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Tigers taste victory on home court

HOT HAND: LHS senior Kelsey Mitchell fires a shot during a 46-23 win against Vale Saturday. Mitchell finished with eight points in the game. - Observer photo/PAUL HARDER
After 36 minutes of basketball Jim MacKay looked like a happy coach — after a few sighs of relief.

During a 46-23 win against Vale, his Tigers girls basketball team looked like a team.

"This is nice," MacKay said. "Granted Vale didn't challenge La Grande offensively.

The Vikings managed one field goal in the opening half.

Witherspoon, Huskies, take home title

WEIGHT CLASS WINNER: Jacob Witherspoon helped the Huskies wrestling team with a first-place finish at their home invite Friday. In total, six Elgin wrestlers took first. - The Observer/BRUCE MASON
ELGIN — Like an early Christmas present, Rocky Burgess was caught by surprise.

Thinking top-three placement would be satisfactory, the Elgin wrestling coach watched his team dominate Saturday. The Huskies took first place among 11 participating teams at the Elgin Christmas Invite.

"Everyone has three or four or five tough kids on their team," Burgess said. "It's the bottom bracket that comes up and really wins it for you.

Powder perfection: Badgers previal

WY-SO GOOD: Wyatt Kandle races in transition Friday night as his Badgers (7-0) held off visiting Dufur, 52-49. The Badgers play Oak Hill today at 6:30 p.m. at Baker. - The Observer/BRUCE MASON
NORTH POWDER — As the decibel level rose and the clock ticked away, Badgers fans anxiously watched an opposing 3-pointer tail toward the hoop, destined to tie the contest.

Off the glass. Onto the rim. Around the cylinder. Onto the floor.


Game over. Chalk another dash in the victory column.

Lady Eagles cruise past Elgin

JOSEPH — The template is in place, and the Eagles are sticking with it.

Joseph cruised to a 65-31 against Elgin Friday.

Eagles head coach Lance Homan said what the girls are doing is working.

"We start off slow," Homan said. "For some reason that's the way we start games. The third quarter has been our best quarter of the year."

Nightmare half ends La Grande's streak

RETURNING FIRE: La Grande's Cody McKague drives to the basket during an 89-69 loss to Crook County Friday. The Tigers wrap up the Baker High School tournament against Emmett, Idaho, at 4:45 p.m. today. - The Observer/PAUL HARDER
Fire in the hole.

The phrase may belong to war, but the Tigers may have been muttering it during a shell shocking first half against Crook County Friday.

The Cowboys rode the two-quarter bombardment to an 89-69 win against the La Grande boys basketball team at the Baker High School Tournament.

Head coach Aaron Mills said it was hard to watch.

Tigers become team, extend streak to eight

BAKER CITY — Goal one has been met by the La Grande boys basketball team — finding its identity.

Tigers head coach Aaron Mills said his team looks like a team following a 74-50 win against Burns Thursday.

"Everyone is fulfilling their roles," Mills said. "We're getting the ball in the hands of our shooters, and our defenders are making plays."

Lostine wildlife area - where bighorn roam

LOSTINE — In the early 1900s, Northeast Oregon's Wallowa County was up to its mountain tops in wool. In a land containing fewer than 6,000 people, more than a quarter-million sheep grazed the foothills, basins, and ridges of the high country. And soon after the mountain home of the native bighorn sheep became pastures for their domesticated cousins, the wild sheep began dying.

Hunting, poaching, disease, and overgrazing — these were the bighorn's killers, and in 1927 the Enterprise Record Chieftain reported that Wallowa County contained the last wild sheep in Oregon.

Shields' football journey leads him back to Cal Poly

ON THE MOVE: Former EOU head coach Ian Shields is headed to Cal Poly. - Observer file photo
Time to leave the Community Stadium sidelines. Time to take off the blue and gold. Time to leave this city near the Wallowa Mountains for the city near the Pacific Ocean.

Ian Shields is headed for Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.


EOU wins in top-25 clash

PORTLAND — The past met the present during a top-25 battle in Portland Wednesday.

EOU, ranked No. 6 in NAIA Division II, cruised past No. 13 Warner Pacific 89-64.

Mark Carollo rewrote the Mountaineers' record book with 14 points in the game.

The 6-foot-5-inch senior is now the all-time scoring leader in the school's history with 1,799 points. He surpassed Randy Dolven's 31-year-old record.

Panthers lose to Lakers

POST POINTS: Imbler's Dalton McDaniel (left) puts up a shot over Clinton Vaughn of Triangle Lake during a 73-69 loss Wednesday. - Paul Harder/The Observer
IMBLER — Both coaches couldn't lodge a complaint about the quality of the game Wednesday. However, Imbler head coach Jarod Teeter still found it tough to swallow the 73-69 loss to Triangle Lake.

The Panthers boys basketball team dropped the top-10 battle in overtime.

Imbler, ranked No. 8 in Class 1A, is still trying to get to full strength.

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