West Linn advances to state title game with win over Lake Oswego


EDITOR’S NOTE: The State championship game, which will be on March 8 at the Rose Garden at 8:30 p.m, will be between West Linn and Central Catholic.

The West Linn Lions (21-6, 8-2 Three Rivers League) beat the rival Lake Oswego Lakers (27-1, 10-0 TRL) that was arguably the best basketball team in the state of Oregon. The Lions proved they can perform in the clutch, winning by one point, 37-36.

West Linn started off the game well, holding the Lakers to only 12 points and scoring 14 of their own. The defense was the main story of the game; Lake Oswego was only able to shoot 39% from the field and struggled at the free throw line.

The second quarter was the same story, but the offense was struggling. Six points were scored by the Lions, but the defense was able to hold strong, allowing only five to the Lakers and at halftime, the score was 18-17 West Linn.
With two quarters remaining, the state title game loomed closer. Even halftime wasn’t able to stop the Lions on offense or defense. West Linn put up 13 points which was more important than anyone could have imagined when the fourth quarter arrived.

With the score 33-26, there was eight minutes between the state title game, or the Lions would have to play for third the next day. The offense and defense stopped clicking. Shots were missed and easy buckets were allowed; the Lakers were up 36-35 with less than a minute remaining. West Linn had the ball and with the time running out, dumped it off to Ryan Shearmire, junior, who laid it up and in. With less than 20 seconds remaining, Lake Oswego had the ball but missed their only two shots. The Lions dribbled out the ball and the buzzer sounded. West Linn was headed to the state title game.

The Lions were led by Anthony Mathis, sophomore, and Hayden Coppedge, junior, who scored ten and nine points, respectively.

West Linn will take on the winner of the Central Catholic (20-4, 10-0 Mt. Hood Conference vs. ( Jesuit 24-2, 10-0 Metro Valley Conference) game at 8:30 at the Rose Garden.