Lake Oswego erases a 15-point deficit to pick up its second league victory

by: VERN UYETAKE - Lake Oswego's Zach Parker looks to lift a shot over Lakeridge's Jake Spurgeon in Tuesday's come-from-behind victory over the Pacers. The first-quarter woes continued for the Lake Oswego boys basketball team Tuesday on the road against rival Lakeridge. However, the Lakers have shown that they aren't fazed by early deficits this year and, after a handful of close losses, Lake Oswego pulled out a 57-49 victory.

Backed by a vocal home crowd, the Pacers started the game at a blistering clip and, early on, appeared like their energy and emotion would carry them to a much-desired victory.

Reggie Oliver had a phenomenal first half, draining his first four shots from the field including three straight 3-pointers.

Lakeridge opened the game on a 10-0 run and led 21-6 before a late rebound attempt was tipped into the Lake Oswego basket by the Pacers.

“If we could play a bit in the first quarter we'd probably have a pretty different record,” Laker coach Mark Shoff said.

Lakeridge continued to shoot the ball well in the second period, getting back-to-back 3-pointers from Eric Dungey, but Lake Oswego started to settle in on offense.

Zach Parker got the Lakers going with two strong drives to the basket. Lakeridge led by as much as 14 in the second quarter but Lake Oswego closed the half on a tear.

The Pacers started to get careless with the ball and Lake Oswego took advantage, closing the gap to just two points at 35-33.

“I thought we had it at the half even though we were down. Everyone was pretty excited about getting the lead to two points,” Laker point guard Jazz Johnson said.

Armed with renewed confidence, Lake Oswego grabbed its first lead of the game on a 3-pointer by Johnson early in the second half.

Lakeridge responded with a brief full-court press that paid dividends, resulting in a pair of turnovers that were converted into points.

A resounding dunk by Dungey got the crowd back in the game. Jake Spurgeon carried the Pacers on offense in the quarter and Lakeridge still held a 43-42 advantage after the third quarter.

However, Lakeridge found itself in foul trouble as Dungey and Oliver were each saddled with four and Spurgeon with three.

Spurgeon continued his strong play to start the fourth quarter but Lake Oswego started to dominate the paint.

While Lakeridge held the advantage on the perimeter for much of the contest, Lake Oswego made its living controlling the boards and getting the ball inside, particularly in the second half.

“We're not a great 3-point shooting team so we try to get to the basket as much as possible,” Johnson said.

Sophomore Drew Todd had a big game for the Lakers with nine points and 10 rebounds and Max Dinesen added 10 points and eight boards.

“I thought Drew, for a sophomore, played a really great game and made good decisions,” Shoff said.

With 3:20 left in the game, Oliver was whistled for his fifth foul and he finished the game with 20 points, all in the first half.

Both teams struggled from the foul line to close out the game but Lakeridge went cold from the field as well in the final minutes as the Lakers ground out a win.

“Lakeridge is an awfully good team and that was a huge win for us,” Shoff said.

The win followed a tough overtime loss to Oregon City where the Lakers couldn't close out the game in the final period.

Lakeridge fell in a close game to No. 2 Clackamas Friday.

Lakeridge, Lake Oswego, Canby and Oregon City are all tied for third place in the TRL at 2-3 with likely just one automatic playoff berth available.

Lake Oswego takes on Canby next Tuesday while Lakeridge squares off against Oregon City.

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