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Pacer boys survive play-in battle with Newberg

Reggie Oliver goes off for 36 points as the Pacers advance to the playoffs


A short-handed Lakeridge team survived a scare in its play-in game Saturday, needing a heroic effort from point guard Reggie Oliver to get by a fired-up Newberg squad 66-62 in overtime to advance to the state tournament.

The Pacers were knocked on their heels in the second period and didn't fully recover until the fourth quarter, getting clutch plays in the final few minutes to lock up the win.

Oliver was phenomenal in the game, putting together perhaps his most stellar performance of what has already been a remarkable season.

Knowing he would need to bear a bit more of the load with Lakeridge missing Jake Spurgeon and Eric Dungey, Oliver scored 19 of the team's 21 points in the first quarter and finished with 36 for the game.

But Newberg, which will move into the Three Rivers League next year, made a concerted effort to slow down Oliver in the second quarter and held the Pacers to just nine points in that frame.

As a result, Lakeridge went from leading by five points to trailing 37-30 at the half.

Newberg continued to stall the Pacers early in the third quarter and would go up by 12 points and suddenly Lakeridge's season was on the brink.

But the Pacers righted the ship quickly, whittling the lead down to four points with one quarter to play and setting up a dramatic finish.

Oliver continued to be aggressive for Lakeridge and made a number of strong drives to the hoop. He drew multiple fouls and would finish a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line.

The Pacers tied the game midway through the fourth quarter and then came up with a stop in the final minute.

With the score knotted at 52-52, Lakeridge held for the final shot and got a clean look that rattled out.

In overtime, the Pacers took the early lead and Oliver helmed the offense, scoring six of his team's 11 points in the period as his team fended off a valiant effort by the Tigers.

Although the team was missing two of its top scorers, Lakeridge did get Bo McClintock back from injury in the contest.

Max Minervini had eight points and Joe Sindlinger had seven for the Pacers in the game.

Lakeridge took on a very strong Grant team on the road Wednesday in the first round of the playoffs but results were not available at press time.



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