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OC guys catch fire in Alaska

Hunter Knighton hits ten treys, erupts for 36 points in a 77-46 rout of Klawock


by: SUBMITTED - Oregon City junior Hunter Knighton (11) was in the zone at a holiday tournament in Ketchikan, Alaska, hitting ten 3-point baskets and scoring 36 points in a 77-46 rout of Klawock, Alaska.Oregon City High School’s boys basketball team made plenty of noise at the Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic Basketball Tournament, held Dec. 27-29 in Ketchikan, Alaska.

The Pioneers breezed through the tournament, defeating their three Alaska opponents by an average score of 83-48.

They dropped West Valley, Alaska 84-59 in the championship final, after advancing through blowout wins over Craig, Alaska 87-40 and Klawock, Alaska 77-46.

“We were on fire,” said Oregon City coach Aaron Newkirk. “We played the best we have played in my two years here.”

Four Oregon City players were named to the all-tournament team, and Oregon City 6-2 junior guard Hunter Knighton set a new school record for most 3-point baskets in a game.

Knighton was named the tournament’s most valuable player. Austin DeWitz, Brad Martin and Briggs Young were honored as first-team all-tournament selections.

Knighton scored 36 points in the 77-46 win over Klawock, connecting on 13-of-27 shots from the floor, including 10-of-19 3-pointers. It’s the second-most points ever scored by an Oregon City player in a game — second only to Brad Tinsley’s 40 points in a 74-55 win over Canby on Dec. 14 of 2007. Tinsley was 15-of-20 from the field, but he had only three 3-pointers in that game.

“We do not have the record for most 3’s in a game recorded, so we are saying Hunter now has the record,” Newkirk said.

Knighton (10 points) was one of four players in double figures in scoring against Craig, and he tallied 17 points in the final with West Valley. For the tournament, Knighton made 16-of-33 shots from beyond the arc.

Austin DeWitz (20 points on 8-for-11 shooting) earned high-point honors against Craig. Tanner Smith (13 points) and Brad Martin (11 points) also reached double figures. Led by Knighton (4) and Ryan Markuson (4), the Pioneers came up with 19 steals in the mismatch. They were a hot-handed 34-of-66 from the field as a team, with eight 3-pointers.

Josh Gibson (12 points) and Briggs Young (10 points) joined Knighton in double figures in scoring in the rout of Klawock. Gibson was 4-of-5 from the field; Young had eight assists. Markuson claimed eight rebounds and blocked three shots.

Brad Martin (21 points) and DeWitz (19 points) joined Knighton in double figures in scoring in the title game with West Valley. DeWitz played a strong game all around, connecting on 8-of-13 shots from the floor, snagging eight rebounds, dishing out six assists and stealing the sphere three times. Young sparked the offense with seven assists.

The Pioneers were brought back down to earth last Friday, when they traveled to Class 5A Marist and lost 68-58.

Oregon City (6-4) hosts Class 5A Pendleton (5-6) this Friday and the Pioneers entertain winless Hood River (0-8) next Tuesday. They begin Three Rivers League play a week from Friday, at Lakeridge (9-2).



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