Lakeridge defeats Pioneers 73-43 despite tragedy
Center Graham Moredock loses both grandmothers earlier in the week but leads team to victory with 17 points
LAKE OSWEGO - Down 33-20 at halftime, it seemed reasonable to think the Pioneer boys could claw their way back into the Dec. 8 game against Lakeridge. After all, senior Jordan Hufendick had scored seven points in a span of five minutes
But a 22-9 scoring advantage in the third quarter put the Pacers in the driver's seat, and they never relented during a 73-43 win over Sandy.
Lakeridge's big center, 6-foot-9-inch Graham Moredock, caused all sorts of headaches for Sandy, as he nabbed multiple rebounds, blocked shots and hit both of his fourth quarter free throw attempts. He also went 7 of 14 from (.500) the field and hit a 3-point shot early in the game.
He did all of that despite losing both of his grandmothers the past week.
'He's had a really tough week,' Lakeridge coach Dave Nuss said. 'He lost both of his grandmothers in a span of two days. He lost his mom's mom on Wednesday and his dad's mom passed away on Thursday.'
Because of those family tragedies, Moredock missed practice both of those days. By missing those practices, team policy required Moredock to start Friday's game on the bench.
Without the big guy inside, Lakeridge got off to a slow start, going scoreless for more than two minutes to start the game. But Sandy was even colder as the visiting Pioneers waited until the 2:46 mark of the first quarter before scoring their initial basket.
By then, Moredock had already made his first appearance in the game, and shortly after entering, he hit his first shot, the aforementioned 3-pointer. That put the Pacers in front 7-0. The lead then grew to 9-0 on a steal and layin by Kenan Ozgur.
Oszgur finished the first quarter with six points while Moredock had five, including a jump hook that gave Lakeridge a 19-7 lead as the quarter expired. The lead grew to 23-7 on a layin by Brian Luevano, who finished with 12 points.
Lakeridge effectively put the game away with 11 unanswered points, which gave the Pacers a 46-22 lead at the four-minute mark. Luevano led the run with five points while Moredock had four.
Opinions varied among Sandy players as to who wreaked the most havoc for the Pacers. Hufendick, for one, was impressed with Moredock, but Jake Fenwick noted that dealing with Lakeridge's smaller, quicker players was no picnic either.
'Their little guys, they'd steal it from us. We had a hard time controlling the ball,' he said.
Fenwick wasn't disappointed with the effort put forth by the Pioneers, though.
'We played hard, we just didn't play smart,' he said.
Odds and ends: Blake Bithell had an active night for the Pioneers. He had two second quarter steals and also hit on four free throws in that quarter. A.J. Schnell sunk a 3-pointer in the third quarter, and Hufendick had one in the first quarter. Kevin Warren put together a productive fourth quarter for the Pioneers, going 2 of 3 from the field and registering a steal.