Lakeridge boys battle but fall short in Les Schwab play
The Lakeridge boys basketball team knew it had a tall task ahead of it in the 2017 Les Schwab invitational.
The Pacers entered the tournament as the least experienced squad in the 16-team LSI field, then had to match up against heavyweights such as defending state champion Jefferson and talented West Salem.
In the end, Lakeridge lost four straight games in the event — held Dec. 27 through Saturday at Liberty High School — but played as hard as it could and learned as much as it could along the way.
The Pacers were routed 108-44 by top-ranked Jefferson (the tournament's eventual third-place finisher) in their Dec. 27 opener, pushed West Salem (the tournament's consolation champion) to the limit in a 59-56 loss on Dec. 28, lost to Oregon City in a competitive 64-58 decision on Friday, and finally, came up on the short end of an 81-68 defeat to Barlow on Saturday.
Jefferson 108, Lakeridge 44: The challenge could not have been greater in the Pacers' tournament opener, with reigning Class 6A state champion Jefferson blasting out to a 17-0 lead at the start of the game and keeping the accelerator mashed to the floor the rest of the way.
While Lakeridge struggled with its shooting throughout the game against the tall and deep Democrats, Jefferson shot 59 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point range in its runaway victory.
Senior Jake Fedrizzi led the Pacers with 11 points, junior Cam Feik added eight points and eight rebounds, and senior Mitch Gerot had six points, four rebounds and two steals.
For Jefferson, the Democrats got 28 points and six rebounds from Marcus Tsohonis, 22 points, eight rebounds, four assists and eight blocks by Kamaka Hepa, and 18 points from Keylin Vance.
West Salem 59, Lakeridge 56: The Pacers had their hands full on Day Two as well, but played their best game of the tournament and pushed West Salem to the very end.
Lakeridge trailed the Titans just 15-13 at the end of the first quarter, but fell behind 35-20 at the half thanks to five points from Tyler Miller and six points by Kyle Greeley in the final 1 minute, 2 seconds of the half.
But the Pacers did not fold. Instead, they rallied behind junior post Carter Larrance, who scored nine of his 15 points in the period, junior guard Matt Armsby's five points and three-pointers from both Fedrizzi and sophomore Ethan McEachern.
Together, that group helped Lakeridge outscore West Salem 20-10 in the period, cut the lead to two points midway through the frame and trailed just 45-40 entering the fourth.
The Pacers kept pushing in the fourth quarter, too, eventually closing within 57-56 when McEachern took a pass from Tony Fair and buried a three-pointer with 58 seconds left in the contest.
From there, West Salem tacked on foul shots by Greeley and Thompson in the final 29 seconds, while Lakeridge turned the ball over once and saw both Fedrizzi and Fair miss three-pointers in the final five seconds.
For the game, Larrance led Lakeridge with 15 points and 11 rebounds, Armsby added 14 points, Fedrizzi had eight, McEachern scored seven points and had six assists, and Fair handed out another five assists.
Greeley led West Salem with 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists, Miller scored nine and Zach Bulgin added eight.
Oregon City 64, Lakeridge 58: The Pacers found themselves in another tight contest on Friday against Oregon City, and for the second straight game, Lakeridge had a chance to win in the final minutes.
This time, the Pacers dug their way out of two big holes against the Pioneers. First, Fedrizzi led the team back from a 30-15 deficit in the second quarter, and then, Armsby brought the Pacers back again from a 42-27 deficit in the third and fourth quarters.
Eventually, Lakeridge clawed back within five points three different times in the fourth quarter, the last of those at 60-55 on a Fair jumper assisted by Fedrizzi with 38 seconds left to play. But the Pioneers got four straight Teron Bradford points in the final 30 seconds and Lakeridge didn't score again until Fedrizzi's three-pointer with eight seconds remaining.
For the game, Fedrizzi led Lakeridge with 22 points and added seven rebounds and four steals, Armsby turned in 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and McEachern added six points and seven assists. Bradford led Oregon City with 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Corban Remsburg and Jake Gettel added eight points each.
Barlow 81, Lakeridge 68: The Pacers fell short in their Saturday finale against Barlow, too, but as was the case with the two games that preceded it, Lakeridge was within striking distance into the game's final minutes.
This time, Lakeridge trailed just 61-54 entering the fourth quarter against the Bruins, then cut its deficit to 64-61 on an Armsby layup with 4:25 left to play after Larrance rebounded Gerot's miss.
But Barlow closed the game on a 17-7 run — including four foul shots from Jaren Hunter in the final 2:08 — and used that stretch to fuel its victory.
For the game, Armsby hit 8 of 11 shots en route to 20 points and five rebounds, Fedrizzi added 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals, and Fair finished with seven points, seven rebounds, five assists and five blocks.