The Lake Oswego boys basketball team thinks it can win the TRL in ’22-23.
The Lakers believe it just may be their time.
The Lake Oswego boys basketball team, after finishing third in the Three Rivers League in each of the last three seasons — that after finishing first the three years before that — is ready to get back on top.
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“My first two years, we were in third place, but then by my third year, we were in first place,” said Lake Oswego coach Marshall Cho. “That was (the start of) our three-year run. We won three in a row, then COVID hit and (we felt like) we missed out the last few years, but hopefully, we have some maturity and ability to finish up those games and challenge for that top spot.”
But the Lakers’ hopes aren’t tied to some ethereal three-year cycle that just hands LO a title every so often. No indeed.
Instead, Lake Oswego’s expectations are based on a deep and talented roster led by sophomore Winters Grady, a 6-foot-7 wing who won first-team all-Three Rivers League honors a year ago.
“He’s really like a 6-7 Josh Angle, who was an all-state player for us as a senior,” Cho said. “He’s added that play making ability. He’ll play the one through five for us. He could be a point guard, he could be a post player, but obviously, his primary position is as a wing. … I can’t think the last time we had a player this unique in our state. I don’t know if there’s a comparison.”
There’s more talent in the Laker lineup, too, including 6-2 senior guard Max Archambo (he was an honorable mention all-TRL selection a year ago), 5-10 senior guard L.J. Dixon (a transfer from Sunset), 6-5 junior wing Aengus Sutherland and 6-2 senior wing Owen Alles.
“L.J. Dixon is a defensive-minded point guard. He really gets after it at the defensive end,” Cho said, adding that Sutherland “really emerged this offseason and … I expect him to be maybe the second-leading scorer for us,” while Alles is “one of our most dedicated players.”
The Lakers will also be bolstered by the return of 6-1 senior wing Henry Smith and 6-2 senior post Brodae Sutherland — both LO football players who returned to the basketball program after a year away — as well as varsity returner Zane Fisher, a 6-1 junior guard.
Also ready for varsity time this year are 6-1 junior wing Peter Cory, 6-0 senior guard Braylon Ramirez, 6-2 sophomore guard Carter Dietz, 6-3 senior post Mahmoud Hassan, 6-6 freshman post Jalen Nicholson and 6-2 senior wing Campbell Smith.
While the Lakers obviously have huge long-term goals, they’re determined to focus on what comes first — the tough-as-nails Three Rivers League season.
“Even before we think about getting to the Chiles Center, we’re always thinking doing well in our league, which year in and year out is the toughest in the state” Cho said. “Really, we’re just trying to get back to first place.”
Doing that in the TRL, however — home to reigning Class 6A state champion Tualatin and last year’s third-place finisher West Linn — is not going to be easy.
“You’ve got to talk about West Linn, right? And obviously, you’ve got the defending state champion in Tualatin, and Tigard probably has the most experience in the league with those four starters back that have been there forever,” Cho said, adding that “I also think Lakeridge is going to be really tough with the addition of a couple of transfers and a couple football players who are really good. I don’t think there’s going to be any off nights no matter who you play.”
See the Lakeridge team preview by clicking here.
See the West Linn preview by clicking here.
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