Tiger girls win at Wallowa Lions Tourney, boys lose two
Monument/Dayville Tiger coach Taylor Schmadeka said tough defense, capitalizing on steals and having fun added up to winning at the Dec. 8-9 Wallowa Lions Tournament.
The Tigers overpowered the Lions 60-49 in Friday’s girls basketball match. Kyla Emerson led Monument/Dayville with 21 points.
Schmadeka said both Emerson and Danielle Rhoda made key points and rebounds when they were needed most. Emerson and Faythe Schafer each had nine steals.
“We played solid on both ends of the floor and capitalized on our steals, turning them into fast-break points,” Schmadeka said.
He said his team played well together the following night when they faced La Grande’s junior varsity team, the Tigers winning 44-34.
Rhoda led the Tigers with 17 points and 13 rebounds against La Grande.
Monument/Dayville sophomores Denali Twehues and Aubrey Bowlus played good defense, Schmadeka said, forcing La Grande to take difficult shots, shutting down their scoring opportunities.
“Overall, I was very pleased with how the girls played again this weekend,” Schmadeka said. “We are improving more and more every game, and the girls are also having a fun time playing, which translates into better performance on the court.”
The Tiger boys, with a young team this season, lost two contests. They fell to Wallowa 51-16 and La Grande junior varsity 69-14.
“They’re going to be constantly learning and improving,” said Monument/Dayville head coach Jeff Schafer.
He said improvement and learning the pace of high school basketball is most important to him.
The team will continue working on taking care of the ball, rebounding and shooting as they prepare for this week’s games, Schafer said, adding the team is coachable.
“They’re wonderful kids,” he said.
The Tigers were set to face South Wasco, the girls team ranked No. 1 for OSAA teams, on Tuesday past press time. They’ll next travel to Union Dec. 21-23 for the Bobcats Tournament.
Grant Union wrestlers battle at Calhoun Classic
Grant Union junior varsity wrestler Damion Young (138) competed for third place on Saturday at Nyssa’s Calhoun Classic.
“The Calhoun is a tough meet,” said Grant Union head coach Andy Lusco. “Our guys wrestled hard and improved.”
The competition included schools from Ontario, Fruitland, Idaho, which won the tournament, and other Idaho schools, including Caldwell, Middleton, New Plymouth, Emmett, Kuna, Nampa and others.
Lusco said Young, who went 4-1, had a good day and is wrestling well.
“Amazing improvement over last year,” Lusco said.
He highlighted five other junior varsity wrestlers.
Eli Sheedy (113), who went 3-2 on the day, is also showing improvement, Lusco said.
He “was a close match away from wrestling for third place,” Lusco said, adding Ethan Moore (106, 3-2) “did an awesome job.”
Freshman Logan McCluskey (145, 4-2) finished fourth in what was his first big tournament of the season.
Josh Carpenter (170) won one match, showing improvement in his first year of varsity wrestling, Lusco said, adding Savannah Wyllie competed in her first-ever wrestling matches at the tournament.
Varsity wrestler Russell Hodge (182) went 3-2, Hadley Boethin (195) wrestled in close matches, going 1-2, and Drew Lusco (285) went 2-2 in a tough bracket, the coach said.
“Braden Spencer, Eli Humbird, Dillon Maley, Cameron Hallgarth all wrestled hard but did not win this weekend,” coach Lusco said.
“Overall, this was a great test,” he said. “It showed us where we need to improve in terms of weight class and conditioning.”
He added, “Our younger wrestlers competed very well in the JV bracket.”
Prairie City Lady Panthers aggressive at Christmas Classic
The 1A Prairie City Panther girls played with confidence, winning their games at the Dec. 8-9 Condon Christmas Classic round-robin tournament.
The Panthers claimed victories with a 57-34 win over Ione, followed by a 45-32 win over Condon/Wheeler, both 1A teams.
Senior Brianna Zweygardt led the team in scoring in both games, but Panther head coach Bo Workman said his younger players are showing confidence and being more productive on the court.
“We still have a lot to work on, but I was happy with how we played,” he said. “Our defense is getting better, getting more confidence, and our defense end is getting more aggressive.”
He added his team is improving on anticipating passing.
On Wednesday, Dec. 6, the Prairie City girls fell to 3A Burns 57-38.
This weekend, the Panthers have a six-plus hour road trip to Klamath Falls for the three-day Triad Tournament.
