West Linn wins season finale on senior night, turns focus to playoffs

The West Linn Lions (18-6, 8-2 Three Rivers League) battled the Oregon City Pioneers (11-12, 1-9 TRL) on senior night and concluded their season with a hard-fought 69-55 victory over the rival Pioneers.
The Lions had a low scoring first quarter, putting up only 14 points and facing a one point deficit. West Linn wasn’t fazed as they entered the second quarter. Holding on defense, West Linn allowed only 10 points to Oregon City, while netting 22 points of their own. By the halftime buzzer, the Lions had a commanding 36-25 lead.
The Lions continued their offensive and defensive success into the third. Led by Ryan Shearmire, junior, West Linn was able to hold the Pioneers to 13 points and Oregon City struggled to make a comeback. It also helped that the Lions extended their lead to 19 with a 57-38 lead.
In the final quarter of their last home game, seniors Alejandro Venecia, Joel Larson, Jarrod Howard and Colin Davis weren’t able to outscore the Pioneers in the fourth, but finished their regular season high school career with a win.
“It was great to give seniors more playing time than normal. They got more minutes than usual and we had moments where we played really well,” Eric Viuhkola, head coach, said.
The Lions were led by Shearmire, who had 20 points, along with Hayden Coppedge, junior, with 12, and Payton Pritchard, freshman, who finished with 11.
West Linn begins the push for the state title in the first round of the 6A tournament Tuesday, Feb. 26 at the Rose Garden Arena. The time of the Lion’s game and their seed is still to be determined.
“It’s game-by-game, win or go home,” Viuhkola said. “If we win next week we get another game at home. If we win that, we go to the state tournament. But right now it’s game-by-game.”