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Pacers hold on for win over Canby

Immanuel Allen's late basket propels Lakeridge 42-41

Photo Credit: VERN UYETAKE - Immanuel Allen goes up for two of his team-high 11 points during Tuesday's game against Canby. Allen had the game-winner with 12 seconds remaining against the Cougars. Despite a cold night shooting, Lakeridge rebounded from a loss to Sherwood to move to 3-3 in league. Lakeridge survived a scare from a Canby team that is winless in league, thanks to some heroics in the closing seconds.

Although the Cougars have yet to win in league, they have been competitive with nearly everyone and their zone gave Lakeridge some problems on Tuesday as the Pacers won 42-41.

Lakeridge has seen their fair share of defenses this year and it has had mixed results against a variety of zones.

On Tuesday, the Pacers had one of their worst shooting of the season, failing to crack 50 points for the second straight game. However, Lakeridge has had a penchant for playing in close games this season and that experience paid dividends this time around.

Lakeridge got off to a strong start, keeping the Cougars in check on defense.

The Pacers jumped out to a 9-2 lead and led 14-7 after the first period. Lakeridge was eager to get back into the win column after a disappointing 48-46 loss to Sherwood last Friday, another game in which Lakeridge struggled against a unique defense.

“We just haven't made shots the last two games. It's been a tough time finding a rhythm against these zones,” coach Dane Walker said.

The Pacers appeared to be in control for the entirety of the first half but missed out on a handful of opportunities to extend the lead.

As a result, Lakeridge led 27-21 at the half but the Cougars, searching to snap a five-game losing streak, sensed an opportunity.

“It felt like we were in control but we could never seem to shake them,” Walker said.

Canby slowly crawled back into the game and, as Lakeridge was bogged down with missed shots and turnovers, the Cougars were able to snag a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

It was grueling final eight minutes for both teams as shots didn't fall for either squad and, in the final minutes of the game, the teams steadily worked the ball around for the best scoring chance.

Lakeridge trailed for the entirety of the quarter but stayed in the game by holding Canby to just four points.

Still, that four points was almost enough to hold on for the win. In the final seconds, Canby led 41-40 before Lakeridge got the ball to an open Immanuel Allen.

“Immanuel's stepped up for us all year. We just need some other people to knock down shots when they're open,” Walker said.

Allen responded by knocking down a shot with 12 seconds left, giving the Pacers their first lead since the third quarter.

Lakeridge then came up with a crucial steal on Canby's final possession, not even giving the Cougars a shot for the win.

“I'd like to have a little more separation in some of these wins but I'm confident in where we're at right now,” Walker said.

Allen would lead Lakeridge with 11 points in the game. Lakeridge is now 3-3 with one game remaining before the midway point against Newberg.

The Pacers are currently tied for fourth place in the TRL.

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