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Laker boys fend off Pacers down the stretch

Lakeridge nearly overcomes an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter

MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lake Oswego's Drew Todd fights for position in the post against Lakeridge in Tuesday's victory. Todd led the Lakers with a game-high 20 points.The first meeting of the year between the Lakeridge and Lake Oswego boys basketball teams was everything you would expect it to be.

The game was physical, emotional, dramatic and, at times, a little sloppy. Lake Oswego led for the majority of the game after a run late in the first half but the Pacers nearly rallied from an 11-points deficit in the fourth quarter before falling 55-45.

The energy was high for both teams in the first quarter which led to some uncharacteristic turnovers by both sides.

There were six lead changes in the first period alone and, after a pair of late baskets from Nate Ninteman, the Pacers led 10-9.

Lake Oswego made an effort to key on Lakeridge's Immanuel Allen with Rodney Hounshell guarding him closely in man-to-man defense.

Allen scored the game's first basket but was frustrated for the remainder of the first half. Defensively, the Pacers countered with Keaton Wood guarding Hounshell who also had trouble finding his offensive game early on.

Lakeridge would go up 14-13 on a bucket by Austin Peters but Lake Oswego would close the half on a 12-2 run, getting the Pacers into foul trouble along the way.

Lake Oswego got back-to-back three-pointers from Hounshell and Daniel Baumer at the end of the half and led 25-16.

The Laker defense continued to give Lakeridge problems in the third period and, although Lake Oswego could only muster nine points in the quarter, the Pacers couldn't cut into the lead.

Without Allen, Lakeridge struggled to find offense but Allen scored his team's final four points of the third quarter and the Pacers trailed 34-24.

Both teams started to find a rhythm in the fourth quarter. Ninteman, playing with four fouls, gave the Pacers an early boost in the quarter while Drew Todd had a pair of early baskets for Lake Oswego.

Wood and Allen scored back-to-back hoops on breakaways for the Pacers before Lake Oswego countered with a bucket from Sean Elliott.

Lakeridge was starting to feel a shift in momentum however. Allen converted a three-point play and later hit two more free throws, capping a 10-2 run that cut the lead to 42-40 with less than four minutes to play.

Lake Oswego stayed calm and collected. A steal and bucket by Andrew Meskel and free throws from Hounshell and Baumer helped the Laker to a 7-0 run of their own.

Lakeridge ran out of time for another comeback. Despite a late three from Ian Gaekwad, the Lakers hit free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Todd had 20 points for the Lakers while Allen led the Pacers with 11.