6A boys basketball — The Tigers play one their best games of the season, but fall 66-62 in overtime in a 6A play-in game Saturday

LAKE OSWEGO — Playing with confidence following its 70-57 win over Glencoe in the regular season finale, Newberg saw its playoff hopes dashed by Lakeridge, which prevailed 66-62 Saturday in a 6A play-in game.

“It would have been a fun one to win and it could have gone either way,” head coach Dave Brown said.

The Tigers have struggled offensively for long stretches this season, but carved up the Crimson Tide defense Feb. 25 with excellent ball movement, amassing 19 assists at home on Senior Night.

Newberg exploded for 19 points in the second quarter, forcing 11 turnovers, including seven steals, to establish a 32-19 advantage by SETH GORDON - On the rise - Jacob Pendergraph elevates to the basket during Newberg's 70-57 victory over Glencoe Feb. 25.

The two teams combined to score 42 points in the third quarter, after which Glencoe put on a full-court press and cut the lead to eight with 6:13 to play.

The Tigers needed just seven seconds to respond, breaking the press with ease to set up Jacoby Wolfe for an old-fashioned three-point play.

Glencoe stayed within shouting distance over the next three minutes, but with the Newberg student section rooting for the team’s seniors, Matt Freeman obliged, knocking down a three-pointer that made it 67-53 with 2:47 to play.

The crowd was especially pleased to see senior Gregoria Pompucci, a 5-foot-8 exchange student from Italy, enter the game and score the game’s final point at the free throw line.

Wolfe led the effort with 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Jake Sundquist added 16 points and six rebounds.

With their season on the line Saturday, the Tigers were ambushed by Lakeridge guard Reggie Oliver, who scored 19 points in the first quarter to lift the Pacers to a 21-16 lead.

With Braden Milroy and Jacob Pendergraph shadowing Oliver in the second quarter, Newberg held Lakeridge to nine points and scored 21 of their own to take a 37-30 lead into the break.

“The guys were moving the ball well, we didn’t turn the ball over much,” Brown said. “B.J. Ulloa had a nice game at the point guard spot. He’s really improved a ton this year and it showed in a game like this.”

Both offenses slowed in the third, but it was a hustle play by Milroy that got Brown fired up in the third quarter.

After James Willcuts twice slapped a loose ball away from an opponent, Milroy tracked the play from the back side, dove to the floor and somehow managed to get the ball to Willcuts while sliding on the floor. Willcuts quickly found Wolfe, who dished to junior Matt Springer for the two easiest of his team-high 16 points.

“It’s one of the best plays I’ve seen in a long time. I guess it’s the epitome of looking forward to next year because he wasn’t the only one. They are really getting to the point where they’re understanding how to compete, not play. I think that showed.”

Both teams attempted game-winning shots in the final minute, but none connected, leaving the score knotted at 52-52.

Lakeridge (16-8) seized the lead early in overtime and held off the Tigers, who committed a pair of untimely turnovers and misfired on several free throws.

While Newberg (7-17) featured four players in double figures — Freeman with 16, Wolfe and Ulloa with 11 apiece and Sundquist with 10 — Oliver finished with 36 points, doing most of his damage in the second half and over time from the free throw line.

“He was hitting six feet from the free throw line no problem,” Brown said. “To get 36 in a basketball game against the D that was played against him was pretty impressive.”

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