West Linn routs Tualatin as mindset shifts to matchup with Jefferson Friday

The West Linn Lions basketball team (1-0) began its season Tuesday night at home against the Tualatin Timberwolves (0-3) and it might as well have been a scrimmage with the Lions running away with it, 105-72.

The defending 6A state champions started off hot with two possessions and two straight three pointers from Hayden Coppedge, senior, as the Lions jumped to a quick 6-0 lead. But then early turnovers plagued West Linn for the rest of the first quarter as the Timberwolves took a brief two-point lead. That was the last ray of hope Tualatin saw as the Lions turned on the scoring jets and left the Timberwolves in the dust. West Linn made a statement at the end of the first quarter with a 30-22 advantage; and the points would keep on coming.

The Lions were able to extend their lead with terrific shooting from Anthony Mathis, junior, Cody Coppedge, sophomore, and Payton Pritchard, sophomore. Not only was West Linn dominating on the offensive side of the ball, but on defense as well. Will Matthiessen, sophomore, had a highlight reel chase down block that energized the team and the crowd. Matthiessen finished with three blocks and eight points in his first ever varsity game.

By halftime, the Lions held a comfortable 65-43 lead. Not only were West Linn students fired up about the game, but Blazer guard Will Barton was in attendance as well.

During the third quarter, the Lions slowed down the scoring barrage and put up only 19 points to Tualatin’s 14. As the fourth quarter arrived, West Linn had a 84-57 lead.

As the Lions neared  triple digit points, the student section began chanting “CHALUPA” in hopes of the team scoring 100. Two free throws from Cody Coppedge pushed West Linn to 99 with the crowd was on edge during each Lion possession. West Linn finally reached triple digits when Colin Shearmire, sophomore, netted a put back layup as the crowd erupted with joy. When the buzzer finally sounded for Tualatin, the Lions had won by 33 points.

West Linn will take on the Jefferson Democrats (2-0) Friday night at West Linn at 7 p.m. It will be a clash of number ones as both West Linn and Jefferson are ranked number one in 6A and 5A, respectively.