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The Observer paper 11/27/15

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La Grande girls win handily

They started like predators lying in the grassland, patiently waiting to strike.

Then the ambush came, the prey fell to the ground, and standing alone on top were those fierce mammals from La Grande.

That was the case Wednesday night, as the host Tigers fed upon visiting Pioneers, attacking viciously in the second quarter, en route to a 49-28 victory.

Showdown in Imbler

Bryan Mills and his teammates will host Powder Valley Friday. - File photo
The sequel has arrived: No.8-ranked Imbler vs. No.10-ranked Powder Valley.

 Two talented boys varsity basketball teams. Two good coaches. Two Old Oregon League schools with strong support that will likely pack the Imbler gym at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

It doesn’t get much better than this ... unless they meet in the OSAA playoffs, of course.

Tigers on a roll, win 79-34

Kevin Boyd drives to the hoop against Mac-Hi Wednesday. - Photo/BRUCE MASON
Move over, Vince Lombardi. Your words officially belong to La Grande boys varsity basketball.

You know, the saying, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing?”

Yes. That one.

Local athletes selected to East-West Shrine game

You just heard the news, your adrenaline flows like water bursting through a broken fire hydrant, your imagination starts running wild.

You’re playing.

At Baker Bulldog Stadium.

In the East-West Shrine football game.

Oh, what a thrill.

Abesa breaks EOU sprinting record

NAMPA, Idaho — A former Tiger is making her mark not far from home.

EOU freshman Melisa Abesa broke a school record in her first meet on the indoor track season Saturday in Nampa.

Abesa, who graduated from La Grande High in 2007, won her heat and broke Erin Ontko’s record with an 8.30 mark in the 60-meter sprint.

Union/Powder finds its grappling groove

HEPPNER — Time is running out, and the Union/Powder Valley wrestling team is trying to get on track.

The team split a dual at Heppner Thursday.

Union/Powder Valley beat Heppner, and followed with a loss to Irrigon.

Union-Powder wins Wallowa tourney

WALLOWA — Union-Powder stood out among eight participating teams at the Wallowa Tournament, finishing in first place with 90 points.

As for the most exhilarating match during the tournament?

“The match of the day in my opinion was Sam Garnett (Joseph) versus Chris Horne (Union-Powder),” Imbler coach Doug Hislop said.

Mountaineer Mission

MOUNTIE MAGIC: Jenny Fiso eyes her options Saturday in a 76-62 victory against Cascade College. EOU improved to 17-2 (11-1 Cascade Conference). - The Observer/BRUCE MASON
Throughout history, thunderbirds have been tied to urban legends. Tales range from sightings to massive footprints to all sorts of crazy, unbelievable details.

Umm ... maybe they’re not so crazy, after all.

Another tale is unfolding right here in La Grande, as witnesses this weekend saw Thunderbirds fly out of a gym and disappear.

Cascade Crushing: EOU men dominate opposition

LEAVING HIS MARK: Mark Carollo exits the Quinn Coliseum floor Saturday night after recording eight points and eight rebounds. Eastern Oregon improved to 17-3 (10-2 Cascade Conference), and will play at Oregon Tech at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a first-place showdown. - The Observer/BRUCE MASON
As time ticked away, and the Easter Oregon victory margin grew larger, Cascade College players could only watch from the visitors bench, wearing long faces, wondering what hit them at Quinn Coliseum.

No.13-ranked EOU dominated the visiting Thunderbirds, 88-55, improving to 17-3 (10-2 Cascade Conference), setting up a first-place showdown at Oregon Tech at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Panthers serve up home cooking

HIGH FLYING: Wallowa guard Tyler Harshfield splits the Imbler defense Saturday. The Cougars fell to the Panthers 66-54. - The Observer/PAUL HARDER
IMBLER — Like the movies say — there is no place like home. Except without the clicking of red heels.

A month after wrapping up the preseason, Imbler finally made it back to its friendly confines.

“It’s a good feeling to be back in our gym, Panthers sophomore Bryan Mills said. We feed off the energy of our home crowd.” 

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