The Pioneers go 3-0 at the Energy Classic
The Oregon City Pioneers did themselves proud at the recent Gillette, Wyoming, Energy Hoop Classic, winning all three of their games and capturing the championship trophy.
The Pioneer girls won a 38-33 barnburner from Washington state power Prairie in the title game, after advancing through comparatively easy wins over Rock Springs, Wyoming (74-52) and over Mandan (54-40), a four-time defending state champion in North Dakota.
The win over Prairie came despite abysmal shooting by the road-weary Pioneers. They made only 27 percent of their field goals and just 12-of-27 (44 percent) of their free throws.
Kenna Borgmeier's 3-point basket with two minutes remaining put the Pioneers up by 4 points and iced the win.
Brittany Knighton starred for the Pioneers in the title game, as she did all through the tournament. The 6-1 sophomore led the Pioneers in scoring in all three games. Against Prairie, she scored a game-high 12 points, hauled down 10 rebounds and served up four assists.
Knighton had 14 points to lead four players in double figures in the rout of Rock Springs. She scored a game-high 16 points to head up the effort in the win over Mandan.
Second-half defense told the tale in the win over Mandan. The Pioneers forced 25 turnovers, and they out-scored Mandan 36-16 in the second half.
Mandan scored only 12 field goals in the loss.
Junior wing Melair Holterhoff came through big-time, with 9 points, six assists and five steals.
The Pioneers were a hot-handed 35-of-65 (.538) from the field in the win over Rock Springs.
Holterhoff had six points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Calli Jackson and Lindsey Shearer led Oregon City to a 43-31 advantage on the backboards, with 17 rebounds between them.
The Pioneers finished preseason play with a 7-2 record and a third-in-the-state ranking.
Top point-getters for the Pioneers in preseason were: Knighton (13.8 ppg), Shearer (10.3 ppg), Calli Jackson (10.1 ppg) and Holterhoff (9.4 ppg).
Shearer (5.8) was the rebound leader.
Borgmeier was averaging 5.7 assists and Knighton was averaging 2.7 steals.