The Lakeridge girls basketball team has steadily improved throughout the season and coach Kevin Berry figured his Pacers would be battle tested when they emerged from the Three Rivers League.
Despite picking up big wins this year against Beaverton and Canby, perhaps its biggest came last week when the Pacers avenged an earlier loss to rival Lake Oswego with a 54-41 win.
Hot shooting in a very solid second half allowed the Pacers to pull away and ultimately jump the Lakers for fifth place in the standings.
The first half was slow paced which played to Lake Oswego's advantage. The Lakers did a nice job slowing down Lakeridge's transition offense for much of the game.
Paige Timberg had six points in the first half as Lake Oswego held a 25-22 lead.
Lakeridge would set the tone for the second half in the opening moments of the third quarter. Colleen Ellis knocked down a three-pointer to tie the game and she was just getting started.
Ellis drilled a trio of three-pointers in the opening minutes of the half.
"That's the scary thing about our team is that on any given night someone can step up and get hot like that," Berry said.
Ruby Taylor also knocked down a three-pointer and Kyleigh Young had nine of her 16 points in the period as the Pacers turned a slim lead into a nine-point advantage.
"We took a post out and played with four guards in the second half and that opened things up for us," Berry said.
The hot shooting streak allowed Lakeridge to kill some clock in the fourth quarter and Lake Oswego struggled from the floor down the stretch. Nicole Blizzard hit five of six free throws to ice the victory.
The Pacers would wrap up the regular season with a 74-43 loss against No. 1 Oregon City but played well in defeat.
Lake Oswego wrapped up the regular season on Tuesday with a hard-fought 46-40 loss to No. 4 Clackamas.
Lake Oswego led 14-13 after the opening quarter but the Cavaliers responded with a quarter-long 18-4 run in the second period to seize control of the game.
The Lakers would outscore Clackamas 18-1 in the final quarter but the Cavs held on.
Lake Oswego travels to David Douglas this Friday for its play-in game. The Scots finished fourth in the Mt. Hood Conference.
Lakeridge will travel to Newberg this Friday. The Tigers were fifth in the Pacific Conference this year and lost to Lake Oswego in the preseason.