By Brad Mosher
The (La Grande) Observer
The Cove Leopards fell into a hole early they never could climb out of in the opening round of Old Oregon League’s district girls basketball tournament Thursday at Baker High School.
The Wallowa Cougars were waiting for them with an ambush that ended the season for the Lady Leopards with a 38-29 loss.
It was Wallowa sophomores Kristyn Young and Taylor Harshfield who knocked off the post-season dreams of the Leopards with by accounting for more than half their team’s points Thursday. Young had 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Harshfield finished with 10 points.
It will be Wallowa that top-seeded Imbler will meet tonight in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. in the Baker High School gymnasium.
Cove’s problems started early, falling behind 10-2 in the first quarter.
They were able to rally in the second quarter, outscoring Wallowa by a 12-10 margin to cut the lead to 20-14 by halftime.
At the start of the second half Wallowa went on another run, with 10 straight points before the Leopards finally scored on Molly DelCurto’s bankshot with 3:28 left. Kelly Nostrant added a shot then Hailey Hulse cut the lead 30-20 with a pair of free throws.
Kayla Johnson’s 3-pointer with 2:05 left in the third quarter cut Wallowa’s lead to just seven — marking a 7-0 run by the Leopards to tighten the score.
Both Wallowa and Cove exchanged scores in the final minutes to leave the Cougars with a seven-point advantage (32-25) at the start of the fourth quarter.
With 4:59 left in the game, Cove’s Hannah Hulse cut the Wallowa lead to five (34-29). Those would be the final points of the game for Cove.
“We were in a hole — 16-to-2 -— at one point,” said Cove’s coach, Brandon May. “We started to dig out of it, but our defense has to support our offense. We spent a lot of energy digging out of that hole.”
Although the Leopards weren’t giving up, their cold shooting touch throughout the game didn’t help them.
In the first half, Cove hit just four of 22 two-point shots and hit one of five 3-point attempts. That’s almost normal for his team, May said. The big difference is how the defense creates the points for the offense. That was missing Thursday.
Kayla Johnson came back from an injury and hit Cove’s only 3-pointers in the game. She finished with nine points as the team’s high-scorer.
“She ran out of gas. She hasn’t played for three weeks and she hadn’t quite got her legs back yet,” May said.
We just couldn’t keep any momentum, the coach said. “We would just keep getting a foul or getting a turnover.”
The fourth quarter was ugly, he added. “They were rushing (the shots) and Wallowa seemed to have everything go down. Wallowa came in to play. You could tell that in the first quarter. They simply wanted it from the start -— more than we did.
After Young and Harshfield, Wallowa had five others score. Morgan Waters finished with five points, while Samantha Johnston had four and Sally Mary Blair scored three. Shai Allen put in two points.
Cove’s Johnson led her team with nine, while Hannah Hulse put in eight and both Hailey Hulse and Molly DelCurto had four each. Morgan Reddington and Kelly Nostrant each scored two.
The loss ended the prep basketball career of senior Renee Mills. She was held scoreless in her last game but pulled down four of her team’s 38 rebounds. Hailey Hulse led Cove with 10 rebounds, while Young grabbed 12 of Wallowa’s 38 rebounds.
By Gerry Steele
A swarming defense and racehorse offense propelled Powder Valley to an easy 62-32 victory over Joseph in an opening-round game at the District 7-1A girls basketball tournament Thursday at Baker High School.
Powder Valley (14-8) won its fifth consecutive game, and third against Joseph this season on the way to securing a semifinal berth against Pine-Eagle today at 12:30 p.m.
Five different Badgers scored to start the game as Powder Valley roared out of the gate to a 12-0 lead with 1:38 left in the first quarter.
Joseph, which finished its season 0-22, finally got on the board when Sidney Cooney scored on a fast break with 1:04 left in the quarter.
Powder Valley led 16-4 at the break.
The Badgers then opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run to increase their lead to 24-4 with 5:37 left in the first half.
Powder led 36-14 at halftime.
The pattern continued in the second half. Powder opened the third period with 10 unanswered points to increase its lead to 32 points, 46-14.
Alexandra Colton led Powder Valley with 24 points and four steals on 11-of-16 shooting.
Ali Abrego added 16 points and eight rebounds.
Breeanna Gibson topped Joseph with 16 points.
Nelson 1 0-0 2, Albee, Cooney 1 0-0 2, Gibson 6 1-1 16, N. Taylor 0 0-4 0, Pinna 1 0-0 2, Parker 2 0-1 4, Williams 2 0-0 4, Zollman, Kemp, H. Taylor 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 1-6 32.
