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Pacers handle LO to clinch TRL title

Both teams finish strong and hope for an extended playoff run

The second meeting between the Lakeridge and Lake Oswego boys lacrosse teams had more on the line than it has in a handful of seasons last week.

With the Lakers entering the contest as one of the hottest teams in the state, having knocked off West Linn in overtime the week before, the Pacers were in a position where a potential letdown after their own emotional win over West Linn would drop them into a three-way tie for the league lead.

But, knowing that Lake Oswego has been playing like a different team since the rivals’ first meeting, a narrow victory by Lakeridge, the Pacers rose to the occasion, running away in the second half for an 11-4 victory.

The Lakers were able to play their game in the first two quarters, slowing down the tempo and controlling the ball on offense to limit Lakeridge’s scoring chances.

But the Pacers’ defense was rock solid as well, holding Lake Oswego scoreless in the second quarter to build a slim 4-2 lead at the half.

Brooks Dutton turned in another stellar performance in the goal, turning away a handful of strong shots from the Lakers.

“He’s the best goalie I’ve seen in Oregon this year. No doubt in my mind,” Lakeridge coach Curt Sheinin said.

The Pacers grabbed momentum in the opening seconds of the third quarter. Longstick midfielder Mac Owen scooped up the face-off and sprinted down the field to score and Lakeridge was off and running.

The Pacers started to find their groove offensively and dominated time of possession. Griffin Catlett led the scoring with four goals and Nick Brisbee added three along with a pair of assists.

“We really took over in the second half. Our ball control was great and we got good shots,” Sheinin said.

Alex Marsh had two goals to lead the Lakers.

The win not only gave Lakeridge sole possession of the league title but also clinched the No. 4 ranking in the state which should guarantee the Pacers home field advantage until the Final Four.

Lake Oswego finished as the No. 10 seed in what should be one of the wildest tournaments in years.

“I don’t remember it ever being as wide open as it is this year which is good for lacrosse in Oregon,” Sheinin said.