The Lady Panthers will face the Pacific Pirates at 3:45 p.m. Thursday, Horizon Christian at 3:45 p.m. on Friday and Klamath Union junior varsity 10:45 a.m. on Saturday.
The Prairie City girls will host Powder Valley at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19, in their first nonconference home game.
Sophomore Panther Hailee Wall said the tough schedule is a good thing.
“I think it was really good for us to be playing more teams for the season, because it really helps us to get the aggressive drive to want to win,” she said.
Workman said Zweygardt won’t be present for the games, so he’ll rely more on his younger post players.
“We’re working on defense a lot, and they’re getting better at it,” he said.
Panther boys take in the glory at Condon Christmas Tourney
Prairie City Panther Lucas McKinley put a damper on Condon/Wheeler’s offense in the team’s final basketball match at the Dec. 8-9 Condon Christmas Classic.
The Panther boys battled for two wins, defeating Ione 78-44 and Condon/Wheeler 64-58.
Nearly everyone on the roster scored in the game against Ione, said head coach Sam Workman.
“They just came out ready to play and put them away,” he said.
Dorran Wilson led the Panthers with 29 points, five steals and six rebounds in the game with Ione.
Levi Burke had 19 points, five blocks and 12 rebounds.
Syd Holman contributed eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks for Prairie City. McKinley scored eight points and had eight rebounds, Jojari Field had eight points and three rebounds, Jayden Winegar had six points and Jonathan Lawrence had two points and two rebounds.
Workman said McKinley was a huge factor in their win over Condon/Wheeler Saturday.
“I put him on the high-scorer for Condon/Wheeler and kept their points down,” the coach said. “He was really aggressive and stayed in the kid’s face the whole game and never gave him a break.”
Wilson scored 26 points with six assists, four steals and seven rebounds in the game against Condon/Wheeler.
Levi Burke had 12 points, three blocked shots, two assists and nine rebounds.
Lawrence had six points. Holman 11 points, three blocked shots and six rebounds, and McKinley had nine points, three steals and three rebounds
Prairie City travels to the Triad Tournament in Klamath Falls this week.
In the three-day contest, the Panther boys will face Powers at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Triad at 8:15 p.m. Friday and Pacific at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
Their first nonconference home game will be at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19, hosting the Powder Valley Badgers.
“We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing,” Workman said. “They seem to be getting off the bus and playing hard so far.”
Lady Pros set the pace for win in Crane
The 2A Grant Union girls defense held the 1A Mustangs off, as the Lady Prospectors ran away with a 45-26 win on the road.
Grant Union started off on a positive note in Crane Tuesday, Dec. 5, with a 12-7 lead in the first quarter.
Going into the second half, the Prospectors led by 11.
“I think Crane is a good team,” said Grant Union head coach Casey Hallgarth. “They always play tough. They’re gritty. We tried to establish the pace.”
He said they missed some easy shots and only had one three-pointer in the game, but he was happy overall with how his team performed.
“I thought defense held it,” he said, adding it’s a positive when they can hold a team under 30 points.
Prospector Kaylee Wright led the team with 13 points, followed by Madi McKrola with 9.
This week Grant Union hosted 3A Burns on Tuesday past press time, and they host Weston-McEwen Friday at 6 p.m. The Lady Pros are on the road Saturday facing Heppner at 4 p.m.
“We’ll call this the gauntlet week, where we have three games,” Hallgarth said. “Each one is going to be super tough. It’s going to be a grind. It’s going to show us where we’re at and if the hype is real.”
Grant Union boys turn up intensity for win in Crane
The 2A Grant Union Prospectors turned a two-point lead at the half Dec. 5 in Crane into a 12-point win over the 1A Mustangs.
Grant Union head coach Kelsy Wright said his team came out a little flat in the first two quarters, but adjustments were made at halftime.
In the third, the Prospectors’ full-court press and offense improved.
“We got quite a few quick buckets and got some good looks on offense, and it went smoothly after that,” Wright said.
This week, Grant Union played 3A Burns on Tuesday past press time, and they host Weston-McEwen at 7:30 p.m. Friday. On Saturday at 5:30 p.m., they’ll face the Heppner Mustangs on the road.
Heppner has some athletes that tower over 6-feet tall.
“It’s going to be pretty interesting,” Wright said. “We have some excellent rebounders, and I think our quickness is going to help us in that game.”