points. Two other Lions scored double figures: Payton Pritchard, freshman, with 13 and Ryan Shearmire, junior, who finished with 10 points.

Hunter Knighton, sophomore, guided the Pioneers with 17 points and was joined by Nolan Muckenthaler, junior, who had 16. Knighton transferred to Oregon City this year after attending West Linn the year before.

The Lions face the Clackamas Cavaliers (9-9, 2-3 TRL) at home Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.