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Clackamas guys get by OC 68-60


The Cavaliers build an early lead and hang on

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Clackamas defenders Brett Udland (5) and Taylor Stinson double up on Oregon City senior wing Nolan Muckenthaler (10) in last Fridays 68-60 win over the Pioneers.The Clackamas Cavaliers built an early lead and then rallied around their aggressive half-court defense to hold off the upstart Oregon City Pioneers en route to a 68-60 boys basketball victory over the Pioneers Friday night at Clackamas.

The Cavaliers appeared to have the game in hand when they made a 23-2 run during a nine-minute span in the first and second periods. Brett Udland’s fast-break bucket with 4:03 left in the half gained the Cavaliers their biggest lead of the night, at 31-13.

But there was no quit in the Pioneers. And they answered with a 16-0 run. Hunter Knighton hit back-to-back treys to cut the lead to 31-29 inside the final minute of the first half.

The Pioneers got the ball back after a Cavalier missed 3-point attempt, and the Pioneers wound the clock down, with plans to go for the final shot of the first half. But Clackamas wing Andrew Gutwig had other plans. The 6-2 junior stole the ball and scored on the fast-break at the other end, to make it 33-29 Clackamas heading into the intermission.

The Cavaliers maintained a 4- to 12-point lead the rest of the way.

Gutwig took the ball to the basket for a lay-up that made it 47-35 Clackamas with three minutes remaining in the third period.

Oregon City continued to battle. And when Knighton took the ball inside for a lay-up with 3:50 left to play, it was back to a four-point game, at 59-55.

But that was the Pioneers’ last hurrah, as they turned cold from the field down the stretch, while the Cavaliers made seven of eight free throws.

Gutwig’s lay-up at the 2:30 mark upped the gap to 61-55.

Aaron Ahlstrom then hit 4-of-4 free throws and Cole Scruggs hit a pair of gifters to ice the win.

Gutwig (17 points), Ahlstrom (15 points), Keaton Bankofier (13 points) and Udland (9 points) paced the Cavaliers in scoring. Ahlstrom scored 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Taylor Stinson was a force close to the basket, corralling nine rebounds, scoring six points and dishing out four assists.

Oregon City was led by 6-2 sophomore Hunter Knighton (17 points), 5-9 freshman Trevor Bradford (14 points) and 6-0 senior Valentino Polk (10 points). Knighton hit five 3-point baskets.

“We came out strong, but we got a little tired,” Ahlstrom said of the Cavaliers’ early run. “We’ve been working on playing with higher intensity and it’s hard to keep it up. We had some lapses, when we got tired.”

“Defense was the key at the end,” Gutwig said. “We got some stops when we needed them, and we made our free throws.”

Gutwig added, “Offensively, when we made our runs, we were taking the ball to the basket. I think that maybe we shot a few too many 3’s.”

The Cavaliers outshot their guests from the field, .543 (25-for-46) to .433 (23-for-53). Oregon City was only 6-of-18 from the field in the fourth quarter, when the Pioneers attempted a lot of shots from long range.

The Cavaliers (8-8, 1-2) entertain Lakeridge (11-5, 2-1) this Friday.

“They’re a good team,” Gutwig said. “But I think if we come out with energy, like we did tonight, we can beat team.”

“We’re playing them at home, and the home-court will be a big advantage for us,” Ahlstrom said. “We’ve got a lot more fans this year and when our fans get behind us, it does a lot to boost our game.”

“Lakeridge is a very good team,” King said. “They’re big, they’re physical, and they play hard. And they’ve got a transfer [5-11 junior guard Reggie Oliver] who is a great all-around player. We’re going to have to play hard and play with high intensity to stay with them.”

The Oregon City Pioneers (8-6, 0-3) will have their work cut out for them on Friday, when they entertain top-ranked and undefeated Lake Oswego (17-0, 3-0).

Oregon City and Clackamas both came up short on Jan. 15, the Pioneers bowing 52-44 at Canby and the Cavaliers yielding 77-55 at Lake Oswego.

The Pioneers let the Canby game get away from them in the fourth quarter, when they got outscored 20-12.

Hunter Knighton (13 points) and Nolan Muckenthaler (10 points) were the top point-getters for the Pioneers in the loss. Oregon City’s top scorer on the season, Valentino Polk, struggled, scoring only five points.

The Pioneers had a tough time slowing Canby 6-0 senior guard Coby Cates, who tallied a game-high 22 points.

The Cavaliers couldn’t keep pace with the Lakers, who outscored them in every period. Colin Caslick (16 points), Christian McDonald (16 points), Cory Coombe (14 points) and Connor Griffin (11 points) headed the Laker attack.

Taylor Stinson (13 points), Andrew Gutwig (10 points) and Brett Udland (10 points) paced the Cavaliers in scoring.