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Pacer boys lose nail-biter to Grant


Lakeridge has its chances in the fourth quarter but falls to the Generals in the playoffs

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lakeridge's Jake Spurgeon maneuvers for room against Grant's Deiondre Bird in the Pacers' loss to the Generals last week. Spurgeon, a junior, had 14 points in the game. The Lakeridge boys basketball team could never quite get over the hump against Grant in its bid to advance in the playoffs last week.

The Pacers stayed within striking distance of the Generals for the entirety of the contest and had a chance to tie in the closing seconds but fell 58-53.

Grant scored the first six points of the game but Lakeridge battled back quickly, getting a 3-point play from Jake Spurgeon to go up 11-9.

The Generals would then close on an 8-0 run as Lakeridge went cold from the field.

The teams traded baskets early in the second quarter but Grant began to hurt the Pacers on the glass. Back-to-back blocks and a 3-pointer by the Generals pushed the lead to 29-21 and Lakeridge started to become reluctant challenging Grant in the paint.

Lakeridge trailed by eight heading into the third quarter but Reggie Oliver, who was held to just four points in the first half, opened the second half with a 3-pointer.

Eric Dungey also came alive for Lakeridge in the period, scoring seven straight points, culminating with a 3-point play.

Grant always seemed to have an answer to a Pacer run, however, getting two wide open looks to push its advantage back to eight points again.

The Generals led 41-36 with one quarter to play but Oliver began to assert himself early in the fourth, cutting the lead to two points quickly.

A 3-pointer from Spurgeon made it 52-51 with less than four minutes to play.

Grant began to slow the game down but turned the ball over, clinging to its one-point lead with 2:30 to play.

Lakeridge had a chance to grab its first lead of the game since the opening quarter but an offensive foul gave the ball back to the Generals.

Another Grant turnover gave Lakeridge another chance. Oliver missed a tough, contested lay-up and a Grant player was fouled, hitting both free throws with 30 seconds remaining.

Oliver then scored a quick lay-up, cutting the lead to one point once more.

Grant responded with another pair of free throws. Needing a 3-pointer, Oliver's deep shot was off-target and the Generals corralled the rebound with just second remaining.

Dieondre Bird was fouled with just seconds remaining and hit both free throws, ending the Pacers' season.

Oliver had 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter. Dungey had 15 and Spurgeon added 14 for Lakeridge.

The Pacers will lose five seniors including Oliver but return a strong junior class next season.