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Pacer boys team loaded with athletes

A versatile squad could make Lakeridge a dark horse in the TRL

Photo Credit: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Jake Spurgeon figures to be one of the top players in the Three Rivers League this year with a soft shooting touch and his ability to play in the paint on a versatile Pacer team. 
Lakeridge boys basketball coach Dane Walker is tempering expectations for the Pacers early in the season but he knows the team has the talent and athleticism to be very competitive in the Three Rivers League this season.

Lakeridge graduated point guard Reggie Oliver, one of the most explosive scorers in the state last season, but returns a slew of athletes and is loaded with potential.

“You never know what things are going to look like until the games start but we have a lot of athletic guys and our depth is good,” Walker said.

Jake Spurgeon returns for his senior season and could be among the premier posts in the state. Lakeridge also has one of the state's top all-around athletes returning in Eric Dungey along with starter McKay Burg.

Walker will have his hands full deciding on rotations early in the season with a deep roster and a variety of players who can fill in at multiple positions.

Keaton Wood, Austin Peters and Scout Simay help contribute to that depth, all joining the team after a successful football season along with Bo McClintock, who logged important minutes for the Pacers late last season.

Freshman Emmanuel Allen should also be an impact player this year.

“We have lots of different options and we haven't settled on how we're going to attack it yet,” Walker said.

With that much versatility, Lakeridge figures to be a team that can adapt to handle a variety of different opponents.

That said, with its team speed and length, Lakeridge will likely be a very up-tempo squad this year and dangerous in transition when the Pacers are at their best.

The Pacers are currently focusing on their team chemistry and figuring out which combinations of players work best together.

“With the size of school we have, there are lots of kids playing multiple sports which I've always supported but this is the first time I've had this group all together so we're in discovery mode right now,” Walker said.

Lakeridge has a high ceiling this year but much will depend on how quickly the team can jell heading into league play.

The Three Rivers League is expected to be one of the most difficult in the state this year, featuring the two-time defending state champions, newly added Tigard and a Lake Oswego team that returns the bulk of its roster.

However, the Pacers expect to contend with the upper echelon of the TRL and could be a dangerous playoff team.

“It's definitely tough but I'd like to think we're going to be in the mix,” Walker said. The Pacers open up the season against Roosevelt.

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