The 1A Monument/Dayville Tiger girls are moving along at a good clip.
Head coach Taylor Schmadeka, in his second season coaching the Tigers, says their focus is playing with intensity and having fun, a formula which seems to be working.
So far, the team is 4-4 in the preseason. Two of the losses and one win were to 2A teams.
“Our goal is to keep having them play hard every day, even if they’re losing — never give up and have fun,” Schmadeka said.
Schmadeka has help from assistant Kristi Emerson, coaching the team of 10, which includes three freshmen, two sophomores, two juniors and three seniors.
Seniors Kendall Hettinga and Ravyn Walker are returning varsity starters, and Cheyenne Nichols is new to the team.
“Kendall always plays 100 percent and gives full heart,” the coach said. “She’s definitely a good leader on the team.”
He said Walker is an asset to the team, offensively and defensively.
“Ravyn always plays strong defense, and she’s one of the best shooters on the team,” Schmadeka said. “She handles close games well — she’s played in other pressure situations in other sports.”
Schmadeka said, although Nichols is new to the team and sport, she arrives at practice ready to learn.
Each senior said the team is working well together and shared a positive outlook on the season.
Walker said she’s looking forward to her senior year, playing basketball.
“We play really well as a team, and there’s a lot of talent,” she said. “It’s like a big family to me.”
Nichols shared Walker’s sentiments about the team’s closeness.
“We act like family,” she said. “We encourage each other a lot, and when someone’s feeling down we talk them up. I feel like it gets everyone’s attitudes up and their spirits and gets them ready for the next game.”
Hettinga said she’s proud to be part of the team.
“The chemistry is amazing within our team. We care about each other more than we care about ourselves. Sharing the love of basketball makes our games even more intense,” she said. “The league needs to be prepared because Dayville/Monument wants it.”
The Tigers’ opponents in the High Desert League include Jordan Valley, Adrian, Crane, Harper, Prairie City and Burnt River.
Joseph has a 5-1 record, with Jordan Valley at 6-0 and Crane at 3-3.
Schmadeka said it’s anyone’s game in league, and they won’t look past any team.
“It’s going to be a tough battle, every game,” he said.
He said he enjoys coaching the team of athletes who are all “coachable.”
“They always come to practice ready to practice with full intensity,” he said. “They like having fun, but they know when it’s time to be serious.”
Monument/Dayville Lady Tigers battled hard against South Wasco County Tuesday, Dec. 13, in Monument, ready to avenge a one-point loss they suffered to the Redsides last season.
It was a hard-fought contest, and the Tigers came out victorious with a 37-36 overtime win.
It was a slow start for both teams, the Tigers trailing 10-8 at the half.
“The turning point was late in the fourth,” said Tiger head coach Taylor Schmadeka. “Our defense got some turnovers for us.”
Tiger Ravyn Walker didn’t waste a second in overtime, sinking a three-point shot out of the gates. She also scored two points at the free-throw line on the shot.
Tiger Kendall Hettinga also added three points for the Tigers.
The Redsides followed with a three-pointer, the Tigers leading, 31-27.
Monument/Dayville pulled further ahead when Bailey Thomas scored a free-throw point and Walker scored on a steal.
Headed down the stretch, Hettinga scored at the free-throw line, adding three points on two trips.
Those points were key to the Tigers’ win as South Wasco scored twice in the final seconds of the game.
Dec. 30: vs. alumni in Dayville, girls at 5 p.m., boys at 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 6: @ Jordan Valley, girls at 5 p.m. (MST), boys at 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 7: @ Crane, girls at 2 p.m., boys at 3:30 p.m.
Jan. 10: @ Burnt River in Unity, girls at 4 p.m., boys at 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 13: vs. Harper in Dayville, girls at 4 p.m., boys at 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 14: @ Huntington, girls at 4 p.m., boys at 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 17: JV @ Long Creek/Ukiah in Long Creek, girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 20: vs. Jordan Valley in Monument, girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 21: vs. Adrian in Dayville, girls at 2 p.m., boys at 3:30 p.m.
Jan. 27: @ Prairie City, girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 28: vs. Crane in Dayville, girls at 2 p.m., boys at 3:30 p.m.
Jan. 31: vs. Prairie City in Monument, girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 3: @ Adrian, girls at 5 p.m., boys at 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 4: vs. Huntington in Monument, girls at 2 p.m., boys at 3:30 p.m.
Feb. 10: vs. Burnt River in Dayville (senior recognition), girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 11: @ Harper, girls at 4 p.m. (MST), boys at 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 16-18: 1A-8 High Desert District Tournament in John Day, TBA
Feb. 21: First Round State Playoff, boys, TBA
Feb. 22: First Round State Playoff, girls, TBA
Feb. 24: Second Round State Playoff, boys, TBA
Feb. 25: Second Round State Playoff, girls, TBA