Prospector girls defeat TigerScots in team effort

Grant Union Prospector girls head coach Kristi Moore said, as they near the end of the regular season, her team needs to play each game like it’s their last.

That’s just what they did on Saturday, dominating the Weston-McEwen TigerScots with a 62-33 victory in John Day.

Grant Union topped Weston-McEwen 43-12 at halftime.

“The girls came out intense,” Moore said of her team. “After that loss to Heppner, they decided they want to win. They had good intensity, good teamwork and played good defense.”

Kaylee Wright led the Prospectors with 18 points.

Next up, Grant Union hosts the Enterprise Outlaws at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The teams are closely matched in the conference, but on Jan. 4, Grant Union beat the Outlaws 56-44 in Enterprise.

Grant Union is currently at the top of the Blue Mountain Conference standings with a 9-1 record, and the Enterprise Outlaws are close behind with a 9-2 record.

Over the season, the Prospectors have scored a total of 1,104 points overall and allowed 793 points.

The Outlaws, have scored 1,028 points overall and allowed 735 points.

Moore said Friday’s game will be senior recognition night, and they hope to fill the stands for the five seniors.

“It’s a big game for us,” she said.

She said, as they head down the stretch of the regular season, they’ll focus on rebounding and getting second-chance opportunities and using each girl’s strengths to lift the team.

“It’s that time of the season. We have to work harder and keep the motivation and intensity to be successful,” she said.

Grant Union will face the Stanfield Tigers on the road at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

If Grant Union loses Friday’s game and wins Saturday, they would be tied for first with Enterprise. If that occurs, a playoff game would be held to determine which team is first in league.

If Grant Union wins Friday’s game, they will play a nonleague contest against the Crane Mustangs on the road at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12. (If a playoff game for Grant Union girls is necessary, this game would be canceled.)

2A Blue Mountain Conference girls standings

Grant Union, 9-1, 15-4 overall, No. 5 in state

Enterprise, 9-2, 17-4, No. 6

Heppner, 7-4, 15-8, No. 12

Union, 5-5, 11-9, No. 13

Stanfield, 4-6, 11-11, No. 25

Pilot Rock, 2-8, 8-12, No. 27

Weston-McEwen, 0-10, 5-16, No. 33

Grant Union boys top Weston-McEwen in seventh league win

Grant Union senior Tanner Elliott led the Prospectors with 20 points and 12 rebounds in the team’s 54-48 victory over the Weston-McEwen TigerScots.

“He did an awesome job for us,” Grant Union head coach Kelsy Wright said of Elliott. “It was a huge night for him.”

Grant Union kept a slim lead over the TigerScots for much of the game and were up 6 points at halftime.

“They knew they had to start scoring the ball,” Wright said. “Our defense is stepping up.”

The game was played without starter Tristan Morris, a junior. Wright said Morris is still recovering from an injury but should be back this week.

The Prospectors are currently second in the 2A Blue Mountain Conference, and Wright said they hope to carry that on to the district tournament.

They will host the Enterprise Outlaws at 6 p.m. Friday, and they are on the road to face the Stanfield Tigers at 4 p.m. Saturday. The Prospectors will also play a nonleague game against the Crane Mustangs at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12.

Grant Union beat the Outlaws 48-43 on Jan. 4 in Enterprise and fell to the Tigers Jan. 18 in John Day.

“Enterprise and Stanfield are two must-wins for us,” Wright said. “We’re just working hard and staying focused.”

2A Blue Mountain Conference boys standings

Heppner, 10-1, 16-7 overall, No. 13 in state

Grant Union, 7-3, 9-10, No. 25

Union, 6-4, 13-7, No. 17

Stanfield, 6-4, 10-12, No. 29

Enterprise, 3-8, 9-13, No. 33

Weston-McEwen, 2-8, 4-17, No. 43

Pilot Rock, 2-8, 3-17, No. 46

Tiger girls have ups and downs on the road

The Dayville/Monument Tigers girls basketball team took a win and a loss in road battles, beating the Huntington Locomotives 32-14 on Friday and falling 65-26 to the Crane Mustangs on Saturday.

Dayville/Monument led the Locomotives 19-4 at halftime.

Tiger head coach Taylor Schmadeka said his younger players had a lot of court time against Huntington, and the team played well on both sides of the ball.

Denali Twehues led the Tigers with 7 points followed by Kyla Emerson, Katie Barker and Sam Adams with 6. Aubreianna Osborne contributed 4 points, Hallie Rhoda had 2 and Courtney Nichols had 1.

In Saturday’s game against Crane, Dayville/Monument was down 31-12 at halftime.

Twehues led her team with 11 points, followed by Kyla Emerson with 7. Faythe Schafer scored 5 points and Courtney Nichols 3.

Schmadeka said Crane’s players can shoot from different areas on the floor.

”It’s hard to stop all of their players from scoring,” he said.

The coach said they did improve since they last played Crane, when they lost by 46 points on Jan. 11.

“We did better on the offensive side than we did the first time we played them, exploiting some mismatches and using our strengths against them,” Schmadeka said.

He added, “The girls played extremely hard both nights, and I’m very proud of how we are progressing as the season goes on.”

The Dayville/Monument girls are currently third in the 1A High Desert League standings with a 7-3 record, Jordan Valley leads with a 10-0 record, and Crane is 9-1 in league.

The Tiger teams were scheduled to face Prairie City on Tuesday past press time.

Dayville/Monument hosts the Harper Hornets in Monument on Friday with the girls playing at 5 p.m. followed by the boys at 6:30 p.m.

