But Lake Oswego wins twice and plays its way into the Navy bracket title contest.
On one level, the Lake Oswego girls basketball team’s finale in the Nike Interstate Shootout was just an “L.”
And indeed, it was that — the Lakers dropped a 42-34 decision to Mountainside in the Shootout’s Navy bracket championship on Monday, Dec. 19, at Lake Oswego High School.
But there was more to it, and more positive to it, for Lake Oswego.
On the plus side of the ledger, the Lakers played their way into the championship of one of the Shootout’s three eight-team brackets. They won two straight games to get there, blew out their first two NIS foes and were very much alive late in Monday’s title contest.
“We didn’t get the result we wanted, but I think we played better together,” said Lake Oswego junior guard Riley Ha, who finished with a game-high 12 points on 5 of 7 shooting from the field with two 3-pointers, along with three rebounds, one steal and one assist. “In the second half, we really pushed the ball and we had way more energy and our shots were falling more today than they were yesterday.”
“I think our chemistry was good, and I felt like we could keep pushing each other and we did,” said LO junior guard Annie Sale, who added 11 points on 3 of 8 shooting from the field and a 5 of 7 day at the free throw line, along with three assists and one rebound. “This game, we pushed each other to put our bodies on the line and we did that.”
“I feel like (getting to the championship game) shows that our program has kind of turned it around and we’re on the uphill,” added junior forward Maddie Douglass, who added three points on 1 of 4 shooting from the field and a 1 of 4 day at the foul line, along with three rebounds. “And it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
The loss snapped Lake Oswego’s two-game winning streak and dropped the Lakers’ season record to 4-3. Mountainside, meanwhile, won for the fourth straight time and improved to 5-3 overall. Next up, the Lakers play Century (4-3 overall) at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21, at Century High School.
In Monday’s game, the Lakers staggered out of the gate, turning the ball over nine times in the first quarter and hitting just four shots from the field. That said, the Lakers rallied from a seven-point deficit to close within 13-10 at the end of the quarter, with Ha knocking down a 3-pointer and scoring five points for LO.
The Mavericks, meanwhile, got six points from senior guard Polly Raugust, including a “three” with just 28 seconds left in the period.
The Lakers were still within three points, at 15-12 when Sale knocked down two foul shots with 5 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in the first half, but the Mavericks ruled the next five minutes.
In that span, Mountainside outscored Lake Oswego 10-3 to take a 25-15 lead, getting two baskets from sophomore forward Kylie Fisher before Ha’s late three-point play made it 25-18 at the half.
The Lakers got even closer in the third quarter, putting together an 8-3 edge at the start of the second half to move within 28-26 when Sale hit a pair of foul shots with 3:36 left in the period.
But LO freshman forward Molly Eames missed a “three” that would have given her team its first lead on the ensuing possession, and after that, the Mavs took over for good.
They closed the third quarter with a 32-26 lead, and after LO edged back within five on a Sale foul shot early in the fourth period, Mountainside used a 10-7 run to close out the contest. Mountainside sophomore guard Kaila Oudom buried a 3-pointer to start that run and sophomore forward Ashley Wilson added four points to end the Lakers’ comeback hopes.
Despite the loss, the Lakers saw lots of positives in the result.
“I think our ball movement was really strong and we were always looking for the open person instead of being selfish and driving to the hoop every time,” Ha said. “We were swinging it and going from drive to kicking out.”
“Our movement on the court was a lot better. It’s getting a lot crisper and we’re reading each other a lot better,” Sale added. “Once we start knocking down shots and getting those turnovers and having confidence with our passes, it’s going to be a whole different game.”
Wilson and Raugust led Mountainside with eight points each. Wilson hit 2 of 4 shots from the field and four straight free throws, along with three rebounds. Raugust went 3 of 11 from the field with one 3-pointer and a 1 of 2 day at the line, along with three rebounds and two assists. Fisher added seven points on 3 of 13 shooting from the field and a 1-of-2 day at the foul line, along with nine rebounds.
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