Grant Union battles on the mats in Elgin
Grant Union Prospector sophomore wrestler Drew Lusco stood at the top of the podium in the heavyweight division at the Dec. 15-16 John Rysdam Memorial Tournament in Elgin.
The 2A Prospectors took fourth as a team behind first-place Weiser, Idaho, second-place Baker (3A) and third-place La Grande (4A).
Grant Union sophomore Damion Young, wrestling at 138, had a third-place finish.
Head coach Andy Lusco said they had several sick and injured players last week, but his athletes who competed battled hard with lots of matches.
“Mat time is critical at this point in the season,” Lusco said. “Our younger wrestlers are really making progress. We look forward to the second half of the season after Christmas break and hope to get healthy over the next couple of weeks.”
The Prospectors’ next competition is the first weekend of the new year, Friday and Saturday Jan. 5-6, at the Jo-Hi Wrestling Tournament in Joseph.
Ethan Moore (106): 5-3, fourth place
Braden Spencer (132): fourth
Quinten Hallgarth (152): 3-3, fourth
Damion Young (138): third
Cameron Hallgarth (170): fourth
Josh Carpenter (JV, 170): second
Drew Lusco (285): 5-0, first
Grant Union girls down Heppner
The Grant Union Prospector girls started strong in their 50-39 win in Heppner Saturday, leading 30-13 at the half.
The Mustangs upped their game for the second half, but Grant Union held on for the 11-point win.
“Our first-half defense dominated them,” said Prospector head coach Casey Hallgarth.
He said his team wasn’t as fired up as he’d like for the final two quarters.
“We need to learn how to play consistent basketball for four quarters,” he said. “Our dominance on defense the first half has to continue into the third and fourth quarters, if we want to be a championship-caliber team.”
Prospector Kaylee Wright led Grant Union with 22 points. She also had six deflections, seven steals and one blocked shot.
Prospector Mariah Moulton had 8 points and four assists.
Hallgarth said they look forward to this weekend’s three-day Nyssa Christmas Tournament, which starts with a 2 p.m. match-up on Thursday against 4A La Grande.
The tournament will be bracket play for the girls. The coach said all the teams they face will offer a good challenge.
“It should be a fun and exciting tournament,” he said.
Grant Union varsity will also host Prairie City at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, in John Day.
Grant Union boys overcome Heppner’s height
The Grant Union boys basketball team didn’t let the Heppner Mustang’s height slow them down Saturday, as the Prospectors came away with a 45-37 win on the road.
“They were huge, and it was a close game all the way through until the fourth,” said Grant Union head coach Kelsy Wright.
Five Mustangs tower from 6-foot-4 to 6-foot-10.
Wright said his team had trouble pulling away until the Mustangs had some foul trouble in the final quarter.
“I think down the stretch our speed helped,” he said, adding, “We knocked down some free throws to give us a bit of a cushion.”
He said he’s pleased with his team’s progress.
“We’re improving every game,” he said. “I’m extremely happy with all their hustle, and they’re making good plays.”
Prospectors Duane Stokes or Zack Deiter led the way in scoring for Grant Union.
Grant Union will face Wilder, Idaho, on the road Thursday at the three-day Nyssa Christmas Tournament, which is a round-robin event for the boys.
Wright said they look forward to playing “big schools with great talent.”
Grant Union varsity will also host Prairie City at 7:30 Thursday, Dec. 28, in John Day.
Prairie City Lady Panthers fierce at Triad Tourney
The 1A Prairie City Panther girls notched two wins at last week’s three-day Triad Tournament in Klamath Falls, taking one loss.
“They all did well, and presented themselves well for a three-day trip,” said Panther head coach Bo Workman.
Prairie City’s Megan Camarena led the team in scoring Thursday with 15 in the Panther’s 44-17 win over the 1A Pacific Pirates of Port Orford. Eight Panther girls contributed points for the victory. The Panthers had a 20-8 lead at the half and outscored the Pirates 18-3 in the third.
On Friday, Prairie City beat Horizon Christian-Hood River 32-21, with Camarena leading the Panthers with 12. Horizon came within 3 points going into the fourth, but Camarena contributed 7 points in the final 8 minutes to help the Panthers leap away with the 11-point win.
The 4A Klamath Union junior varsity team presented a bigger challenge for Prairie City, and the Panthers fell 50-30. Prairie City had an 11-10 point lead in the first and were down by two at the half. Klamath Union outshot the Panthers 19-2 in the third, and stayed ahead for the win.
