The Cavaliers win big on the road

Clackamas High School's girls basketball team last week continued its impressive run in preseason, winning big at Tualatin (54-36) and at Centennial (64-35).

The pair of wins put the Cavaliers at 5-0 on the preseason.

'Did I expect us to be 5-0?' said Clackamas coach Todd Lane. 'Maybe not. But I'm not surprised. The way the girls practice and they way they've played, they deserve it. We talk about playing hard for 32 minutes and they've done that - for the most part.'

The Cavaliers' success has not gone unnoticed. Although they graduated all but three of the key players from last year's squad that made the state final, the state's coaches ranked them fifth in last week's Class 6A coaches poll.

Shelby Vasconcellos-Mattocks continued to carry much of the load for the Cavaliers in last week's games. The 6-0 junior scored 23 points at Tualatin and 19 points at Centennial.

Vasconcellos-Mattocks played a pivotal role in the Centennial game. With Clackamas nursing a 23-22 lead at the intermission, she attacked the basket for 12 points in the third period, as the Cavaliers stretched their advantage to 15 points by the end of the period.

Sophomore wing Courtney Cox was also a major factor, stealing the ball four times in the third period, as the Cavaliers upped their intensity on the press.

Vasconcellos-Mattocks was 8-of-12 from the field. She led 12 players who put points on the scoreboard in the Centennial game. She was 9-of-10 from the charity stripe at Tualatin.

Sophomore Sydney Azorr (10 points) joined Vasconcellos-Mattocks in double figures in scoring at Centennial.

The Cavaliers broke the Tualatin game open in the second quarter, when they forced a number of turnovers with an aggressive full-court press. Vasconcellos-Mattocks and Deeshyra Thomas headed the defense with three steals apiece.

The Cavaliers will get an idea of how they stack up with the best teams in the state next week, when they vie in the Lake Oswego Interstate Shootout. Oregon City will be among the teams taking part. The Cavaliers will meet top-ranked South Medford at 5 p.m. in their Dec. 27 tournament opener.

They need to

get physical

Sporting one of the youngest rosters in Oregon 6A boys basketball, the Clackamas Cavaliers learned Friday that they are not yet ready for primetime, as they got blown out by 10th-ranked David Douglas 74-55. The Cavaliers fell behind 14-8 in the first quarter and they were fighting an uphill battle the rest of the way.

'David Douglas came out and played physical and we didn't,' said Clackamas coach Jeff Bair.

The Cavalier cage boss said his charges need to work on both their aggressiveness and inconsistency.

Andrew Gutwig, a 6-2 sophomore, was the only Clackamas player to reach double figures in scoring. Gutwig (15 points) hit three 3-pointers. Cade Wilkins, a 6-1 sophomore, had a pair of treys.

The Cavaliers had better luck on Tuesday, Dec. 13, when they won big at Franklin, 56-31.

Gutwig (19 points) hit five 3-pointers, including three in the first quarter, when the Cavaliers surged to a 19-9 advantage.

Senior Bryce Clifton (12 points) and 6-4 sophomore post Taylor Stinson (10 points) joined Gutwig in double figures in scoring.

Clackamas' roster includes eight sophomores and only two seniors.

The Cavaliers entered play this week with a preseason record of 3-3. In earlier games they posted wins over Madison (63-49) and Sprague (61-52), while losing to Grant (71-56) and 11th-ranked Tigard (60-48). Clackamas was scheduled to play in a tournament at Tigard Dec. 19-21. Next home game is Friday, Jan. 6, when the Cavaliers play host to Sunset.

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