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Cavs knock off No. 5 Saxons


Also: Clackamas guys remain unbeaten

The seventh-ranked Clackamas Cavaliers last Friday upped their stock in Class 6A girls basketball, knocking off fifth-ranked South Salem 51-49.

The win avenged a 58-49 loss to the Saxons on Dec. 5 in a game played in a tournament at Southridge.

“Our energy was a lot better,” said Clackamas coach Todd Lane. “First game jitters. We were a little hesitant, a little tentative the first time we played them. This time we played as a team and with confidence....

“South Salem is one of the better teams in the state. We played hard. Anytime we play hard for 32 minutes like we did [in the second game with South Salem] I believe we can play with anybody in the state, and on a given night, we can beat anybody.”

Last Friday’s game was close all the way, with South Salem leading 13-11 at the end of the first period, Clackamas up 26-25 at halftime and the Cavaliers leading 39-36 heading into the final period.

South Salem was up 42-41 with six minutes to play. But then Erin McDonald, Kaitlyn Reiner and Erica Pagano all took the ball to the basket on a 10-2 run, as the Cavaliers built a commanding 51-44 lead. South Salem’s Jordan Woodvine (18 points) hit a 3-pointer from the wing just inside the final buzzer to trim the Cavaliers’ lead to 51-49, but it proved too little too late.

Clackamas 5-9 junior wing Erin McDonald had a career night in the big win, scoring a career-high 16 points — on 4-of-5 shooting. McDonald hit two 3-pointers and she made 6-of-6 free throws, earning trips to the line when she was fouled on drives to the basket.

McDonald also excelled on defense. She drew the assignment of guarding Katie McWilliams and she held the 6-2 Saxon star guard to just seven points, on 3-for-8 shooting. McWilliams had scored 18 points in the Dec. 5 game.

“Katie McWilliams is one of the best players in the state and Erin outplayed her,” said Lane. “She played real physical on defense and wouldn’t let her go where she wanted to go.”

Reiner (10 points), Pagano (9 points) and Sydney Azorr (9 points) joined McDonald with major contributions on offense.

Azorr played a strong game all around, with 10 rebounds and four steals to go with her nine points.

Clackamas sophomore post Peyton Carroll hauled down eight rebounds, as the Cavaliers earned a 37-32 edge on the backboards.

Through aggressive defensive play, the Cavaliers held the Saxons to .352 (18-of-51) shooting from the field.

It was a cakewalk for the Cavaliers on Dec. 10, as they breezed by Class 5A Wilsonville 69-24.

The contest was a mismatch from the start, with the Cavaliers rallying around their full-court press to create turnovers and roll to an 18-2 advantage in the first four minutes of play.

Lane took the press off and substituted often after that. The Cavaliers stole the ball 23 times and forced no fewer than 38 turnovers in the game.

Junior wing McKenzie Giancola played a strong game off the bench, scoring a career-high 16 points to lead Clackamas in scoring. Giancola was 8-of-12 from the field and she stole the ball three times.

Starting post Erica Pagano played sparingly but still scored 12 points and had a team-high six steals.

Sophomore wing Marissa Kelly was tough, scoring 10 points, serving up three assists and stealing the sphere four times.

No one from Wilsonville reached double digits in scoring, as the Wildcats found the basket on only 9-of-33 shots from the floor, for a cool 27 percent shooting percentage.

The Cavaliers (4-1) have a home game with Cleveland this Friday. They play in the Lake Oswego Nike Interstate Shootout Dec. 27-30, playing Roseburg at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 27, in their tournament opener.

Clackamas boys kept on track last week, improving their record to 3-0 with wins over Sprague (74-53) and Cleveland (65-46).

Sophomore playmaker Beau Gunderson burned the nets for 24 points in the contest with Sprague. The Cavaliers outscored the Olympians in every quarter.

Keaton Bankofier (12 points), Raekwon Mingledoff (10 points) and Gunderson (10 points) led a balanced effort in Friday’s game at Cleveland. The Cavaliers led 15-10 at the end of the first period and 37-16 at halftime.

Clackamas guys meet Barlow Friday at 6:15 p.m. in a first-round game of a two-day tournament at Century. The Cavaliers vie in the Les Schwab Tournament at Liberty High School Dec. 27-30.