Workman said, overall, his team performed well at the tournament.
“The girls stepped up and took care of the ball,” he said. “They played aggressive defense, but there’s still room for improvement.”
Prairie City hosted the Powder Valley Badgers Tuesday past press time.
The Panther varsity girls will face Grant Union varsity at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, in John Day.
Prairie City boys battle top-ranked team at Triad
The Prairie City Panther boys overpowered Powers 65-47 to start things off at the Dec. 14-16 Triad Tournament in Klamath Falls, but fell in two close contests, including one against the No. 1-ranked team in the state.
Against Powers, the Panthers were up 32-22 at the half, and Prairie City head coach Sam Workman said younger team members saw playing time.
The Panthers’ contest with Triad was a showdown to the end, Prairie City losing 51-48. Prairie City was up 27-26 at the half, but lost ground in the fourth.
“We couldn’t make our last shots, but it was a good game the whole time,” the coach said.
The Pacific Pirates of Port Orford are currently ranked No. 1 for OSAA. At halftime, Pacific led 29-27. Workman said it was a 1- to 2-point contest until his team had to start fouling late in the game.
“They had a tough 6-foot-8 player,” Workman said. “I put Syd (Holman) on him, and he did really well.”
He said the games with Triad and Pacific could have gone either way.
“They played tough, and I hope they continue to play just as tough the rest of the season,” Workman said. “It was good competition, which we need to see early in the season.”
Levi Burke and Dorran Wilson led the Panthers in scoring throughout the tournament, Workman said.
Prairie City was scheduled to host the Powder Valley Badgers Tuesday past press time, and they are scheduled to travel to Powder Valley for a 5 p.m. contest on Thursday.
The Panthers will face Grant Union varsity at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, in John Day.
The Panther boys will also face an alumni team at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29, in Prairie City.
Monument/Dayville girls lose hoops battle to No. 2 team, boys fall to Redsides
The Monument/Dayville Lady Tigers came up with a 48-31 loss Tuesday, Dec. 12, to No. 2-ranked South Wasco Redsides, but came away with lessons from the game.
“Last Tuesday was a good experience for our girls, and for most of the game I was happy with how we played,” said Tiger head coach Taylor Schmadeka. “Our defense was very good in the first half, but we lost focus in the second half and committed a lot of fouls that hurt us late in the game.”
Monument/Dayville was trailing by two at the half, 16-14, then the Redsides outshot the Tigers 14-8 in the third.
“South Wasco was a very good team, and they played tough for all four quarters,” Schmadeka said. “Looking forward, we will work on conditioning so that we can still compete into the fourth quarter.”
He said free throws that were missed also could have made a difference in the outcome.
Tiger Danielle Rhoda led Monument/Dayville’s scoring with 13 points followed by Kyla Emerson with 8.
The Monument/Dayville Tigers boys fell 40-28 to the Redsides.
The Tiger boys and girls will compete at the three-day Union Christmas Classic tournament Dec. 21-23.
The Monument/Dayville girls will face Union at 8 p.m. Thursday, followed by the boys at 9:30 p.m.
Ukiah/Long Creek boys and girls compete at Harper Tournament
The Ukiah/Long Creek Mountain Lion boys and girls each came away with one win and one loss at the Dec. 15-16 Harper Tournament.
The Mountain Lion boys held out for a 47-45 win over Harper on day one, and lost to Huntington 58-29.
The girls fell to Harper 50-19 on day one, then followed up with a win over Burnt River 28-15.
Amos Studtmann, who coaches the boys and girls teams, along with TC Conner, called the boys’ win over Harper a defensive victory. He said the entire team contributed to the win.
“Every one of our players contributed with most of the bench scoring as well,” he said. “They all worked together.”
He said the Huntington boys deserved their win, and the game pointed out holes in his team’s defense.
“Because we lost, we get to take more from the game in terms of improving,” he said.
Studtmann said the girls need to work on their team effort, adding one player was scoring 3-pointers in the first half of the Harper game only to be double-teamed and shut down in the final quarters.
“The girls need to learn to work together on offense, because no game is a one-man show,” he said.
The coach said they will hold practices over Christmas break.
They return to competition Jan. 2, when they host Prairie City junior varsity in Ukiah with game times at 4 p.m. for the girls and 5:30 p.m. for the boys.