Crucial tilt with Cavs could determine third place in TRL

The Lakeridge boys basketball team couldn't keep pace with West Linn in the second meeting of the year between the teams last Friday. Earlier in the season, Lakeridge held a fourth-quarter lead against the No. 5 Lions before coming up just short.

This time, West Linn pulled away in the second quarter and shot the ball well for the majority of the game in an 85-59 win.

Lakeridge matched the Lions shot for shot in the first quarter. After West Linn built a small lead thanks to the play of post Ryan Shearmire, Lakeridge battled back thanks to three straight hoops from Reggie Oliver.

West Linn's Payton Pritchard answered with a three-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer and the Lions led 21-18.

Lakeridge continued to stay within striking distance early in the second quarter as Oliver carried the load on offense.

However, West Linn's Anthony Mathis knocked down back-to-back threes and the lead quickly grew to double digits.

Lakeridge scored the first four points of the third quarter and kept West Linn scoreless for the opening three minutes of the half but couldn't mount a significant run.

The Lions answered with a 10-1 run to all but seal the game.

Oliver had 20 points in the game for the Pacers and Michael Walker added 17.

Lakeridge followed with a tough 42-41 loss to Canby on Tuesday. The game was slow and close throughout with the Cougars succeeding in dictating the pace.

Canby led by five at the half but Lakeridge rallied back with strong defense in the third quarter to close the gap to one point.

Lakeridge took a slim lead in the final minute of the game but Canby regained possession in the closing moments.

Jordan Sanders knocked down a shot with 10 seconds remaining and Lakeridge couldn't answer on the other end, giving the Cougars the victory.

The Pacers have now dropped two straight but those games will mean little if they can win at home this Friday against Clackamas. Another win over the Cavaliers would clinch third place in the league and a first-round bye in the postseason.

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