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Pacer boys earn season sweep of OC


Lakeridge starts the game hot and never looks back, moving to 3-3 in league

by: VERN UYETAKE - Lakeridge's Max Minervini attempts a reverse lay-up in the Pacers' road in over Oregon City Tuesday. The Lakeridge boys basketball team opened up a big lead early and never looked back Tuesday, sweeping the season series from Oregon City with a 72-54 victory.

The Pacers and Pioneers have had a track record of playing some exceptionally close games in recent contests. But, this time around, Oregon City simply couldn't keep up with Lakeridge's fast start.

The Pioneers came out in their signature zone defense and Lakeridge picked it apart.

Shots were falling early for Lakeridge from the outside, which quickly built the team's confidence.

From there, as Oregon City closed out on the Pacers' shooters, they were able to work the ball inside for high-percentage looks.

“We executed well all game and got a nice mixture of jumpers and points in the paint,” coach Dane Walker said.

Lakeridge had one of its better opening quarters of the season, racing to a 24-14 lead.

Things slowed down in the second quarter as the Pioneers regrouped on defense and tried to chip away at the lead.

However, the Pacers' defense was equally as stingy. Lakeridge held Oregon City to just eight points in the quarter and led 33-22 at the break.

“Once we had the lead we did a really nice job defensively just tightening everything up,” Walker said.

From there it was simply a matter of execution for the Pacers. Lakeridge got big contributions on both ends from Eric Dungey and McKay Burg had the hot hand from the outside as the Pacers continued to keep Oregon City at an arm's length.

Lakeridge led by 14 heading into the final quarter but found itself in some foul trouble, something that hindered the team in its previous game against Lake Oswego.

However, the Pacers were calm down the stretch and played smart basketball. While Oregon City tried to mount one final comeback, Lakeridge simply had too much firepower on offense.

The Pioneers couldn't get a key stop to spur a run and Lakeridge cruised to an important victory.

It was a big win for the Pacers as they rebounded from a tough loss in the Civil War game. It also moved No. 10 Lakeridge into a tie for third place with Lake Oswego.

“It was nice to get the Lake Oswego game out of our system. Obviously we'd like to move into the top-three but our goal is to make it to the final eight this year, however we can,” Walker said.

The Pacers will take on No. 1 West Linn Friday and will do so at home with a healthy Reggie Oliver this time around.

Oliver led Lakeridge with 20 points against Oregon City.

The Lakeridge girls lost to Oregon City Tuesday 96-31. The Pacers succumbed to Oregon City's stifling press and couldn't find an answer defensively.

The Pacers, who take on No. 7 West Linn at home Friday, had one of their better outings of the year against the Lions earlier this season.