POWDER VALLEY (62) -
Abrego 7 0-4 16, Loennig 2 0- 4, Hampton 1 0-0 2, Colton 11 2-4 24, Allen 2 0-0 4, Trindle 1 0-0 2, Martin, Combs, Feik 2 2-2 6, Jimenez 2 0-0 4. Totals 28 4-10 62.
Joseph - 4 10 4 14 — 32
Powder Valley -16 20 12 14 — 62
Three-point baskets — Gibson 3, Abrego 2. Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Joseph 10, Powder Valley 7. Technicals — none.
By Brad Mosher
The (La Grande) Observer
Cove’s Leopards ran into a tough battle with Joseph early in the Old Oregon League district opener for both teams Thursday.
It just didn’t last, as the Leopards ran off with a 52-22 victory that put them in today’s semifinal with Imbler at 2:15 p.m. in the Baker High School gymnasium.
Cove has lost to Imbler three times earlier this season, with two of the losses being by fewer than five points.
The two teams battled through the first quarter with Cove taking an early lead, only to have the Eagles come back halfway through the period to brief grab the lead themselves.
A pair of baskets in the final minute of the quarter gave Cove a 14-9 edge at the first break.
Joseph’s Blair Beaudoin cut the lead to just three points (14-11) before the Leopards pounced on the Eagles with 9-1 run that gave Cove a 23-12 halftime lead.
It got colder in the third quarter for Joseph as the Eagles were shut out while Cove ran off 19 unanswered points.
Ahead 42-12 going into the final quarter, the Leopards’ bench got plenty of playing time as both teams finished the game by scoring 10 points.
Colton DeMeerleer led the Leopards in scoring with 15, while both Tayton Duby and Derek Murchison added eight points each. Brandon Batty finished the game with six points, as did Bailey Hill. Jayden Moore scored four, as Beau Knight finished with three and Jacob Colvin put in two.
The Eagles were in scoring by Masahiro Yamamoto and Eric Lara with four points each. Ben Smallen and Austin Wells put in three points each, while Beaudoin, Gage Jarman, Wil Story and David Lewis each had two points.
The loss ended the Eagles’ season with a 2-19 season record. The team finished in a tie with Pine Eagle (1-9) in the Old Oregon League race.
According to Cove coach TedRoy McBride, the defense that Joseph opened the game with took some time for the Leopards to adjust to it. “Joseph came out and played with a lot of heart,” he said.
“Our main goal tonight was to get a feel for the floor — to take care of business and get used to the big stage here (districts).”
One thing that helped to break the game open for the Leopards was using a press against the Eagles. “We switched to the press in order to get a jumpstart,” McBride said. “We needed to get ourselves aggressive. We were kind of sitting back on our heels.”
By Gerry Steele
In a game that at times resembled an episode of the old science fiction show “The Twilight Zone,” Pine-Eagle and Wallowa battled each other Thursday in the opening round of the District 7-1A boys basketball tournament at Baker High School.
Strange bounces of the basketball, shots that appeared to being going into the basket falling far short, and near rugby-style play by both teams highlighted the game.
Pine-Eagle, which entered play with a 1-17 season record, pulled away in the fourth quarter to upset Wallowa 40-33. The Spartans advance to tonight’s semifinal round against Powder Valley at 8:15 p.m.
Baskets by Alex Stiles and Jon Thorn gave Pine-Eagle a 4-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Then, five straight Wallowa points — four from Kody Swifte — gave Wallowa a 5-4 edge at the break.
The Cougars maintained a slim lead through most of the second period before Colter Marks hit a basket with 46.5 seconds left to pull Pine-Eagle at 10-10 at halftime.
Pine-Eagle then used four Thorn free throws and a basket by Stiles to build a 16-12 advantage with 5:16 left in the third quarter.
Again Wallowa battled back behind five points from Swifte and a basket from Spencer Shelton to take a 23-22 lead with 48.5 seconds left in the third quarter.
Pine-Eagle then scored four of the final six points in the quarter to take a 26-25 edge into the final eight minutes.
The Spartans opened the fourth quarter with back-to-back baskets from Stiles and Marks to build their cushion to 30-25.
Wallowa could get no closer than three points — twice — after that.
Stiles led Pine-Eagle with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Thorn added 12 points, and Marks 10 points and nine boards.
Swifte topped Wallowa 18 points and 10 rebounds. Pierce Millar added 11 rebounds.
