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Oregon City back on top Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Pioneers celebrate after Oregon City beats South Eugene 46-37 in the 6A girls basketball final Mar. 7 at the University of Portland.

Oregon City claimed its record 11th state basketball championship Mar. 7 with a 46-37 win over South Eugene. The Pioneers, whose titles are spread over just 18 years, had been kept off the top step of the podium since 2004.

[right] South Eugene junior Sasha Teninty steals the ball from Oregon City's Melair Holterhoff in the first quarter.

After beating four-time defending champions Southridge Feb. 27 in the second round of the playoffs, Oregon City was nearly ousted by Central Catholic in the semifinals, holding on to win in triple overtime.

In the final, the Pioneers met previously-unbeaten South Eugene. The game was close throughout, and tied at the end of the third quarter. Oregon City opened up a bit of space with about two minutes left, though, and made their free throws as the Axemen were forced to foul.

[left] Mackenzie Kerins of South Eugene shoots a jumper over Oregon City's Ashley Reed.

Free throws were the difference in the game. Oregon City's aim was true on their first 21 attempts of the game. South Eugene shot well from the floor, but was only 9-18 at the line.

[below left] Oregon City sophomore Ashleigh Anderson fights for control of a rebound with South Eugene's Ellen Cook. [below right] Apparently the game was a bit tiring for at least one fan.