Lake Oswego — For the Oregon City Pioneers, this weekend has served as a massive momentum booster for their program. Coming into the weekend with three losses to South Salem, Lincoln, and Westview, the Pios needed a statement victory to prove themselves. After knocking off Beaverton and Tualatin, Oregon City looked to complete the trifecta with a win over Vancouver’s Evergreen High School in the Lakeside Tournament Championship on Sunday night.
The Pios opened the game on a Dalton Welch trey to lead 3-0 in the early going, and after leading 5-3, Evergreen responded with a 6-0 run to take the lead 9-5. Oregon City went on a 7-0 run to retake the lead 12-9, and after an Evergreen bucket, the Pios closed out the quarter on a 4-0 run to lead 16-11 after one quarter. A 4-0 run opened up the second quarter for Oregon City, and after trading buckets over a few minutes, Oregon City closed out the half on an 8-0 run courtesy of great offensive rebounding and forced turnovers, holding a commanding 32-15 halftime lead over Evergreen. Dalton Welch had a monster first half with 15 points, scoring neck and neck with Evergreen in the first half.
The second half didn’t really change anything, as Oregon City opened it up on a 7-2 run to lead 39-17 early. The Pioneers would trade buckets back and forth for the duration of the third quarter, with the Pios shutting down Evergreen at any hint of momentum, and they led 57-34 after three quarters of play. Oregon City’s offensive machine gun didn’t slow down in the fourth quarter, as they hung another 23 points en route to their dominant 70-42 victory to win the Lakeside Tournament Championship, and gaining three quality victories over the weekend. Dalton Welch finished with 20 points, Andre Best and TJ Warren both contributed 11 points apiece for the Pioneers.
The trio of Welch, Best, and Warren all discussed the state of the program, the weekend sweep, and moving forward into the season for the Pios.
Andre Best on the keys to their tournament success, “Its about knowing how to scout, working hard in practice and going game speed, and taking away the other teams best stuff. Evergreen is good at shooting, so we tried to take away their three point shot and eliminate their penetration.”
TJ Warren on the offensive rebounding against Evergreen, “Coach always tells us that we need to go hard like that, and thats the big difference for us is that heart. Offensive rebounding is all about heart and go get the ball, thats exactly what we did.”
Dalton Welch on Oregon City’s biggest strengths entering TRL play, “I think definitely our defense, and like TJ said, we focus everything around our defense and if we can get our defense where we want it, then we can pretty much take control of a game even when our offense isn’t working for us.”
Oregon City (4-3) travels to La Salle Prep on January 7th after a couple of weeks off for Christmas Break