The Pioneers upset South Salem, play Southridge for title
PORTLAND - It's hard to call any victory by the Oregon City girls basketball team an upset, but technically that's what happened Friday.
Trailing by eight points early, the sixth-ranked Pioneers recovered and overcame a 25-point performance from Evina Westbrook to reach the final for the first time in four years by beating second-ranked, and two-time defending champion South Salem 54-46 in the semifinals of the OSAA Class 6A girls tournament at the Chiles Center.
N'Dea Flye led three players in double figures with 14 points for Oregon City, which will play Southridge for the title Saturday night at 8:15 p.m.
Top-ranked Southridge beat No. 4 Grant, 36-34, in the first semifinal.
Since 2001, Southridge and Oregon City have combined to win 11 state titles.
Southridge led from start to finish, but survived a late run by the upstart Generals to return to the final for the first time since 2010.
Saturday's meeting will be the third between the schools in a state final with the Skyhawks having won the previous battles in 2006 and '08.
Oregon City, Central Catholic survive upset bids, but Clackamas falls to Tigard
March 7, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
Beaverton and Westview were sizable underdogs entering Friday's quarterfinals at the Rose Garden, but both put forth determinted efforts before falling into the consolation round during the Class 6A girls basketball state tournament.
Top-rated Oregon City led just 39-37 at halftime, but pulled away thereafter for a 70-53 win over Beaverton, while Central Catholic with its two major-college signees on the court and playing well, pulled away from a 24-22 haltime advantage for a 55-50 victory.
Tigard, though, pulled the tournament's key upset, 34-30, over Clackamas, one of the four top seeds in the 32-team playoff bracket. Lexi Carter scored 12 points and Megan Risinger pulled down 17 rebounds for the Tigers.
Defending champion South Medford had little trouble with St. Mary's, 68-38.
OREGON CITY 70, BEAVERTON 53
Senior Jo Paine had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and the Pioneers shot 52 percent from the field for the game, but couldn't shake the spunky Beavers until a 14-1 run in the third and fourth quarters game them a 57-43 lead. Oregon City got 15 points from Catelyn Preston and six points and six assists from Montana Walters, who fouled out early in the fourth quarter.
The Beavers got 17 points from Danielle Hartzog and 15 points from Alexis Montgomery.
CENTRAL CATHOLIC 55, WESTVIEW 50
Senior post Kailee Johnson had 17 points, 18 rebounds, six blocked shots and ever a pair of assists and senior point guard Jordan Reynolds had 14 points, five rebounds and three assists, and yet the Wildcats wouldn't surrender quietly even with their star, Jaime Nared, struggling against Johnson - hitting just 4 of 25 shots. Nared still finished with 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Wildcats outscored the Rams 28-10 in second-chance points - largely because of their 25 offensive rebounds.
Westview rallied from a 16-5 deficit at the end of the first quarter and trailed just 34-31 when an 8-0 run midway through the third quarter pushed the Rams ahead 42-31 and only a late run of scores by Westview made the score closer.
TIGARD 34, CLACKAMAS 30
In a game in which neither team made a three-point shot, Tigard prevailed at the free-throw line, making 12 of its 14 attempts, while Clackamas made just six of 12. Carter's two free throws with 24 seconds left from a 30-all tie and Meeka Mayhew added two more with seven seconds left for the final margin.
Sydney Azorr scored 13 points and Deeshyra Thomas added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Clackamas, which made just 12 of 54 shots from the field. Tigard made just 11 of 39 shots, but did not attempt a three-pointer.
SOUTH MEDFORD 68, ST. MARY'S 38
The Panthers broke free of the Blues with an 18-10 second quarter to build a 33-22 lead at the half and it only got bigger. All 10 players who reached the floor scored for South led by Kylie Towry with 15 points. South made just 4 of 17 three-point shots, but fired up 65 field-goal attempts and caused 23 turnovers.
The Pioneers have seven days of hoop, sun planned for this week
Dec. 10, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
A year ago, the Oregon City girls basketball team was getting primed to challenge South Medford, Central Catholic, Clackamas, Westview and the rest of the elite girls basketball world on the way to a state title.
But, they ran into one big problem - themselves, and lost in the quarterfinals of the state tournament to a league rival they’d beaten twice already by an average of 27 points.
“Last year’s loss was a big deal because we didn’t give it our all,” says guard Montana Walters, one of 11 seniors on the team. “We should have easily won that game. “We ended up fighting a lot in the season. We’re around each other a lot, and it’s like a sister - you fight a lot.”
This year, the Pioneers have worked on getting over that hurdle on their way to a trip to Hawaii for the second-straight year to play in the eight-team Iolani Classic beginning Thursday.
“We’ve become a lot closer as a team this year,” Walters says. “Law year really woke us up to how important that is.”
Oregon City has four players headed for college programs, including Walters and 6-foot post Johanna Paine, who have both signed to play at Santa Clara of the West Coast Conference.
Catelyn Preston is headed for Northern Arizona of the Big Sky and Jenae Paine will play at NCAA Div. II Metro State of Denver.
A core of college-bound seniors is nothing new for Oregon City, but the team’s leaders, Walters and Johanna Paine, have, coach Kurt Guelsdorf says, done a fantastic job of creating a highly supportive team environment.
“I really like how they’ve worked to bring the girls together, and not just the seniors, but the younger girls, too,” he says. “That’s the kind of thing we love to see and they’re doing it.
“That’s great leadership.”
Johanna Paine, one of four returning starters, says working with the program’s younger players has helped focus the varsity team beyond itself.
“We want the younger girls to get better and keep the program strong after we leave,” Paine says. “But, we really want to win a title. None of us have won one and that’s really important. This is the time.”
In Hawaii, the Pioneers will have a chance to play teams from Florida, Texas, even China as well as the host state. The boys portion of the tournament, which is 16 teams, includes Oak Hill Academy.
Oregon City’s trip is seven days, only three of which include basketball.
“I’m definitely looking forward to the beach,” Walters says. “We’re going to spend a lot of time on the beach.