The Pioneers drop Clackamas and Lakeridge in their TRL openers

Oregon City's top-ranked boys basketball team continued on track last week, as they began Three Rivers League play with a pair of victories.

After winning a hotly contest game from Clackamas 47-40 on Jan. 8, the Pioneers put it all together in an 82-46 shellacking of Lakeridge on Friday.

With the pair of victories, the Pioneers (12-1, 2-0) remained unbeaten in play with in-state teams.

What pleased Oregon City coach Mike Doherty the most in the rout of the Pacers was the consistent play of his charges.

'Every time Lakeridge came down and scored and looked like they were going to get something started, we'd answer with a basket right away,' said Doherty. 'And we did a pretty good job of maintaining our lead when the subs came in.

'We played 15 kids, which made me happy, and which made them happy as well.'

The Pioneers went up 20-13 in the first quarter and they out-scored the Pacers by at least eight points in every period.

Oregon City 6-9 post Sammy Schafer had a huge game, knocking down a season-high 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting, collecting 15 rebounds and rejecting two shots. Three of Schafer's baskets were on put-backs.

'Sammy kind of had his way,' said Doherty. 'Lakeridge is not very big, so Sammy took advantage of that. He dominated inside.'

Brad Tinsley (16 points) and Kamal Smith (11 points) joined Schafer in double figures in scoring, as 10 different Oregon City players put points on the scoreboard. Smith was 5-of-7 from the field.

Tinsley also sparked the Pioneer effort with six steals and five assists.

Doherty singled out senior guard Tyler Kirchhofer and sophomore wing Trevor Ferguson for solid play off the bench. Kirchhofer (7 points) was a perfect 3-of-3 from the field; Ferguson (5 points) nailed 2-of-3 field goal attempts.

The Pacers struggled to find the basket all night, scoring on only 30 percent (17-of-56) of their attempted field goals.

'I'd like to think that we had something to do with that,' said Doherty.

The Pioneers were to meet cross-river rival West Linn (6-6, 1-0) on Tuesday. They take to the road for a non-league game with North Salem on Friday. A week from Friday they battle 10th-ranked Lake Oswego (10-2, 1-0) on the road.

Cavs test


OREGON CITY - Fighting an uphill battle most of the way, the top-ranked Oregon City Pioneers got the job done at crunch time, as they dropped the upset-minded Clackamas Cavaliers 47-40 in a Three Rivers League boys basketball opener played here Jan. 8.

The Cavaliers built an early lead and then pulled the air out of the ball, playing a very deliberate half-court game.

Cavaliers Michael Young and Andrew Earnest both hit early 3's, while Oregon City missed on its first three trips down the floor, and the Cavaliers forged an early 8-2 lead.

'When we got behind early, it allowed them to dictate the tempo,' said Oregon City coach Mike Doherty.

Clackamas led 10-8 at the end of the first period and 20-19 at halftime.

The score was tied at 29-all at the end of the third period.

Brad Tinsley and Sammy Schafer scored early in the fourth quarter to put Oregon City on top, and the Pioneers held on with 8-of-12 free-throw shooting.

Kamal Smith came on big for the Pioneers in the final period, sinking 5-of-6 attempts from the charity stripe. Five different Oregon City players put points on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter.

'It's the first time this season we've faced that kind of situation [a slow-down, very deliberate half-court game],' said Doherty. 'They weathered it. They didn't panic.'

It was the lowest scoring game of the season for the Pioneers, who entered the contest averaging 69 points a game.

Tinsley (18 points) and Schafer (13 points) paced the Pioneers in scoring.

Schafer was 4-of-6 from the field. The 6-9 postman also hauled down 10 rebounds and blocked two shots.

Young (10 points) was the only Clackamas player to reach double figures in scoring, as the Cavaliers were only 13-of-36 (.361) from the field on the night.

The Pioneers found the mark on 14-of-31 (.451) of their field goal attempts, and they had four fewer turnovers than their guests.

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