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Lady Mountaineers advance at nationals

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Time heals all wounds?

Yes, it does.  And how nice it is.

The No.7-seeded EOU Lady Mountaineers upset No. 2  Cardinal Stritch, 52-49, saving the best for last during the final game of the night Thursday at the NAIA Division II Championships at the Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena.

Marist spoils Tigers’ title hopes

La Grande senior Anthony Nice drives to the hoop against Marist during a 61-45 quarterfinal loss at the Class 4A state championships Wednesday. Nice finished with 10 points in the game. - Observer/PAUL HARDER
CORVALLIS — It looked like any other La Grande game, except the No. 1-ranked team in the state found itself on the wrong side of execution and rebounding.

Marist, 23-4, opened strong and pulled away for a 61-45 win against the Tigers, 24-2, in the quarterfinals at the Class 4A state basketball tournament Wednesday.

It all started with the Spartan guards.

Mountaineers win big in NAIA opener

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. — He said he had to be creative, needing to find ways to motivate his players. With nearly two weeks between games, EOU head coach Ryan Looney was trying to make his Mounties as prepared as possible for this NAIA Division II National Tournament.

Well, if Wednesday’s game is any indication of Looney’s creativity, then it appears his front lobe is working just fine.

Tigers ready for tournament test

TIGER TRAIN: Luke Kevan (40) and the La Grande basketball team will head to Corvallis in quest of a state championship. The Tigers will tip-off against Marist at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday. - The Observer/PAUL HARDER
Inexperience may have never looked so good.

When La Grande (24-1) takes the floor against Marist (22-4) at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday in Gill Coliseum, something may be missing.

There won’t be any knees knocking or other outward signs of nervousness.

The Tigers will fill that void with unflappable confidence — which may seem odd considering only Anthony Nice returns from a team that took second just two years ago.

White Noise: Tigers advance to Corvallis

LUUUUKE: Tigers senior Luke Kevan scored 14 points. The Observer/BRUCE MASON
In the end, with the white-clad crowd on its feet, screaming like beasts, here was Cody McKague, streaking toward the basket, taking a pass, banking it off the glass, sealing this OSAA sweet 16 contest, and sending that decibel gauge bursting through the meter. 

White Noise.

Onto Beaver Country.

No. 1 Tigers ready for OSAA sweet 16

CORVALLIS BOUND? Anthony Nice (right) and his Tigers teammates can earn a trip to the OSAA Final Eight with a victory tonight versus Molalla. The Tigers (23-1) would play the winner of Marist-Henley at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday at Oregon State University. - Observer file photo
After all those weeks sitting atop the Associated press poll, above Class 4A, above everyone, all while hounding teams on the court, pounding them on the scoreboard, and racking up win after win after win, it all comes down to this.

The OSAA sweet 16.

The game leading to a trip to Beaver Country.

Bringing home the gold

Former New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe poses with members of the Union County Special Olympics team at the Winter Games last week in Bend. - Submitted photo
BEND — Members of Union County Special Olympics came home with numerous medals — including several golds — from the 2008 Special Olympics Winter Games held at Mt. Bachelor.

Mandi Durfee of the Union County team led the way with three gold medals in alpine skiing.

Growl-less: Tigers' season ends

SEASON OVER: Senior Megan Bedard scored nine points Tuesday. - Observer photos/PAUL HARDER
Experience trumped hard-nose effort by La Grande in the opening round game of the state playoffs.

Stayton held off the Tigers’ charge to win 29-27 Tuesday.

The Eagles won the Class 4A state championship in 2007, and returned four role players in 2008.

Mountie men dethroned

It was like attending a  surprise party — after someone narked to the birthday girl and spoiled everyone’s fun.

No life. No emotion. No atmosphere.

Just a perfectly good time ruined. 

A towel-waving crowd exited disappointed Saturday, as No. 1-seed EOU allowed No. 4 seed-Warner Pacific to escape with an 85-79 Cascade Conference Tournament semifinal victory, spoiling the Quinn Coliseum party. 

Joseph finds redemption in Baker

PATTON CHARGE: Joseph senior Colby Patton takes the ball up the court during Saturday’s 60-52 win in the Class 1A state championship game against St. Paul. After scoring eight points in two days at the state championship, Patton scored a team-high 12 points in the title game. Observer photos/PAUL HARDER
BAKER — Joseph stomped the last piece to a perfect puzzle in place.

No one could stop the Eagles.

Twenty-five teams tried during the regular season. Four more fell short in the playoffs.

In the end, Joseph walked away Class 1A state champions.

A 60-52 win against St. Paul made it official Saturday — a 29-0 season.

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