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Sandy rallies to beat Lake Oswego at tourney

by: SANDY POST: PARKER LEE - Sandys Raquel Pellecer, in the camoflouge warmup, gathers her team during a timeout. The Sandy girls’ basketball program hosted the first annual Gateway to Mt. Hood summer tournament last weekend. The tournament served as a fundraiser, but also gave the Pioneers a chance to get some live game experience against other 5A and 6A schools.

“It is a good opportunity for us to see some good teams we wouldn’t normally see,” Sandy coach Ryan Alexander said. “We get four games in a weekend, and we get a whole lot more out of that than if we just had two practices.”

Sandy fell to Wilson in its first contest of the tournament, but bounced back with an impressive 38-35 come-from-behind win over Lake Oswego.

The Pioneers opened the game ice-cold from the field and couldn’t buy a hoop. The Lakers, on the other hand, were in a groove right from the tipoff. A few Sandy misses and Lake Oswego makes put the Pioneers in a 10-0 hole five minutes into the first half.

“We had to use two minutes in the first few minutes just to refocus,” Alexander said. “Mentally, we were down after the Wilson game, and our intensity was down. Finally, at about the five-minute mark, we started to play. We figured it out and gave a good effort.”

After Sandy spotted the Lakers the 10-point lead, Raquel Pellecer decided it was time for her team to snap out of its funk. She took matters into her own hands by making a driving layup on one possession and two free throws on the next. From then on, the Pioneers looked like a completely different team.

Pellecer’s four points sparked a 10-2 Sandy run over a stretch of 13 minutes. During the run, Pellecer posted six points, six steals and five rebounds. She finished with a team-high 15 points.

Sandy’s run made it a two-point game with less than two minutes to play in the half, but Lake Oswego nailed a couple late shots to take a 17-12 advantage into halftime. That lead was erased when the Pioneers began the second half much better than the first.

Sandy went on a 15-2 run in the first 10 minutes of the second half to take a 27-19 lead. The Pioneers maintained that momentum and stayed on top by at least four points until Lake Oswego sank a 3-pointer with five seconds left to make it a 36-35 game. Pellecer was fouled on the inbound with one second left, and she drained both foul shots to preserve the win for the Pioneers.