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The Observer Paper 09/29/14

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Tigers ready to shake off week old rust

La Grande junior Auslin McDaniel-Perrin (43) and her teammates prepare for a Class 4A state play-in game against Central Friday. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

La Grande will host Central in Class 4A play-in game

After a two-week break, the La Grande girls basketball team is ready to return to the court and make another postseason run. 

Last year, the Tigers took second in state, falling to Mazama, 53-43, in the Class 4A state championship game at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.

Bobcats fall in play-in game to Regis

Union senior Johnny Kennon puts up a left-handed hook shot during a 58-29 loss to Regis Saturday.
UNION — It had been a four year wait for the Union boys basketball team to play in a Class 2A state play-in game. Unfortunately, Saturday’s game turned out the same way that one did —  in a loss.

The Bobcats couldn’t keep pace with Regis during a 54-29 loss ending the Bobcats’ season. 

Colton brings home runner-up finish for Union/Cove

Enterprise/Joseph’s Wyatt Warnock (top) picked up a fourth-place finish at the Class 2A/1A state wrestling tournament in Portland Saturday.
PORTLAND — Union/Cove’s Daniel Colton was the area’s lone 2A/1A wrestler to advance into the championships at the state wrestling tournament at Memorial Coliseum in Portland Saturday.

That also gave his team the best showing, with Union/Cove finishing 11th with 27 points —16 coming from Colton.

Bobcats return to state tourney

Read more...UNION — Great players can seemingly win a basketball game on their own. More often than not, they need some help.

The Union girls basketball team has Keesha Sarman. Oakland has Cora Gallop. Both can score at will and have the ability to take over a game. However, Sarman received more assistance during the Class 2A state play-in game Friday in Union.

Powder Valley plays through pain

Powder Valley’s Quin Stepens (23) and Brock Jones (22) fight for a rebound during a 84-43 win Saturday.
The Badgers took Yoncalla out of the running with an 84-43 win Saturday 

NORTH POWDER — Beating an opposing team is one thing. Beating that same team by 41 points is another. But, beating a team with a separated shoulder takes it to a whole other level.

Tigers just miss taking home a trophy at state

PORTLAND — According to La Grande head coach Klel Carson, it takes being good and a little luck to be successful at the state wrestling tournament. And, the Tigers had just the good part going their way at the Class 4A tournament at Memorial Coliseum in Portland Friday and Saturday.

La Grande finished six points out of bringing home a state trophy. The Tigers finished in seventh place with 57 points, while Elmira grabbed the final trophy for fourth with 63 points. Crook County dominated the tournament with 406.5 points more than 100 points better than the previous record of 303, set by 5A Hermiston in 2009. Henley was second with 159. 

Rohan: Sweet Revenge

La Grande’s Cole Rohan holds his opponent during his championship bout at 106 pounds at the Muilenburg Tournament. Rohan picked up a state title for the Tigers Saturday.
Rohan gets second opportunity against Ontario’s Barrera 

Sometimes taking second isn’t  a bad thing, if you can do it at the right time. Cole Rohan did just that and reaped the rewards the second time around.

Bobcats punch return ticket to Pendleton

Union's Keesha Sarman goes up for another shot in first-half action of Friday night's play-in game against Oakland. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

UNION — Great players can seemingly win a basketball game on their own. More often than not, they need some help.

The Union girls basketball team has Keesha Sarman. Oakland has Cora Gallop. Both can score at will and have the ability to take over a game. However, Sarman received more assistance during the Class 2A state play-in game Friday in Union.


The Bobcats leaned on Sarman in the beginning of a 75-45 win. After an initial burst, a personal 7-0 run by Sarman, everyone started getting involved.

“That’s kind of our game plan,” Union head coach Rhondie Johansen said. “We like to jump out quick. It was pretty intense with this gym being as packed and as loud as it was. So to be able to take a little breath in the being was nice. It settles us into our gameplan a little more. Keesha is just a great athlete, what do you do.


Local wrestlers set for semifinals

PORTLAND — With the opening day of the Class 4A wrestling tournament in the books, La Grande still has seven wrestlers hoping to bring home a medal.

The Tigers currently sit in four place as a team with 40 points. Crook County closed out the opening day with 180 points, while Henley is in second with 93.

Griffin leads Panthers into the second round

Imbler junior Joe Griffin drives into the lane during a 72-48 win against Monument/Dayville Wednesday. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

IMBLER — The sequel is not often as good as the original. That was the case in Imbler Wednesday night. 

The Imbler boys basketball team cruised to a 72-48 win over Monument/Dayville. In the first meeting between the two teams at the La Grande Optimist Christmas Classic, the Panthers escaped with a 46-44 win. 

Catching a second wind

Imbler freshman Lexee Robertson (4) defends a shot by Powder Valley’s Sally Mary Blair (20) during the Old Oregon League postseason tournament Saturday. (NANCY CAMPBELL photo)

Panthers eye a return to Baker City, host Prairie City in second round 

After 23 games the Imbler girls basketball team is catching its saecond wind.

The Panthers brought home the regular season Old Oregon League title with an 8-2 record, and finished the regular season 18-5 overall. Imbler also brought home the postseason tournament title, defeating Powder Valley 37-27 in Baker City Saturday.

Sarman wins third straight POTY

For the third straight season Union’s Keesha Sarman has been named the Player of the Year in the Blue Mountain Conference. 

Coming off a second-place finish in state, and with a new coach, the Union girls basketball team finished the season 23-3. The only losses on the season came against BMC opponent Pilot Rock.

Final second victory

Powder Valley’s Sally Mary Blair (20) battles for a loose ball with Adrian’s Carlee Morton (23) during a 48-47 win by the Badgers. (KATHY ORR/WesCom News Service)

Colton delivers knockout punch to help Powder Valley advance in playoffs 

NORTH POWDER — Alexandra Colton was born in 1995. Eighteen years later she’d recreate the most memorable basketball shots from the year of her birth.

“I had never seen the play,” Colton said.  

LHS players bring home hardware

La Grande senior Tyson Wicklander was named co-Player of the Year in the Greater Oregon League with his team finishing the season 18-3 overall.

La Grande’s Wicklander, Albrecht receive league Player of the Year honors 

The La Grande boys basketball team wrapped up the season with a shared Greater Oregon League title with Ontario, falling in the regular season finale to Ontario 51-47.

The theme of sharing continued into the postseason awards, with La Grande senior Tyson Wicklander sharing the Player of the Year honors with senior Jason Hauter of Ontario. 

Local wrestlers advance to state tournament in Portland

ELGIN — Eleven wrestlers survived the 2A/1A District Wrestling Tournament to advance to state in Elgin Saturday.

Crane took home the team trophy with a score of 202 points. Enterprise finished second with a total of 180.  Union came in fourth with 114.5 points, while Imbler rounded out the top five with 114 points.

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