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The Observer Paper 12/22/14

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Home arrow Sports arrow Columns arrow Hitting the trifecta


Hitting the trifecta

When driving to games all I ask for is a good game. A lot of times it doesn’t happen. But lightning struck this weekend — three times.

It was the sportswriters’ equivalent of hitting the jackpot.

Friday’s game was well documented by Barrett in his article and column about the Nixyaawii versus Powder Valley game. There are times when you feel honored to cover a game that special. When the magnitude of the game spills off the playing field — a court in this case — and into the bleachers.

I simply had to put down my camera and watch the game midway through the third quarter until the thrilling final minutes.

Hats off to both teams, and especially the Golden Eagles who never gave up.

Thankfully, I got to come home and just relive the game. Barrett had the tough task of putting the game into words, and he did a great job.

Five hours later I was at the office putting the pages together for Saturday.

Yes, winters are long. But they go by quickly with the hours we put in covering games.

It helps when you have a game like Union hosting Nestucca to go to.

The game was a match-up between a guard many considered a shoe-in for the Class 2A Player of the Year award, Kelsea Hurliman, against one of the best all-around athletes in the state, Jessy Reynolds.

The game matched the hype.

Hurliman was amazing. Even with the full attention of the Bobcats’ defense, she reeled off 36 points.

Reynolds was actually a little more spectacular. No, it’s not a bias. Hear me out.

Hurliman was able to operate in space. She had room to work. Reynolds on the other hand was confined to the paint. More often than not with three people draped over her. Still, Reynolds recorded 18 points, and I’d guess about 24 rebounds. It was actually 17 rebounds.

Thankfully the game lived up to its hype. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Union moving on.

 I had an hour-plus drive to the next game — Enterprise hosting Chiloquin.

Maybe it was the acoustics but this was the loudest game of the weekend. But the Cove band at North Powder gets the best band of the weekend award simple for playing “The Office” theme song.

Sorry Enterprise, it would’ve been a draw if not for that.

Honestly it was the roughest first half I’ve ever seen. I turned off the camera. Not for the same reason as Friday’s game. I didn’t think Enterprise had a chance. In past games they had rough spots, but nothing like Saturday.

Of course they had an amazing spurt in the final regular season meeting with Union. But in that game leading scorers Summer DeSpain and Kayla Fosters made more of an impact. Not so in this game — two points between them.

This game is right there for game of the year. Simply because of the turnaround, and the unlikely star, Heather Bruce, bailing out her team with 25 amazing points.

One thing is for sure — never count the Outlaws out.

Wow, what a weekend.

The best part is, we still have  next weekend to look forward to.


Paul Harder is the sports editor for The Observer. Reach him by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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