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Pioneers No. 1 ranking is rare in boys hoops

OREGON CITY - Oregon City's boys basketball team last week was ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 6A.

Such recognition is rare for the Pioneer boys.

'It's only the second time since I've been at the school,' said Clif Wegner, who has taught at Oregon City High School since 1981.

'[Being ranked No. 1] is an achievement more than an honor,' said Oregon City coach Mike Doherty. 'It's been something that's been tough to come by at Oregon City. It's unfamiliar territory [for Oregon City boys basketball].

'We'll have to enjoy it to the best that we can and learn from it the best that we can. We're going to have to bring our best game every night because our opponents will have nothing to lose and a lot to gain if they can compete with us. They're all going to be gunning for us.'

Wegner coached an Oregon City boys team that was ranked No. 1 in 1988.

'We started out 20-0 and then we lost to Putnam in league and we dropped to No. 2,' said Wegner.

Among the players on the 1987-88 squad were Ian Shields, Brian Junta, Christopher Jensen and Gary Gettel.

It was the first year that 3-point baskets came into play and Gettel was the Pioneers' designated 3-pointer shooter.

Wegner said his Oregon City teams won Three Rivers League titles both in 1988 and 1989.

They were eliminated from the then 16-team state tournament in two games in 1988 - losing to South Salem and to Sandy - and they finished that season with an overall record of 22-3.

In 1988-89 they went 23-3 and placed third at state.

With victories over Clackamas and Lakeridge last week, this year's Pioneer ball club improved to 2-0 in league and 12-1 on the season. Heading into play this week, the Pioneers were unbeaten in play against teams from Oregon.