Co. Marks 5 0-0 10, Stiles 6 2-9 14, Swanson 0 0-1 0, Thorn 2 8-14 12, Walker, Robinette, Hamby 1 0-0 2, McCoy 0 2-2 2, Denig, Cr. Marks. Totals 14 12-27 40.
WALLOWA (33) -
Conrad 1 2-2 4, Hafer, Swifte 8 2-4 18, Millar 3 0-0 6, Wellens 1 1-2 3, Wallace, Shelton 1 0-0 2, Burns, G. Murray, C. Murray 0 0-1 0, C. Hafer. Totals 14 5-9 33.
Pine-Eagle -4 6 16 14 — 40
Wallowa - 5 5 15 8 — 33
Three-point baskets — None. Fouled out — Conrad. Total fouls — Pine-Eagle 15, Wallowa 22. Technicals — none.
By Gerry Steele
Dane Bachman broke away from the pack on his way to his second slam dunk late in the fourth quarter against La Grande Friday.
By Gerry Steele
Baker played a spirited first half against La Grande Friday in the Bulldogs’ Greater Oregon League girls basketball home finale.
By Gerry Steele
The current “Baker’s Dozen” wrestlers traveled to Ontario Wednesday and dropped a 39-34 Greater Oregon League dual match to the Tigers.
“The Bulldogs showed up with our season survivors,” said Baker coach Brandon Young, noting that the Bulldogs have just 13 wrestlers remaining.
“These 13 kids are the dedicated ones,” Young said. “We had one wrestler ineligible and possibly could have won if we had him in the lineup.”
Young said the Bulldogs hadn’t seen Ontario this season, so “just went out and wrestled. That is what we need to do all the time, but achieving this can be tricky.”
With the two teams shuffling wrestlers to different weight classes the match came down to the 195-pound match with Baker trailing 36-34.
“The pressure was on Henry Shaw,” Young said.
Shaw trailed 6-4 in the third round before tying the match with a takedown with 15 seconds left. But Shaw’s opponent gained a reversal in the final five seconds and added a near-fall for a 10-6 win.
Baker travels to Mac-Hi Thursday and to Halfway for the Pine-Eagle tournament Saturday.
Ontario 39, Baker 34
106 — Sanchez (O) by forfeit. 113 — Barrera (O) pinned Bingham. 120 — L. Valentine (B) dec. Saldivar, 15-4. 126 — J. Vaentine (B) pinned Stoffel. 132 — Nunez (O) by forfeit. 138 — Stevens (O) by forfeit. 145 — Dzhiddzhiyeshvili (O) pinned Hawes. 152 — Lowry (B) pinned Erlebach. 160 — Double forfeit. 170 — Baker (B) pinned Morales. 182 — Spenst (B) by forfeit. 195 — Lopez (O) dec. Shaw, 10-6. 220 — Walton (B) pinned Price. 285 — Yruegas (P) pinned Pifher.
By Gerry Steele
Two Baker Middle School wrestlers, and one from Powder Valley placed first in their weight divisions Friday at the annual Baker Brawl middle school tournament held at Baker High School.
Ethan Miller and James Mazzagotti of Baker won their divisions. Miller was first at 90 pounds, and Mazzagotti first at 150.
Powder Valley’s Korey Grende placed first at 117 pounds.
Eight other Baker wrestlers placed second through seventh, along with five other Powder wrestlers, and five Pine-Eagle wrestlers.
Ontario won its third straight team title. Baker was fourth, Powder Valley 11th and Pine-Eagle 13th.
(Baker, Powder Valley, Pine-Eagle results)
Team scores — Ontario 208, Hines 173.5, Nyssa 163.5, Baker 121, Enterprise 115.5, La Grande 102, Joseph 92, Mount Vernon 91, Crane 80.5, Union 78, Powder Valley 76, New Plymouth 67, Pine-Eagle 66, Elgin 42, Imbler 31.
80 — 6. Johnny Niehaus (B), 1-3. 90 — 1. Ethan Miller (B), 2-0. 5. Kyle Hamann (B), 2-2. 95 — 2. Jace Hays (B), 1-1. 3. James AhHee (B), 3-1. 102A — 2. Tanner Eubanks (PV), 1-1. 5. Blake Butler (PE), 2-2. 6. Gage Niehaus (B), 0-3. 7. Elijah Banister (B), 0-2. 110 — 5. Cade Browne (PV), 1-2. 117 — 1. Korey Grende (PV), 2-0. 125 — 3. Hayden Kuta (PE), 2-1. 132 — 2. River Colnot (PE), 2-1. 140A — 5. Trey Fisher (PE), 1-2. 140B — 2. Joseh Aguilar (PE), 1-1. 150A — 1. James Mazzagotti (B), 2-0. 5. Nate Tully (PV), 0-2. 150B — 2. Samuel Harper (B), 1-1. 175A — 6. Matt Siddoway (B), 0-3. 175B — 3. Marshall Baxter (PV), 2-1. 195+ —3. Shane Hoopai (PV), 1-1.
