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Lakers, Pacers each finish in the top 10

by: Dan Brood, George Lin follows through on a drive during the 6A boys state golf tournament at Trysting Tree in Corvallis. Lakeridge finished in 8th as a team.

It has to be somewhat disconcerting to the rest of the Three Rivers League and perhaps to the rest of the state to know that Lake Oswego and Lakeridge's boys golf teams, which finished sixth and eighth respectively at the state tournament this week, each have just one senior on their teams.

That bodes well for the future of each program and the Lakers and Pacers know that the teams are likely to push each other for years to come.

'We have a good relationship with Lakeridge and we're happy for them. I think their competition is going to make both of us better,' Laker coach Chris Sheik said.

At the state tournament at Trysting Tree, Lakeridge won the first day against Lake Oswego by three strokes, but the Lakers came back with a strong Tuesday to take sixth, 10 strokes in front of the Pacers.

Lake Oswego was led by Gerik Illo who had a phenomenal second round on Tuesday and finished in 10th place.

Illo had five birdies and was three-under through 16 holes, finishing with an even par 72.

That followed Monday's 75 which featured three additional birdies.

'Gerik's been consistent all year. He's definitely the most improved player on the team,' Sheik said.

Illo, a sophomore was his team's top scorer by nine strokes.

Tye Gabriel was next with rounds of 81 and 75.

Like Illo, Gabriel was terrific on Tuesday, shooting even par for the first 11 holes. And Sheik knows that, with just a little work, Gabriel could become one of the state's elite golfers in the near future.

'If he can be a little more handy around the green, he's going to be a force,' Sheik said.

Chris Mei finished just one stroke behind Gabriel with a 78 and a 79. On Monday, Mei was just one-over par through 14 holes but played the final four holes at five over par. As a team, Lake Oswego struggled over the final few holes on Monday, dropping 11 strokes to par.

The Lakers' only senior, Matt Montpas struggled on Monday with an uncharacteristic 82.

But Montpas bounced back early on Tuesday. The senior played the first nine holes at just one over par and ended up with a 79 for the day.

'All of our guys gained invaluable experience,' Sheik said.

For Lakeridge, George Lin was the team's top scorer. He birdied the first hole of the day en route to a 79 then had an even better showing on Tuesday.

After bogeying three of the first seven holes, Lin played the next 11 at even par, finishing his round with a streak of seven straight pars for a 75. His two-day score was good enough for a tie for 26th.

Not far behind were Matt Kitto and Jackson Maynes.

On the first day, Kitto rallied after double bogeying the first two holes of his round and played the next 16 holes at one over par, birdying his final hole of the afternoon for a 77.

Then, on Tuesday, Kitto played a brilliant front nine, going out in a one-under par 35. He would finish with a 79.

Maynes made it through the entire tournament without carding anything worse than a bogey.

On Monday, he had two birdies and three bogeys in his first five holes and had two more birdies on his second nine to shoot 76.

The birdies weren't quite as easy to come by on Tuesday and Maynes finished with a round of 80.

Completing the scoring for Lakeridge was Tyler Elliott. Elliott also double bogeyed his first two holes but came in with a 38 to card an 80 on Monday.

Then, on Tuesday, Elliott endured a tough front nine to shoot 84.

Needless to say, with both teams just losing one player next spring, expectations will be high.

'Teams like Redmond, Canby, Sheldon and Jesuit are very senior-dominant. Our guys are going to play this summer and we have a strong eighth grader coming up so it should be exciting,' Sheik said.