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The TRL champion Pacers pull away thanks to their tough defense down the stretch.

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Lakeridge senior Kemper Flood (shown here against Clackamas) and the Pacers rallied past West Linn 56-46 in the consolation semifinals of the Class 6A state tournament at the Chiles Center on Friday, March 11.The Lakeridge girls basketball team wasn't ready to let its best season in ages come to an end.

And though West Linn did see the end to its 2021-22 campaign, the Lions went down swinging.

The Pacers bounced back from their quarterfinal loss to Clackamas by knocking off West Linn 56-46 in the consolation semifinals on Friday, March 11, at the Chiles Center on the University of Portland campus.

"I'm super proud of how the team played," said Lakeridge junior wing Keelie O'Hollaren, who tied for team-high scoring honors with 17 points (on 7 of 21 shooting from the field, including one 3-pointer and a 2 of 2 day at the free throw line), along with four rebounds and one blocked shot. "With a tough game last night and an early morning, it would have been easy to get down, but the key to this one was to move on from last night and play our game today."

"(The key was) just leaving it all on the court and playing like it could have been our last game," said senior point guard Reese Ericson, who scored 17 points (on 6 of 14 shooting from the field, including two 3-pointers and a 3 of 4 day at the foul line), along with four rebounds, nine assists and four steals. "(I'm) very happy with the resilience we showed (and) we aren't done yet."

With the win, the fourth-ranked Lions improved to 23-5 overall after winning the Three Rivers League. No. 8 West Linn, meanwhile, lost for the second straight time and finished its year at 17-9 after placing second in the Three Rivers.

"I am very proud of how our team played," said West Linn coach Brooke Cates. "We are a team that has a lot of heart and grit and that showed again."

The Lions were led by senior post Audrey Kehoe's 15 points (on 5 of 9 shooting from the field and a 5 of 8 day at the foul line), along with six rebounds, an assist and two blocked shots. Freshman guard Allie Roden added 13 for the Lions (on 6 of 16 shooting from the field, including one 3-pointer), along with six rebounds, one assist and four steals.

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - West Linn senior Olivia McVicker (shown here against Beaverton) and the Lions pushed Lakeridge throughout their consolation semifinal at the Class 6A state tournament at the Chiles Center on Friday, March 11.

The Lions started fast on Friday, taking a 9-7 lead in the first quarter and building that edge to 17-12 at the end of the period. Highlights in that stretch included a jumpshot by senior Alana Molden, a steal and breakaway from Roden, a 3-pointer by senior Campbell Sheffield and a late Sheffield foul shot.

The Pacers turned the table in the second and third quarters, however, outscoring the Lions 17-11 in the second to grab a 29-28 lead at the half, then using a 20-14 advantage in the third period to boost their edge to 49-42.

In the second quarter, Lakeridge stitched together a 13-4 run highlighted by five straight Ericson points (including a "three"), another 3-pointer from senior Kemper Flood and a three-point play by junior Jadyn Harrell.

And in the third, after the Lions tied the score at 33-33 on a Kehoe jumpshot, the Pacers pulled away with a 16-9 run that included seven Ericson points — including five straight in the final 48 seconds of the period — and another "three" by Flood.

With the game still very much in doubt in the fourth quarter, the Pacers clamped down on defense and held the Lions to just four points in the final eight minutes, with West Linn going just 1 of 10 from the field and 2 of 5 at the foul line.

"After we got down in the first quarter we responded positively and fought back," O'Hollaren said. "We could have let it go like last night, but we didn't, and I'm super proud of the team for that."

"It was a game of runs, and unfortunately for us, Lakeridge had the last one," Cates added.


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