by: VERN UYETAKE Brandon Loiler puts up a shot against West Linn’s Ryan Shearmire in Tuesday’s loss to the Lions.

After a terrific start, the Lakeridge boys basketball team couldn't keep up with a red-hot West Linn team on Tuesday, falling 74-57.

The Pacer defense did a nice job slowing West Linn down in the opening minutes.

The Lions struggled to get off open shots and Lakeridge played with good early energy to jump out to a 12-4 lead.

Brandon Loiler had a pair of baskets and Tom Knecht knocked down a three to help stake the Pacers to an early lead.

West Linn called timeout and then freshman Anthony Mathis caught fire. He hit three consecutive three-pointers from the corner to erase Lakeridge's lead in a heartbeat.

Loiler then picked up his second foul with just two seconds remaining in the quarter which hindered the Pacers' attack.

Lakeridge only trailed 17-15 after the first quarter and hung with the Lions early in the second period.

Michael Walker hit an early three-pointer and Madison Pihl did a nice job crashing the boards.

But midway through the second quarter the Lions caught fire, hitting difficult shots in traffic and long-range jumpers to build a lead.

Phil had nine points in the quarter but West Linn's attack put the Lions up 42-28 at the break.

West Linn extended its lead in the third quarter with a three-pointer from Hayden Coppedge and the Pacers then went ice cold.

The Lions also started to control the glass after getting outworked in that area in the first half.

West Linn led by 25 points with one quarter to play and both teams ended up clearing the bench early in the fourth quarter.

Pihl had a solid game for the Pacers, scoring 17 points and pulling down seven rebounds.

The win followed another tough loss, this time to Oregon City.

Lakeridge couldn't solve the Pioneers' defense in the first half and also shot the ball poorly, scoring just 15 points in the first and second quarter combined.

Oregon City built a 14-point lead at the half but Lakeridge made an impressive comeback in the third period.

The Pacers cut the gap to just four points heading into the fourth quarter but the Pioneers were calm under pressure in putting the game away 57-48.

Pihl and Walker each had 12 points in the game. Lakeridge will look for the season sweep against Canby this Friday.

The Pacers knocked off the Cougars in a close game earlier this year.

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