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The Clackamas Cavaliers made a strong showing in last week’s girls basketball openers, going 2-1 in a highly competitive tournament at Southridge.

The Cavaliers held their own with fifth-ranked South Salem in their Dec. 5 season opener, losing 58-49 in a contest that was a one-point game with two minutes to play.

And they bounced back with wins on the next two nights, following up a 69-51 win over eighth-ranked Beaverton, with a 57-49 Saturday night victory over tournament host Southridge, a “sweet 16” team from last season.

“I’m pretty happy with how the weekend turned out,” said Clackamas coach Todd Lane. “To come out 2-1 against three very good teams, I’m happy with that. We still have room to improve, but we’re off to a good start.”

The Cavaliers got off to a slow start in the Southridge game and trailed 14-4 after a quarter. They regrouped in the second quarter, upping their intensity and playing more aggressively, and the result was a 30-25 lead at halftime.

“It was a really physical game,” said Lane. “The refs weren’t calling anything, and it took us awhile to adjust.... We got more aggressive in the second quarter and played really well.”

Guards Kaitlyn Reiner and Erin McDonald headed the second quarter surge, scoring 15 of Clackamas’ 26 points in the period.

Sydney Azorr (17 points), McDonald (14 points, 6 offensive rebounds) and Reiner (10 points) were the Cavaliers’ top point-getters on the night.

Erica Pagano (10 rebounds, 7 points, 4 assists) led the Cavaliers to a 43-37 advantage on the backboards.

Azorr and Reiner headed the defensive effort, with three steals apiece.

The Cavaliers took charge of the Beaverton game from the get-go, rolling to a 19-9 lead in the first period and a 36-23 advantage by the halftime break.

“We moved the ball really well, found the gaps in their zone and got some really good open looks,” said Lane.

The Cavaliers had assists on 19 of their 24 baskets.

Pagano led a balanced attack, scoring 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting.

Azorr sparked the offense with 15 points and five assists.

Reiner (11 points, 5 steals) was 4-of-8 from the field, with three 3-pointers. McDonald scored 10 points and hit two treys.

Sophomore post Peyton Carroll played a strong inside game, scoring nine points and leading the Cavaliers to a 46-37 advantage on the backboards, with 11 rebounds.

Allie Mueller (11 points) was the only Beaverton player to reach double digits in scoring.

The South Salem Saxons used can’t miss free-throw shooting down the stretch to put the Cavaliers away.

The Saxons were led by Katie Williams, who scored 18 points and hit some key baskets down the stretch.

Azorr (17 points) and Carroll (10 points) scored in double digits for Clackamas.

“To play a good team like that in our first game and be within a point with two minutes to play and have a chance to win, I’m just very proud of the girls,” said Lane. “I’m looking forward to next Friday [Dec. 13], when we play them again — at Clackamas.”

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