Pacers back in Final Four after big win over Jesuit
Following a postponement due to lightning on Friday night, the Lakeridge boys lacrosse team didn't miss a beat, rolling into Jesuit on Saturday afternoon and walking away with a convincing 13-7 victory.
The Pacers were terrific in the final quarter, turning what had been a close game into a decisive victory.
As has been the case for much of the season, it took a while for Lakeridge to start running on all cylinders but once the Pacers got up to speed, the Crusaders simply couldn't keep up.
"We've been trying to work on (our starts). The theme has always been to play a full 48 minutes. We didn't play badly in the first half at all but we weren't as sharp as we can be," coach Curt Sheinin said.
Lakeridge never trailed in the game but Jesuit was within striking distance for the entirety of the first three quarters.
The Pacers knew that Jesuit would be a dangerous quarterfinal opponent. The Crusaders had only lost twice to an Oregon opponent this year with one of those occasions being to Lakeridge in the preseason.
"They're a tough team. They play extremely good defense and it's always fun to play them," Sheinin said.
Lakeridge led 6-5 at the half but the team was confident that it would be able to put the game away in the second half on the road.
The third quarter was a defensive struggle. The Pacers tightened up their defense significantly, limiting the Crusaders' chances and shutting them out in the period.
"We stopped giving them opportunities that we normally don't give up," Sheinin said.
Still, the Pacers only mustered one goal of their own to lead 7-5 with 12 minutes to play.
In the fourth quarter, Jesuit started to press and was forced to break away from its zone defense.
That opened things up for the Pacer offense and Lakeridge responded by getting multiple open looks, scoring six times in the final period to put the game away.
Sophomore J.R. McLaughlin led the charge with four goals. Drew Haroldson had three goals and two assists. Johnny Clayton had three goals and Blake Dutton had two goals and two assists.
The victory propelled Lakeridge into the Final Four and set up a semifinal showdown with Lincoln on Wednesday night.