By Gerry Steele
Vale, Oregon’s No. 2-ranked Class 3A girls basketball team, dominated Baker 42-15 in a nonleague girls basketball game Saturday at BHS.
The Vikings (17-2) scored the first 11 points of the game to put Baker away early.
Baker (3-13) didn’t score until Allie Brown’s layin with 13.8 seconds left in the first quarter.
Vale led 11-2 at the break.
Erin Bachman’s free throw with 5:42 left in the first half was Baker’s only point in the second period.
Vale led at halftime 23-3.
Baker’s scoring drought continued in the second half.
The Bulldogs didn’t score again until Abi Smith connected on a three-point basket with 2:28 left in the third period. Baker went almost 14 minutes between baskets.
Baker didn’t reach double figures on the scoreboard until Brie Sand hit a pair of free throws with 3:37 left in the game.
Baker hosts Nyssa in a nonleague game Tuesday.
B. Hawkins 1 0-1 2, Hamilton 3 3-4 9, D. Williams 0 1-2 1, Ki. Hawkins 1 1-2 3, Ka. Hawkins, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Gregory 3 1-2 8, Bates 0 2-2 2, L. Fulk 5 1-2 11, Wolfe, K. Fulk 1 2-2 4, Froerer 0 0-1 0. Totals 15 11-18 42.
BAKER (15) -
Sand 1 2-2 4, Brown 1 2-2 4, Smith 1 0-0 3, Lemmon, Lehman, Phillips, Birkmaier, Tatlock 0 1-2 1, Freese 1 0-0 2, Bachman 0 1-2 1, Voboril. Totals 4 6-8 15.
Vale -11 12 11 8 — 42
Baker - 2 1 6 6 — 15
Three-point baskets — Gregory, Smith. Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Vale 9, Baker 16. Technicals — none.
By Gerry Steele
Baker put the “Freese” on Mac-Hi Friday and rolled to a 48-22 Greater Oregon League girls basketball win at BHS.
That’s “Freese” as in sophomore guard Michelle Freese, who returned to action after missing several recent games with a wrist injury.
Freese led the Bulldogs with 14 points.
“It was great having Michelle Freese back,” said Baker coach Jenny Mowe-Joseph.
“Her being out for us hurt our intensity level. She just sparks everybody.”
Freshman Brie Sand and senior Abi Smith also added some spark for the Bulldogs, who earned their second GOL win of the season, both against Mac-Hi.
Sand scored six points and Smith four to help the Bulldogs build a 17-0 lead through the middle of the second quarter.
Mac-Hi went scoreless until Brooke Krahlman hit a pair of free throws with 2:17 left in the first half.
Baker led 19-3 at halftime.
Mac-Hi didn’t get its first basket from the field until the opening score of the third period.
Freese and Michelle Birkmaier then each tallied five points as Baker increased its lead to 35-13 entering the fourth quarter.
Freese then added eight points in the fourth quarter.
“I also thought Emily Tatlock played well off the bench for us, and Monica Voboril did a great job with their big girl,” said Mowe-Joseph.
Even in victory Mowe-Joseph was still not happy with the Baker offense.
“We still struggle running our offense,” she said. “It still is sometimes like a deer in the headlights.”
Sand added a dozen points for the Bulldogs.
Fite, Lonai, Krahlman 0 2-2 2, Field 0 1-2 1, Tveidt 0 2-4 2, Am. Wells 1 0-0 2, Av. Wells 1 0-0 2, Rhoads 1 0-0 2, Riedel 0 0-1 0, Vaughan 0 0-3 0, Ureno, Carlson 4 3-8 11. Totals 7 8-20 22.
BAKER (48) -
Sand 6 0-0 12, Brown 2 0-0 5, Smith 3 0-0 6, Lemmon, Lehman, Phillips, Birkmaier 4 0-1 9, Tatlock 0 0-2 0, Freese 5 4-6 14, Bachman 1 0-0 2, Voboril 0 0-2 0. Totals 21 4-11 48.
Mac-Hi - 0 3 10 9 — 22
Baker -10 9 16 13 — 48
Three-point baskets — Brown, Birkmaier. Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Mac-Hi 15, Baker 20. Technicals — none.