Sophomores Cierra Walker and Taylor Shaw lead the way in a 66-44 win over No. 10 Canby

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Senior guard Toria Bradford (23) dishes off to a teammate in Fridays game with Canby. Crisp passes and unselfish team play helped the Pioneers take control of the game early on.The Canby Cougars discovered Friday night at Oregon City that they are not yet ready for primetime in Oregon high school girls basketball.

The 10th-ranked Cougars came to Oregon City with high hopes of competing with the fifth-ranked Pioneers, but they ended up on the losing end of a 66-44 tally.

The Pioneers had just too many weapons, and they had the Cougars fighting an uphill battle most of the game.

Five different Oregon City players found the bucket during a 15-2 run in the first quarter, and the Cougars found themselves trailing 19-6 inside the final minute of the opening period.

The Cougars regained their composure and focus and narrowed the gap to 30-25 by late in the second period.

But Oregon City sophomore play-making guard Cierra Walker scored on a layup with 46 seconds left in the first half. And she then followed up a Canby offensive foul with a 3-pointer, making it 35-25 Oregon City at the intermission.

Canby decided to go more with its outside game in the third quarter, and it proved costly. The Cougars went 3-for-13 from the field in the third stanza, with seven of the ten misses on 3-pointers.

Canby went scoreless in the third stanza until Bailey Raines hit two free throws with 3:12 remaining. And the Cougars were trailing 51-27 when 5-8 junior wing Taylor Jorgensen hit a 3-pointer for Canby’s first field goal of the second half, with just 1:50 left in the third period.

Much of Oregon City’s first-half scoring came on shots from long range. Four different Oregon City players combined to hit five 3-pointers before the halftime break.

In the second half, the Pioneers turned to their inside game, attacking the basket and hitting the backboards hard.

Two sophomores provided much of the offensive fireworks for Oregon City. Taylor Shaw, a 5-10 sophomore post, finished the game with a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Walker, a 5-6 point guard, scored 17 points and served up six assists. She hit three 3-pointers on the night.

Senior wing Jessica Gertz added 11 points to the winning tally.

Canby was led by Jorgensen (13 points) and 5-8 senior wing Bailey Raines (10 points). Jorgensen had three treys in the losing effort, two of them coming late in the third quarter, after the game was out of reach.

“[The keys to breaking the game open in the second half were] cutting down on our turnovers, rebounding and our depth,” Gertz said.

“Our bench is good,” Shaw said. “They come out ready to play when they step on the floor.”

The Pioneers had 14 turnovers in the first half, and only four turnovers in the third period.

Coaches for both teams cleared their benches with 3-1/2 minutes to play.

The Pioneers shot 50 percent from the field on the night, dropping in 28-of-56 shots from the floor — including seven 3-pointers. Canby was a lukewarm 18-of-51 (35 percent) from the field.

Only one other team has scored as many as 66 points against the Cougars this season. Canby lost to second-ranked St. Mary’s 68-57 in its season opener.

Oregon City improved to 2-0 in league (10-5 overall) with Friday’s win. Canby slipped to 1-1 in league (12-4 overall) with the loss.

Oregon City faced a stiff test this Tuesday (Jan. 28), when the Pioneers were scheduled to entertain fourth-ranked Clackamas (13-3, 2-0).

Oregon City plays Lake Oswego (7-8, 0-2) on the road this Friday. The Pioneers play eighth-ranked West Linn (12-3, 2-0) at 6 p.m. next Tuesday, at West Linn.

Gertz said she sees West Linn and Clackamas as the Pioneers’ toughest opponents in league.

“West Linn is always physical and they come out ready to play,” said Gertz. “Same with Clackamas.”

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