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Eagles escape early deficit

STANDING TALL: Joseph’s Nicke Parks reels in a rebound during a 62-50 win against Nixyaawii in the state quarterfinals Wednesday. - The Observer/PAUL HARDER
BAKER CITY — Wednesday’s opening game of the Class 1A girls basketball state playoffs resembled a hockey game more than a game played on parquet.

The Eagles hung on to defeat Nixyaawii 62-50.

Bodies hit the floor at an alarming rate — and for the most part officials stuck with the no blood, no foul mentality.

Tigers boys roll, girls tumble versus Baker

WAITING GAME: The Tigers’ Luke Kevan scored 17 points Tuesday night. No. 1-ranked La Grande earned a first-round bye and will open the OSAA playoffs March 8. - The Observer/PAUL HARDER
Four seniors walked onto the court for their final regular season game as Tigers.

Following the flowers, balloons and pictures the La Grande leaders completed their mission — knocking off Baker 72-57.

Cody McKague battled through injuries and illness to get back for the regular season finale.

Cascade Collapse: EOU women shocked

DOWN AND OUT: Sheena Henderson had 21 points Tuesday night for the No. 1-seeded Mounties, who will be idle until the March 12 NAIA Division II National Tournament opening round in Sioux City, Iowa. - The Observer/CHRIS BAXTER
When defeat was possible, when EOU fans suddenly went from rowdy to anxious, when records and seedings were irrelevant, one question was left to be answered.

“Are we here to win or to tie?”

 Simple, right?

Perfect ending for Mountie women

WHAT A NIGHT! Elise Hawes raises twine in celebration Saturday night as EOU won its fifth consecutive Cascade Conference title. The Observer/BRUCE MASON
This was a tear-jerker.

Six and five-tenths seconds remained. The game was well in hand, in favor of EOU. And here was Lady Mounties basketball coach Anji Weissenfluh, yelling as loud as she could, getting the referee’s attention, getting everyone’s attention, calling timeout.

What was she doing? Who was coming into the game?

Someone deserving. Someone special.

Davies duo douses Panthers' party

MCDANIEL IN THE LION’S DEN: Imbler sophomore Dalton McDaniel received all the focus from the Mustangs’ defense during a 77-66 loss Saturday. Observer photos/PAUL HARDER
IMBLER — Damp sheets. A racing heart. Gasping for air.

An experience Saturday may leave Imbler dealing with these nightmare symptoms for quite some time.

Crane set the sleep-depriving wheels in motion with a 77-66 win against the Panthers in the second round of the Class 1A state playoffs.

Beware Baker: here come the Eagles

SOARING EAGLES: Joseph’s Nicke Parks puts up a shot during the second quarter against Crane. The Eagles cruised to a 63-26 win against the visiting Mustangs Friday. - The Observer/PAUL HARDER
JOSEPH — Prying words out of the Eagles’ mouths is like trying to get the basketball out of their hands — nearly impossible.

Joseph continued its march back to the state championship game in Baker City with a 63-26 win against Crane Friday.

Joseph point guard Paige Bailey answered questions like a wrong response could disrupt the rotation of the earth.

La Grande defense denies Ontarios upset bid

ONTARIO — Watch out.

La Grande, ranked No. 1, is getting better.

The Tigers dominated Ontario in the first half, and cruised to a 57-49 win.

Bobcats bounced from OSAA playoffs

WALKING HOME: Shoshoni Walker and the Bobcats saw their productive season come to a close Friday night. Union finished the regular season undefeated in Blue Mountain Conference action. - The Observer/BRUCE MASON
UNION — It really shouldn’t have ended like this.

No. Not for this team.

Not for this team who tore apart the Blue Mountain Conference. Not for this team who had a good chance to add another championship banner atop the Union High rafters.

But it did.

Nordic skiers take a liking to Meacham Divide

Skiers glide along a portion of the 25 kilometers of trails at the Meacham Divide Ski Area. - Submitted photos
It has been a good winter for the Meacham Divide Ski Area.

So good that even a jackknifed semi truck on Interstate 84 could not keep the cross country skiing center from setting a record pace.

To date, 524 skiers have come to Meacham Divide. That’s 84 percent more than the number that had visited the area by this time year ago, when totals were first kept. This year’s total may be the highest in Meacham Divide’s 10-year history.

Mountaineers spotlight seniors while eyeing championships

Parents will take the court, following those beloved seniors.  Together they’ll smile, share some memories, perhaps, while thinking back to those young playing days on the driveway, playground, wherever.  

And when the night is over, they may very well have more ammo for the memory bank, too.

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