Lakeridge rallies from its second loss with an 81-55 pounding of the Kingsmen

After suffering just its second loss of the season to a strong Forest Grove team last Friday, Lakeridge rebounded and picked up its 10th win of the season in convincing fashion, blowing out Putnam in the second half en route to an 81-55 victory.

With the win, Lakeridge is now ranked No. 11 by the OSAA rankings as it prepares to take on the brutally tough Three Rivers League.

The TRL, from top to bottom, may be the top league in the state this season as all six teams are currently ranked in the top 20.

Lakeridge has two games remaining before starting its league schedule against Oregon City.

Against the Kingsmen, Lakeridge's offense took a half to warm up. The Pacers were in control for the majority of the contest but couldn't shake a Putnam team that played tough defense in the first half.

Lakeridge led 34-26 at the half but, coming out of the locker room, quickly put things on ice.

The Pacers exploded in the third quarter, keyed, in large part, by their defense.

Lakeridge played tough perimeter defense, denying passes into the paint and came up with a handful of deflections leading to fast break points.

The Pacers thrived when they were able to get out and run and the glut of easy baskets allowed them to build a substantial lead.

Lakeridge poured in 29 points in the third period alone and turned an eight-point advantage into a 25-point blowout.

The Pacers were able to take their foot off the gas somewhat in the fourth quarter but still outscored the Kingsmen down the stretch.

Reggie Oliver led the scoring once again with 26 points.

It was a solid win for the Pacers, coming off a 71-59 loss to Forest Grove in a game that Lakeridge led in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings have been one of the state's surprise teams this year and got off to a quick start against the Pacers with some hot outside shooting.

Still, Lakeridge hung with the Vikings and only trailed 33-30 at the half. Once again, it was a big third quarter that appeared like it would be the difference for the Pacers.

Lakeridge clamped down on defense and held Forest Grove to just 12 points and scored 21 of its own to go up by six with just one period to play.

But the Vikings hung tough, rallying to tie the game at 57-57. Forest Grove would then close the game on a 14-2 run as Lakeridge went cold at an inopportune time.

Oliver had 21 points for the Pacers, Jake Spurgeon had 14 and Max Minervini added 10. The Pacers will play Sprague this Friday and wrap up the regular season next week against David Douglas.

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