Pacheco powers Lakeview, Vikes snap skid
Lakeview boys basketball had perhaps its best start of the season on Tuesday, senior Alex Pacheco had perhaps the best game of his career and the Vikings returned to the win column after nearly a three-week wait.
For the first time since opening night, Pacheco and his teammates put a notch in the win column, this time in a 70-50 victory over Clarkson/Leigh.
Lakeview jumped out to a 15-8 lead and led 34-17 at the halftime while Pacheco scored a team-high 18 points to lead three other teammates in double figures.
The Vikings, which opened with a win over Crete on Nov. 29, had lost five in a row before putting together their most complete game of the season against the Patriots.
“We needed that really bad. It was huge for a lot of reasons,” said coach Tyler Colvin, whose group had suffered defeats that ranged from 22 points to four over the past 19 days. “Obviously, just to win feels good, but having the kids keep believing in what we’re trying to do, and more importantly, have them believe in themselves that they can do it when they put their minds to it, and put their effort into it, was big.”
Pacheco was one of the most instrumental factors in Lakeview walking off the floor in higher spirits than normal lately.
Not only did he lead his side in scoring, but the senior also grabbed eight boards and was a constant force in the paint. Pacheco found a rhythm late in the first quarter with six straight points, starting an 8-2 run to finish the period with Lakeview leading 15-8.
The Vikings added 19 more in the second quarter, held the Patriots under 10 again with nine an enjoyed a 17-point halftime advantage.
Clarkson/Leigh chopped it down to 10 after three but remained leaky on defense and allowed 24 fourth-quarter points to the hosts.
“We kind of had the same M.O. to start the game. We came out and kind of settled for some long shots that didn’t go in. When those go in, great, but lately they haven’t been going in,” Colvin said. “Once we settled in and started attacking downhill, getting to the rim and getting out in transition, that really helped us.”
To Colvin’s point, Lakeview went 1 for 5 from 3-point range in the first, then became more selective hitting on 5 of 11 the rest of the night.
The Vikings also won the battle on the glass, 25-14, grabbing 13 of those on the offensive end. Pacheco had three offensive rebounds while Cameron Drozd grabbed five.
“Alex did a great job bringing lots of energy, and he did a good job finishing inside, for the most part,” Colvin said. “I think he’d probably like to have a couple of them back. He probably could have had close to 30 (points).
“But that’s a big step for him. For a kid who didn’t play a ton of varsity last year, he’s giving us great minutes.”
Pacheco played in just nine games a year ago and has served mostly as the sixth man thus far this season.
“If he just keeps working, he has some room to grow as a player,” Colvin said. “I don’t think he’s played a ton of basketball. He’s learning the game, and he’s starting to see he has some physical attributes that allow him to be a difference maker for us.”
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor for the Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com