Clackamas takes charge early in a 66-42 blowout

Last week was a big week for Clackamas High School’s girls basketball team.

With a 66-42 Cavalier victory over Canby and a 68-61 West Linn upset of Oregon City, the Cavaliers (15-4, 4-1) finished the week and the first half of the league season in a three-way tie with Oregon City (12-6, 4-1) and West Linn (15-3, 4-1), for first place in the Three Rivers League standings.

Oregon City, Clackamas and West Linn entered play last week ranked fourth, fifth and ninth in the state respectively by the state’s Class 6A coaches. The OSAA RPI rankings had Clackamas ranked third, West Linn ranked sixth and Oregon City ranked seventh.

Earlier in the season, Clackamas won 48-39 in a league game at West Linn, but the Cavaliers lost 43-28 in a league game at Oregon City.

Clackamas was scheduled to host West Linn in a rematch with the Lions on Feb. 11; Oregon City plays Clackamas at Clackamas next Tuesday (Feb. 18).

Clackamas coach Todd Lane said, following West Linn’s upset of Oregon City, “The girls are excited, because this puts us back in the league title chase. It’s going to be a battle, with three very good teams having a chance of winning the league title. This is what high school sports is all about. It should be a lot of fun.”

It wasn’t much fun for the Canby Cougars in last week’s 66-42 loss at Clackamas. Just four days earlier they had given West Linn a run for its money, losing in overtime. But in last week’s game at Clackamas, the Cougars found themselves no match for the Cavaliers.

It was the second-lowest scoring game of the season for Canby, which entered the contest ranked 10th in the state, and averaging 60 points an outing.

“It was an all-around great effort,” Lane said. “The girls played really hard from the start. They played great team basketball. They came out with a lot of energy and intensity on defense, which led to some easy baskets in transition....”

The Cavaliers had the game in hand early. Forcing turnovers and running their fast-break, they built a 20-4 advantage in the first quarter. They increased their lead to 23 points by halftime, and they were up 52-27 heading into the fourth quarter.

Led by Erica Pagano (5 points), six different Clackamas players scored during the first-quarter scoring barrage.

Eleven different players scored for Clackamas in the game, led by Sydney Azorr (15 points), Peyton Carroll (12 points), Erin McDonald (8 points) and Marisa Kelly (8 points). The starters were on the floor for approximately 22 minutes, Lane said.

The Cavaliers’ fast-breaking offense, combined with a 44-21 advantage in rebounding, led to a number of high percentage shots, and the Cavaliers connected on 23-of-33 (69 percent) shots inside the arc.

Azorr was 4-of-6 from the field, with two 3-pointers.

Pagano (6 rebounds), Carroll (6 rebounds) and Azorr (5 rebounds) headed up a team effort on the backboards.

Kaitlyn Reiner sparked the offense with five assists.

Megan Meisenheimer (10 points) was the only Cougar in double figures in scoring. The Cougars were an ice-cold 14-of-53 (26 percent) from the field on the night.

Clackamas plays Lake Oswego (7-11, 0-5) on the road this Friday, before returning home for their rematch with the Pioneers next Tuesday.

Last week was also a good week for Clackamas’ boys basketball team. The Cavalier guys bagged their 11th win in their last 12 games, upending their Cougar counterparts 73-45.

It was the lowest scoring game of the season for Canby boys. Like the girls, they’ve averaged 60 points a game this season.

The win put the Cavaliers (16-3, 4-1) second only to West Linn (15-4, 5-0) in the Three Rivers League standings with the first half of the league season complete.

Nursing a 15-13 lead, Clackamas took charge of the game in the second quarter, when the Cavaliers out-scored their guests 21-8. And they widened the gap in the second half.

Keaton Bankofier (22 points), Markus Golder (14 points), Andrew Gutwig (11 points), David Reese (10 points) and Raekwon Mingledoff (8 points) led a balanced Cavalier attack.

Canby standout Jace Cates (13 points) was the only player in double digits in scoring for the Cougars.

West Linn and Clackamas entered play this week ranked first and second in the state respectively in the OSAA RPI rankings. The two teams were to meet Tuesday (Feb. 11) at Clackamas. West Linn prevailed 63-43 in a Jan. 17 game played at West Linn.

West Linn this season has outscored opponents by an average of 73-58; Clackamas has outscored opponents by an average tally of 64-58.

The Lions entered the Feb. 11 game at Clackamas riding a 10-game win string. They have lost only one game to an Oregon opponent this season. They lost to Jefferson, the top-ranked Showdown with Gladstone tonight

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