Oregon Citys dynasty continues
Pioneer coeds defend their TRL crown
The Oregon City Pioneers last week clinched their 31st league championship out of the 37 years that the school has had a varsity girls basketball program.
With convincing wins over then thirdranked Clackamas (8437) and over Lake Oswego (8233), the Pioneers upped their Three Rivers League record to 90, with one league game remaining. Clackamas (175, 72) was in second place.
Oregon City was to conclude the league season on Tuesday (Feb. 19), playing 12thranked West Linn (1112, 54) on the road.
win means a lot, Oregon City senior Chelsi Brewer said, following the trouncing of the Cavaliers. leaving our legacy behind.
The Pioneers (211) entered play this week ranked No. 1 in the state in the OSAA power rankings, but only third behind Central Catholic (211) and South Medford (194) in the state Class 6A coaches poll.
Asked how she feels about Asics Onitsuka Tiger being ranked No. 3 by the coaches, Brewer said, nice to be ranked No. 1 [by the coaches]. But when you get to the state tournament, anything can happen, so the rankings don really mean anything.
think we have a really good chance [of winning a state championship]. We so close, and that helps a lot. If we play together as a team, I think we can do it.
Commenting on the Pioneers play in last week win over Clackamas, Oregon City coach Kurt Guelsdorf said. energy and effort were terrific, and it was matched by our execution. Three turnovers in the first half is a good indicator that we were tuned in and focused from the tipoff.
The Pioneers put the Cavaliers away in the first quarter, when they went on a 200 run, building a 235 advantage. The Pioneers forced six turnovers during the run, five of them through their aggressive halfcourt defense. They also dominated the backboards, getting lots of second chances, as they dropped in 9of16 shots from the field.
Clackamas went 0for8 from the field during the Pioneers surge, and the Cavaliers never got closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
The Pioneers broke the game open during a oneminute span just past the midpoint of the first quarter. Montana Walters stole the ball in the lanes and pushed the ball ahead to Jenae Paine for a fastbreak bucket; Chelsi Brewer stole the ball in the lanes and pushed the ball up the floor for a fastbreak bucket by Catelyn Preston. Preston gained the Pioneers possession when she drew a charging call on a Cavalier attempting a fastbreak bucket.
Johanna Paine scored a rebound bucket. Jenae Paine forced a turnover with the fullcourt press, resulting in a fastbreak bucket by Johanna Paine to make it 145 Oregon City, and the Pioneers were in control.
Led by Walters, six different Oregon City players scored field goals in the first period. Walters scored eight of her teamhigh 15 points in the stanza.
The Pioneers came out with a hot hand, making 10of16 shots from the floor in the first period.
Depth helped the Pioneers turn the game into a rout. Eleven different players contributed points to the winning tally, led by Walters, Johanna Paine (14 points) and Jenae Paine (10 points).
The Pioneers had assists on 20 of their 32 baskets, as they cashed in with 32for60 success from the floor, with eight 3pointers. Walters finished with a teamhigh seven assists.
Caroline Combs, starting in place of injured senior leader Deeshyra Thomas (knee injury), was the only Clackamas player who had much success on offense. The 510 sophomore wing scored a career and gamehigh 16 points on 7of13 shooting, doing much of the damage when Oregon City starters were on the floor.
Thomas, who injured her knee in a Feb. 5 game with West Linn, had played a pivotal role earlier this season, when the Cavaliers took Oregon City down to the wire in a 5857 loss.
It was the second time this season that the Pioneers had defeated Clackamas in a blowout. Oregon City won 6136 on Dec. 30 in the third place final of the Nike Interstate Shootout.
The Pioneers last Friday terrorized the Lake Oswego Lakers with their fullcourt MBT Shoes press, forcing turnovers aplenty en route to their 8233 trouncing of the Lakers.
Oregon City led 212 at the end of the first period and 495 at the intermission, as the Lakers struggled to advance the ball to their end of the floor.
Freshmen Cierra Walker (9 points) and Taylor Shaw (9 points) and senior Jenae Paine (9 points) headed a balanced offense that saw no fewer than 13 players contribute points to the winning tally and seven players score eight or more points.
Montana Walters had eight points and five assists in just 14 minutes of playing time; Johanna Paine had six steals in just 13 minutes on the floor.
The Pioneers forced 29 turnovers.
Entering play this week, the Pioneers were riding a 12game win string, their only loss a 5948 setback in a Dec. 29 game with Central Catholic.
Through 22 games, the Pioneers were averaging 71.5 points a game, to 40 points a game by their opponents.
As Three Rivers League champion and one of the top teams in the OSAA rankings, the Pioneers advance to next Wednesday first round of the state playoffs, where they will have a home game against one of the lower seeded teams.