Jessica Gertz has become a scoring machine

OREGON CITY — Oregon City Black, Oregon City High School’s top summer girls basketball team, held its own at recent End Of The Trail basketball tournaments, despite a lot of youth on the roster.

The Pioneers placed second at the June 21-23 End Of The Trail River City Classic, losing to Todd Beamer High School of Federal Way, Washington 70-63 in the Diamond Bracket final; and they placed fourth in the End Of The Trail Shootout, dropping a 76-74 nail-biter to Oregon Elite Navy, an all-star team from up-and-down the Willamette Valley, in the Blue Bracket semifinals.

The Classic featured 64 same-school varsity-level teams; the Shootout included top club teams, as well as same-school high school teams.

Senior-to-be Jessica Gertz, a 5-10 guard, was named tournament MVP for the Classic; sophomores-to-be Cierra Walker (5-6 guard) and Taylor Shaw (5-10 post) made the Classic all-tournament team.

Gertz and senior-to-be Toria Bradford (5-6 guard) were named to the Shootout all-tournament team.

The young Pioneers won four of five games in the Classic; they went 3-2 in the Shootout, losing to Northwest Magic in the third-place final.

Gertz averaged 23 points in the Classic and 21 points in the Shootout, according to Oregon City coach Kurt Guelsdorf.

“Jessica has really elevated her game,” Guelsdorf said. “I knew she’d improve her scoring, but not like she has. She’s doing a little bit of everything, hitting 3’s and taking the ball to the basket for lay-ins. She’s elevated her game to the point that now she’s got a Division I opportunity.”

Guelsdorf said that Walker and Bradford are playing a dual role as point guards, running the offense and playing tough hard-nosed defense.

He said that Shaw is scoring in transition and is playing tough on the backboards.

“She’s an athlete,” Guelsdorf observed. “She can jump out of the gym.”

The Pioneer cage boss says that senior-to-be Alyssa Durr (5-8 guard) has been one of the biggest surprises this summer.

“She has been a big contributor,” he said. “She’s really elevated her game, hitting the 3-point shot and getting to the basket. Hustle plays. She’s relentless. She’s getting noticed by colleges now.”

Other players vying for Oregon City Black in the tournaments included: senior-to-be Stephanie Tolke (5-10 post); junior-to-be Lucy Kleiner (5-7 guard); sophomores-to-be Taylor Knighton (5-8 post), Katie Kammerer (5-10 post) and Jordan Kelly (5-6 guard); and freshman-to-be N’Dea Flye (5-6 guard).

“The young Pioneers have responded nicely to the graduation of three Division 1 players and are making their mark this summer, with dynamic play and an exciting fast break, pressure-style the Pioneers have been famous for,” Guelsdorf said.

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