Lake Oswego boys sprint past Lakeridge 64-41
The Lake Oswego and Lakeridge boys basketball teams may have been at opposite ends of the Three Rivers League standings coming into their Friday, Feb. 14, contest, but c'mon. This one still meant a lot.
For the Lakers, it marked a chance to extend their current winning streak and maybe even extend their lead in the TRL.
For the Pacers, Friday's game meant another shot at breaking through for a league win and getting themselves right heading down the home stretch of the 2020 season.
And besides all that, it was the second 2020 iteration of the Battle of the Lake.
In the end, the Lakers shook off a pesky Pacer effort in the final quarter and a half, pulling away to win 64-41 at Lake Oswego High School.
"It's always fun with them being our crosstown rival," said Lake Oswego senior guard Casey Graver, who finished with 10 points (on 4 of 11 shooting from the field and a 2 of 3 day at the foul line), along with four rebounds, two assists, one blocked shot and one steal. "We didn't do much in the first half, the first three quarters really, but the fourth quarter, we kind of got back in the swing of things a little bit more."
"We think every game is a big deal, especially coming down the stretch," said Lake Oswego senior guard Jack Chlumak, who added 10 points (on 2 of 5 shooting from the field and a 6 of 8 day at the foul line), along with five rebounds and four assists. "We know every game is equal, that this is big and important, and that's how we took this game and how we'll take the next three."
With the win, its seventh straight, No. 10 Lake Oswego lifted its Three Rivers League record to 9-0 and its overall mark to 13-8. No. 44 Lakeridge, meanwhile, lost for the 11th straight time and fell to 0-9 in TRL play and 5-15 overall.
"We wanted to give them a game," said Lakeridge senior guard Mason Nelson, who finished with 10 points (on 3 of 8 shooting from the field with one 3-pointer and a 3 of 7 day at the foul line), along with five rebounds, one steal and one assist. "We didn't shoot the ball well, but we knew we wanted to come in and try to make it our senior night. I'm proud of our team."
"I feel like we've been playing the entire season like we're scared, like we're at a disadvantage already," said Lakeridge senior post Eric Struik, who led all scorers with 18 points (on 8 of 14 shooting from the field and a 2 of 8 day at the foul line), along with 11 rebounds, three blocks and one steal. "We need to go out there and start being proactive against the other teams."
While the Lakers kicked off the evening with their Senior Day festivities, the Pacers did their best to try and spoil it. They got a Nelson 3-pointer from the right corner assisted by junior Kobe Kruse, and then, an inside basket from Struik set up by senior Nick Holum to lead 9-5 with 1 minute, 49 seconds to go in the first quarter.
The Lakers edged back within 11-10 at the end of the period thanks to a Graver jumpshot, and with 18 seconds to go, a Graver three-point play.
Lake Oswego then carried that momentum into the second quarter big-time. The Lakers opened the second frame on a 13-1 run that included three Chlumak foul shots, three points by Graver, a 3-pointer from junior Grayden Smith and two points each by senior Sam Abere and senior Jake Archambo to lead 23-12 on a Graver foul shot with 1:43 left in the half.
The Lakers took a 25-15 edge into halftime, but led just 30-21 3:10 into the third quarter thanks to a pair of Struik baskets.
From there, however, Lake Oswego took over to win going away, outscoring the Pacers 34-20 over the game's final 12:22. That stretch saw junior post Trace Salton go off for six points in the third quarter, Chlumak break free for another seven, senior Grant Brauner add four of his team-high 11 points, while Smith, junior Jack Woolf, senior Kaden Wheeler and sophomore Dylan Layne all knocked down 3-pointers and senior Sam Herron hit a free throw.
"We just focused on coming in and playing our basketball," Graver said, adding that the team's bench has "been doing that in practice all the time so I'm glad they got a chance to show that out here."
"All those guys are completely capable of pushing us every day in practice," Chlumak said. "We have trust in them and we knew there wasn't going to be any drop-off when they were on the court. We have trust in them and I thought they did a great job."
The Pacers tried to stay close behind another six points from Struik, all seven of senior Aaron Buck's points in the fourth quarter and five more from Nelson, but on this night, it just wasn't enough.
"We played hard. We fought hard, we played smart, but props to them," Nelson said. "They're a great team inside and outside."
Looking ahead to their final three games, Struik and the Pacers haven't given up.
"We'd like to take the rest, but we'll take whoever we can," he said.
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