Lakers use Experience and Strong Defense to Defeat Skyhawks 67-45 in the First Game of the Les Schwab Invitational

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Lakers use Experience and Strong Defense to Defeat Skyhawks 67-45 in the First Game of the Les Schwab Invitational

Kyle Pinnell

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Coming into the first game of the Les Schwab Invitational the Southridge Skyhawks and Lake Oswego Lakers had only lost one game. Something had to give.

The Skyhawks (0-1 LSI) shot only 28 percent from the field as the Lakers (1-0 LSI) outscored them by 13 points in the second quarter en route to a 67-45 victory at Liberty High School Wednesday morning.

Senior Josh Angle led the Lakers with 19 points and seven rebounds. The Hawks were led by senior Brock Henry who finished the game with 18 points and nine rebounds.

“In spots we did some nice stuff, but overall we weren’t consistent enough to compete with a top-five team,” Southridge head coach Philip Vesel said.

Despite the game being at eight in the morning after Christmas, Vesel believed that it was the Lakers physicality that decided the game.

“They are a really high-level team and we weren’t able to maintain our play enough to give ourselves an opportunity to beat them,” Vesel said.

The Skyhawks hung around early and even took the lead as they converted their first three shots from behind the arc, but then went cold as the Lakers jumped in front with a six-point lead to end the first quarter.

“We left a lot of buckets out there,” Southridge junior Connor McClean said.

Lake Oswego pulled away for good in the second quarter thanks to their smothering defense that held the Hawks to just two field goals in the quarter.

“They kept people in front really well and if they ever did get beat their help-side was there,” McClean said.

Vesel added: “They were real physical defensively and we didn’t respond very well to that.”

The Skyhawks used a 9-2 run out of halftime to pull within 12 at 26-38, but that was as close as they got before the Lakers pulled away for the final time.

In a tournament like this, the Skyhawks lack the experience that an older team like Lake Oswego have. Many of the players are playing in the Les Schwab Invitational for the first time.

“We’re just going to keep playing hard,” Vesel said. “We’re capable, we just don’t have a lot of experienced kids who understand what it means to play possessions.”

Next up the Lakers play tomorrow at four p.m against either Columbia Christian or Gonzaga Prep. The Skyhawks will play tomorrow at noon against the team that Lake Oswego doesn’t face.

“We just have to focus up,” McClean said. “We left a lot of shots out there and we just have to be ready to go next time right from tip-off.”

Added Vesel: “This is the experience that our team needs because we’re a different team now. We’re not as seasoned, and we got to try to get different guys up to speed on what it means to play possessions and compete for every possession.”