The Lakers pull away in the second half, improve to 2-1 in non-league play.
It’s early to be sure. And there’s work still to be done — a lot of it.
But so far, the Lake Oswego girls basketball team is making the strides it wants to make.
The Lakers took the most recent step in that journey on Friday, Dec. 9, when they pulled away from Reynolds to win 53-35 at Lake Oswego High School. In the process, the youthful Lakers won for the second time in three games in 2022-23.
“I thought we did really good overall,” said Lake Oswego sophomore post Morgan Hoover, who finished with nine points (on 3 of 6 shooting from the floor and a 3 of 6 day at the free throw line), along with 13 rebounds, four assists and three steals. “I thought we … set up a lot of really good plays at the right times, we saw the open gaps and got to score from them. It’s really exciting.”
“I think once we started moving the ball quickly and finding open gaps (in) their defense, we really started to execute,” said LO junior point guard Annie Sale, who finished with nine points (on 4 of 11 shooting from the floor and a 1 of 3 day at the foul line), along with eight assists, seven rebounds, four steals and one blocked shot. “We had the confidence to execute it after that.”
“I felt pretty nervous starting at first, but once I was on the court with Annie, I knew it would go (OK),” said Laker freshman guard Addie Sale, who hit two key shots (including a three-pointer) in the first quarter and finished with seven points on 3 of 9 shooting from the floor, along with two assists, one steal and one rebound. “I feel like we practice a lot and get the plays down to memory and we are just really going off of defense.”
With the win, the Lakers snapped a one-game losing streak and improved to 2-1 overall for 2022-23. Reynolds, meanwhile, saw its one-game winning streak snapped and fell to 1-3 overall. Next up, Lake Oswego hosts Nelson in non-league play at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13.
Also coming through for the Lakers were junior guard Gia Pacioni (she led the Lakers with 14 points on 6 of 12 shooting from the floor and a 2 of 4 day at the line, along with two steals), freshman Molly Eames (she added six points on 3 of 6 shooting from the floor and a 0 of 1 day at the foul line, along with nine rebounds, four steals, two blocks and two assists), and freshman Taylor Sheldon (she had two points, four steals, three rebounds, two assists and one block).
For Reynolds, sophomore Sofia Cordway scored 13 points on 4 of 13 shooting from the field with four three-pointers and a 1 of 2 day at the foul line, along with six rebounds and one steal. Senior Grace Togamae added seven points on 3 of 11 shooting from the floor and a 1 of 4 day at the line, along with 11 rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block, while sophomore Mesaline Genes-Pantin added two points and six rebounds.
While Lake Oswego started well and won easily on Friday, it took the Lakers awhile to pull away. LO led 9-2 at the end of one quarter (getting five points from Addie Sale) after forcing 10 Raider turnovers in the period, but Reynolds wasn’t done yet.
The Raiders won the second quarter 13-10 thanks to a pair of Cordway 3-pointers and cut the Laker lead to 19-15 at the half. Along the way, the Lakers turned the ball over five times, hit just 5 of 16 shots from the floor and went 0 of 6 at the foul line in the frame.
Reynolds got even closer in the third quarter, edging within 23-20 when Cordway hit one free throw with 6 minutes, 5 seconds left in the period.
But the Lakers took over then and there, outscoring the Raiders 14-8 over the final 5:41 of the frame, with Hoover and sophomore Sasha Clopton scoring four points each, while Sheldon, Pacioni and Eames hit once each to boost their team’s lead to 37-28.
Reynolds cut its deficit to 37-31 when Cordway banked home a “three” from the top of the key with 7:09 left in the game, but Lake Oswego made sure the Raiders got no closer. Indeed, the Lakers closed the game on a 16-4 run highlighted by Pacioni’s six points and baskets from another five players.
“I think once we started to find our own rhythm, everything just flowed after that,” Annie Sale said. “That’s a really good confidence booster for our team. … We’ve been building our chemistry and communication so far.”
“I’m really excited for the season,” Hoover added. “I think we just need to get better at talking and telling everyone where to go and being positive. When we do that, we do really well and I just think we need to do more.”
For the game, Lake Oswego forced 31 Reynolds turnovers, while turning the ball over 19 times itself.
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