The Tigers host the Long Creek/Ukiah Mountain Lions on Saturday in Monument, the girls at 2 p.m. and boys at 3:30 p.m.

Dayville/Monument boys defeat Huntington, fall to Crane

The Dayville/Monument boys picked up the pace after a slow first half against Huntington Friday, overtaking the Locomotives for a 42-32 win on Friday.

“The guys played well as a team,” said Tiger head coach Jeff Schafer. “I was very proud of the team for gaining the lead and maintaining without giving up any points in the last couple of minutes.”

Donovan Schafer led the Tigers with 18 points, followed by Drew Wilburn with 12.

On Saturday, Dayville/Monument fell to Crane 66-32.

The coach said his team fell back into some bad habits.

“Crane is a solid team, always a challenge,” he said. “I believe we failed mentally, but I do feel our team can compete with them. We just have to be prepared 100 percent.”

He said his team is looking forward to a challenging week.

“We have three big games, and we can’t take anything for granted,” Schafer said. “Of course, our goal is to make it to the district tournament.”

The 1A High Desert District Tournament is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 14-16, at Grant Union Junior-Senior High School in John Day.

“I’m so proud of my team for the effort and hard work they have put in this season — not just basketball skills, but life skills, how to work together on and off the court,” Schafer said. “They have grown so much as a team and as individuals.”

He added, “I have the privilege of working with some of the best kids around, they are a fantastic group.”

Grant Union boys wrestling team places sixth at BEO Tourney

Grant Union Prospector Drew Lusco received the championship title in the 285-pound weight class at Saturday’s Bank of Eastern Oregon Tournament in Heppner.

Grant Union had a sixth-place finish, facing 11 teams from the 2A/1A Special District 4, plus Baker, Irrigon and Mac-Hi.

“We are looking to improve that finish in time for the district meet in two weeks,” said Grant Union head coach Andy Lusco, adding his team will work on honing their skills and conditioning.

Drew Lusco, a junior, is 37-1 on the season and scored 27.5 points for Grant Union in Heppner.

He had a bye in the championship round one, and won by tech fall over Tim Standley of Irrigon in the quarterfinal.

Drew pinned Alex Doherty of Mac-Hi/Weston-McEwen/Griswold in the semifinal and pinned Kaleb Kendrick of Irrigon in the first-place match.

Grant Union freshman Justin Hodge (152), with a 31-12 record, placed third.

Placing fourth for the Prospectors were junior Russell Hodge (195, 21-5) and sophomore Logan McCluskey (160, 22-12).

Placing sixth were sophomore Ethan Moore (106, 20-14), senior Damion Young (145, 25-12) and sophomore Quintin Hallgarth (170, 20-18).

Grant Union will compete at the Echo Tournament at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The District Tournament is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15-16, in Halfway.

Long Creek/Ukiah boys win two at home

The Long Creek/Ukiah Mountain Lion boys claimed two home victories, beating Pilot Rock junior varsity, 71-40, Jan. 29 in Ukiah and Burnt River, 63-28, Saturday in Long Creek.

In the first match, Long Creek/Ukiah starter Ben Combs, a junior, twisted his ankle and was out for the following two games.

On Friday, the Mountain Lions fell 97-76 to the Adrian Antelopes.

Long Creek/Ukiah coach TC Conner, who co-coaches with Amos Studtmann, said Combs is one of their main rebounders and the team felt that loss in their game against Adrian.

The Mountain Lions were behind by 12 points when an Antelope hit a 3-pointer, Conner said, adding that when his team tried to match it, their 3-point shots weren’t hitting their mark.

“I told them to keep playing your game,” Conner said.

“We just need to clean up our rebounding,” he added. “Defensively we did well, even without Ben, but it’s the second chances we need.”

Long Creek/Ukiah will host the Prairie City Panthers in Long Creek on Friday with the girls game at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, the Mountain Lions face the Dayville/Monument Tigers at 2 for the girls and 3:30 p.m. for the boys in Monument.

The Mountain Lions are fourth in the 1A High Desert League standings.

Conner said when the boys team faced Prairie City earlier this season, it “opened their mindset of getting clean passes and getting open shots — we made a huge leap in offense and moving the ball.”

He said he expects Friday’s game against Prairie City to be a tough one, as they are coming off two losses.

As they prepare for the Feb. 14-16 district tournament, held in John Day, he said the boys are working on offense.

“They’re getting more patient,” he said. “It seems like we need a couple more games to fine tune it.”

Mountain Lion girls gain 1-point victory over Bulls

The Long Creek/Ukiah girls defeated the Burnt River Bulls 27-26 in a comeback finish on Saturday in Long Creek.

Long Creek/Ukiah coach TC Conner said the girls were trailing by quite a bit.

“I told them keep working at it and see if we can get it back into close range,” he said.

He said they were down by double digits in the third and narrowed it down the gap by 4 points in the fourth.

“We went man-to-man full court” for the win, he said.

The Mountain Lions lost a nonleague game 29-24 against Pilot Rock on Jan. 29 and fell 48-28 in Adrian on Friday.

Next up, Long Creek/Ukiah hosts Prairie City on Friday in Long Creek and plays Dayville/Monument on Saturday in Monument.

Conner said he and co-coach Amos Studtmann have reminded the girls they defeated Spray/Mitchell three times in a row at the start of the season. He added they need to keep a positive outlook and be ready.

Angel Carpenter is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. She can be contacted at or 541-575-0710.

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