Gresham gets blocked out by Pacers

by: David Ball, Gresham senior Jake Boyd drives for a layin during the Gophers' loss to host Lakeridge in the seventh-place game of the Pacers' holiday tournament Friday, Dec. 21.

LAKE OSWEGO - Gresham gave itself a chance in the final seconds, but Lakeridge freshman Michael Hoch got his hand in the way to prevent a Gophers' victory. The Pacers' went on to win the seventh-place game at their host holiday boys basketball tournament 69-64 in overtime.

The teams traded the lead eight times in the second half with Lake Oswego going in front 55-53 on an unlikely shot by Josh Little with 2:21 to play. The senior forward was floating out of bounds when he launched the ball into the air from his hip and watched as it arced over the top of a couple Gresham defenders and ripped through the net for two points.

Gresham pulled even when Jake Boyd got loose under the basket for an easy layin with 1:24 to play.

Lakeridge appeared ready to regain the lead when Hoch was fouled with about a minute to play, but both of his attempts clipped the rim and missed. That allowed Gresham to hold for the final shot, calling a timeout with 13.4 seconds left to draw up a final play.

The Gophers worked the ball around the perimeter, but Hock redeemed himself by lunging out past toward the top of the key to block Gresham's game-winning attempt at the buzzer.

Lakeridge dominated the four-minute overtime session, scoring the first seven points to take a 62-55 lead with 2:20 left. Trevan Hertz highlighted the charge when he made a steal at midcourt and swished a fadeaway 8-footer from the baseline.

Boyd tried to give the Gophers life with a steal and a quick 3-pointer to cut the gap to 63-58 with 1:22 left, but Gresham would never get within a single possession.

Gresham finished 0-3 at the tournament.

The Gophers fared well early using an early nine-point spurt to build a 14-9 lead in the first quarter.

Gresham highlighted the run when Martin Garcia floated a cross-court pass that teammate Mickey Inns hauled in at the far side of the rim, letting loose with a short baseline shot before his feet touched the ground. The ball circled the rim once before falling through the net.

Lakeridge bounced back by hitting 4 of 6 (.667) from behind the arc in the second period, taking a 33-31 lead into the intermission when Little beat the buzzer with a long ball two steps behind the line.

Gresham gained its final lead with about five minutes to play when Garcia poked a ball loose and chased a Lakeridge defender down the court. Finally, running out of room, Garcia whipped a no-look pass around the waist of the Pacers' player, putting the ball directly into the hands of teammate Michael Mehlhaff for an uncontested layin.

The Gophers extended to a 51-48 margin when Inns pulled down a rebound and raced the length of the court, dribbling between three defenders to reach the hoop.