Grant Union Gold dancers practice for Pendleton
The Grant Union Gold dance team competed at the Stayton competition on Feb. 2-3, but were held off from competing in Tigard last weekend as school officials canceled the event due to inclement weather.
In Stayton, Grant Union was the only 2A team to perform, vying against 3A and 4A schools.
“We received higher scores than the same time last year, and the judges’ comments were very hopeful,” said Grant Union head coach Kattie Piazza.
Grant Union is performing a contemporary-style routine to “Whatever it takes” by Imagine Dragons with a theme of Breaking Free.
Piazza said she has an alternate routine they are practicing and will decide which one to take to state in early March.
The team will next compete in Pendleton on Saturday, Feb. 24.
Grant Union wrestlers prepare for district battle
After competing at Saturday’s Cougar Classic in Echo, hosted by Echo/Stanfield, the Grant Union Prospector wrestling team is now preparing for this week’s 2A/1A Special District 4 tournament at 2 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday in Halfway.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge,” said Grant Union head coach Andy Lusco.
He said half of the teams expected at the Cougar Classic couldn’t attend due to inclement weather, but 13 of his wrestlers had matches in the round robin, earning 108 points as a team.
Lakeview with 10 wrestlers earned 59 points, Echo/Stanfield with four wrestlers had 35 points and Union/Cove with five wrestlers had 26.5 points.
Lusco said senior Damion Young and freshman Justin Hodge, both wrestling at 152, “had a competitive bracket, and they wrestled well.”
Hodge, who has a 33-13 season record, placed first with 15.5 points. He won by a 1-0 decision over Dylan Julian of Lakeview (26-16 record) and won by tech fall over Mychael Pointer of Echo/Stanfield (25-8 record).
Young (26-14 record) placed third with 7 points, losing to Pointer by a 6-2 decision, then defeating Julian by a 10-4 decision.
Long Creek/Ukiah teams will not advance to district tourney
The Long Creek/Ukiah Mountain Lions boys team came just short of advancing to the 1A High Desert District Tournament.
Six teams advance to the Feb. 14-16 tournament — the top three teams from the west, and the top three teams from the east.
Although the Mountain Lions finished with a 6-7 league record (8-13 overall), they were in fourth place for west-side teams, behind Crane (12-1), Prairie City (11-2) and Dayville/Monument (7-6). Competing from the east side will be Jordan Valley (12-1), Adrian (8-5) and Huntington (4-9).
Even though Long Creek/Ukiah beat the Huntington Locomotives 67-39 on Jan. 19, the Locomotives advance because they are in third on the east side of the league.
“If you look at it, there is no perfect way to decide who goes,” said Mountain Lion coach Amos Studtmann. “If we wanted to win, we shouldn’t have let it come down to the last game.”
Still, Studtmann said his focus is on learning and growing when it comes to his boys and girls teams.
The Long Creek/Ukiah boys wrapped up the season with two tough losses, falling 89-46 to Prairie City on Friday in Long Creek and 62-46 to Dayville/Monument on Saturday in Monument.
Studtmann said Prairie City performed well with great rebounding and scoring several 3-point shots.
“While we did a lot of things right, Prairie City deserves the win,” the coach said.
He noted that in the game against Dayville/Monument junior Ben Combs insisted on playing through an ankle injury and didn’t let it slow him down.
“James Kreamier (a junior) kept his head up and did a good job of leading the team and despite the defense targeting him he led the team with 18 points in the Dayville/Monument game,” the coach said. “Thomas Kreamier (a sophomore) led the team with rebounding and blocking shots and stellar defense.”
Studtmann said he’s hosted Mathéo Buchart this school year, a foreign student from France who played on the basketball team.
“It’s been a double blessing to watch him grow from having never played basketball to being one of the top players on my team, averaging 14-points in the past seven games,” Studtmann said.
The coach said he’ll have three strong starters from the boys team back next year, including Combs and the Kreamiers.
The Mountain Lion girls, 4-9 in league and 8-13 overall, also had two losses, falling 51-20 to Prairie City and 47-22 to Dayville/Monument.
Studtmann, who’s coached both teams with TC Conner, said the girls battled hard against Dayville/Monument.
“We were up there to give our best and end our season strong,” he said.
At the half, Dayville/Monument was up 19-14.
“We had a chance to win it, but the momentum shifted in the second half,” he said. “We fought hard, and we never gave up.”
“Lucchese Douglas (sophomore) was a good team leader,” he said. “Gladys Johnson (senior) was influential when she was out there — she was unable to finish the game due to injury.”
Studtmann said he began coaching basketball three years ago, and Johnson will be his first player he’ll lose to graduation.
He said the athletes on both teams are “really good kids.”
“We got a lot of compliments from referees and audiences on their sportsmanship,” he said. “I’m really proud of them for that.”