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OC coaches, Tinsley garner top honors

The state's 6A high school coaches name Doherty and Guelsdorf 'coaches of the year,' and Brad Tinsley is selected '6A co-player of the year'

Oregon City High School basketball coaches Mike Doherty and Kurt Guelsdorf, and Oregon City point guard Brad Tinsley have received top honors from Doherty's and Guelsdorf's coaching peers in Oregon Class 6A high school basketball.

Doherty, who has coached at Oregon City for the past ten seasons, has been named 2008 Class 6A 'Boys Basketball Coach of the Year.'

Guelsdorf, who has been head coach or co-head coach at Oregon City for five seasons, was named 2008 Class 6A 'Girls Basketball Coach of the Year.'

Oregon City senior Brad Tinsley, a 6-4 point guard, has been named Oregon Class 6A high school boys basketball 'Co-Player of the Year,' along with Garrett Sim of Sunset.

Doherty and Guelsdorf coached their respective boys and girls teams to state runner-up finishes in 2007-08. For Doherty's Pioneers, it was their first appearance in a state final since 1945.

Doherty is the winningest high school boys basketball coach in the state, with a 787-349 record over 46 seasons. With 13 wins next season, Doherty will become one of only 40 high school boys basketball coaches in the U.S. ever to have reached 800 wins.

This is not the first time Doherty has received recognition from his peers. The High School Coaches Association named him National Coach of the Year in 2007. He was named regional coach of the year in 1986, 1989 and in 1996.

Asked what the honor means to him, Doherty said, 'It means our school did well. It means our school had some success. When it gets down to it, that's my goal and purpose, to help the kids do well. It means they did well, and I got to be there….

'I appreciate the recognition, but if I could trade my recognition for a state championship for the school, I'd do it in a heartbeat.'

Guelsdorf coached his team to its 15th consecutive Three Rivers League title and the state final, despite fielding a team with little varsity experience. He had only one returning starter and she was one of only two players who saw much varsity action the previous season.

'It's certainly a nice honor to have,' said Guelsdorf. 'But it's an honor that isn't mine alone. The team maximized their potential….

'They were very coachable and they played very hard. They gave it everything they had. I felt really blessed.

'And we couldn't have done it without my assistant coaches - Jared Curtiss, Jessica Hansen and Brian Jackson. They deserve a lot of credit.'

Tinsley averaged 24.1 points and 6.4 assists this season, as he led the Pioneer boys to a school-record 28 wins en route to an overall record of 28-2. A four-year starter, Tinsley finished his high school career as the state's second all-time big-school career scoring leader - behind Lake Oswego's Kevin Love, scoring 2,330 points in 108 games, for a 21.6 point per game average.

'I'm really proud of Brad,' said Doherty. 'He had the Pepperdine incident pop up in the heart of our league season, where he didn't know where he was going to go to school. But Brad didn't break stride. He didn't let it get in his way. I thought that was pretty remarkable, handling it with poise the way he did.'

Tinsley in late January had requested to be released from a commitment to play for Pepperdine University, after Pepperdine's coach resigned.

'It's great to get the honor with a great group of guys,' said Tinsley. 'It's pretty exciting!'

Tinsley wasn't the only Oregon City player to earn special recognition. Brittany Knighton, a 6-0 sophomore wing, was among five players named to the Class 6A girls first All-State Team.

Knighton, in 2007-08, averaged 14.2 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.

Oregon City 6-10 post Sammy Schafer was named second-team all-state.

Clackamas seniors Becky Buhler (6-1 post) and Cameryn Calhoun (5-7 guard) received honorable mention in the Class 6A girls all-state balloting.