Martin, Young and DeWitz are tough in a 67-62 overtime victory

LAKE OSWEGO — After dropping several close games this season, the Oregon City Pioneers got a big confidence booster in a boys basketball game played here Friday, defeating the Lake Oswego Lakers, 67-62 in overtime.

It was Oregon City’s first win over Lake Oswego since January of 2010, when the Pioneers beat the Lakers on their home floor, 57-44.

“Over the last 15 years, I don’t know that we’ve beaten them more than twice on their floor,” Oregon City coach Aaron Newkirk said on Sunday. “They’ve got a lot of pride and tradition in their program, and it’s tough to win over there....

“It’s a big win for us. We’ve been close in so many games this year, where we haven’t been able to close the door. But this time the kids closed the door....

“The Three Rivers League is a very tough league and if you can beat teams in this league, you can beat anybody in the state. This is a great confidence-booster for our kids.”

Oregon City led most of the way in last Friday’s game. But it appeared it was going to be the same old story: That Lake Oswego was going to rally and steal the win.

Lake Oswego junior Jazz Johnson hit a hand-in-your face 3-point prayer late in regulation to knot the score at 54-54 and bring about the overtime.

“We won it at the free throw line,” said Newkirk. “We were in the double bonus [at the free throw line] heading into the overtime, and they weren’t. We made 19-of-23 free throws in the game, and we hit free throws in the overtime.”

Senior wing Brad Martin and sophomore guard Briggs Young had huge games for the Pioneers.

Martin scored a career- and game-high 25 points, hitting all five of his shots from 3-point land and making 4-of-4 free throws.

“Brad has been working really hard on his shot and his hard work is paying off,” said Newkirk. “He’s shooting 44 percent from the 3-point line.”

Young scored 22 points, making 50 percent of his shots from the floor and hitting 9-of-9 free throws.

Sophomore playmaker Trevon Bradford had 12 points and five assists. He was 6-of-8 at the charity stripe.

Newkirk said that junior wing Austin DeWitz also played a big role in Friday’s win over the Lakers.

“Austin guarded Jazz Johnson, Lake Oswego’s top scorer, and did an outstanding job,” said Newkirk. “Jazz had a hard time scoring....”

Johnson entered the game as the TRL’s top scorer, averaging 22.3 points. He scored just 13 points in last Friday’s overtime loss to Oregon City.

The Pioneers were a hot-handed 21-of-39 from the field, with six 3-point baskets.

Oregon City led 11-8 at the end of the first quarter, 20-15 at halftime and 41-33 heading into the fourth quarter.

With the win, the Pioneers improved to 2-2 in the Three River League (11-6 overall). Lake Oswego slipped to 1-3 (9-8 overall).

Oregon City was to conclude the first half of the TRL season on Tuesday (Feb. 4), playing the league-leading and number-one-in-the-state-ranked West Linn Lions (14-4, 4-0) on the road.

This Friday is an off night for the TRL. The Pioneers return to the hardcourt next Tuesday, when they entertain Lakeridge (14-4, 2-2). The 10th-ranked Pacers stole a game from the Pioneers in a Jan. 17 game at Lakeridge, rallying from behind to win on a last-second shot, 62-60.

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