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Home arrow Opinion arrow WALLOWA BOYS UPSET COVE 48-45



SLIPPING BY: Cove's Chris Taylor, right, drives to the basket in Saturday's game against Wallowa. (The Observer/PIERRE LaBOSSIERE).
SLIPPING BY: Cove's Chris Taylor, right, drives to the basket in Saturday's game against Wallowa. (The Observer/PIERRE LaBOSSIERE).

By Pierre LaBossire

Observer Staff Writer

COVE — By the admission of their coach, the Wallowa basketball boys played one of their worst games of the year Friday night.

The boys missed their first 10 shots and were badly beaten 55-32 on their home floor by visiting Crane. The following day they had to travel to Cove to play arguably the hottest boys team in the region. It was a game Wallowa couldn't have expected to win.

The Wallowa boys (3-9, 2-1 in Old Oregon League) got off to an 8-0 start, held off a furious Cove second-half rally, hit some clutch three-pointers and free throws down the stretch and beat the Leopards 48-45.

After a potential game-tying three-pointer by Cove (6-5, 3-1 in OOL) bounced off the rim at the final buzzer, coach Gerry McLain and the entire Cougar bench leapt in the air. It was a game that McLain and Cougar players said will be a big boost for their confidence the rest of the season.

"This is huge," said McLain. "We've somehow managed to win in two of the toughest gyms (Wallowa won in North Powder last week) in the league."

McLain was proud that his players were patient on offense, and shot 9-for-9 from the free-throw line, including four straight from the charity stripe in the final minute.

Cove coach Todd Gorham was proud that his players made a comeback, and he said this game showed that in the Old Oregon League, "anybody can beat anybody" Cove knows full well how the Wallowa players felt Saturday night, because the Leopards last week went into Jordan Valley and shocked the Mustangs on their home floor.

Cove had its chances to win, as the Leopards had a number of shots in the second half just rattle out of the rim. Gorham said the Cove boys had a tough shooting game, but he was pleased that after getting way behind, "we found a way to get back in the game."

Gorham said the team members can't feel too bad, "any time you have a bad game, and still give yourself a chance to win or tie on the final shot."

Wallowa's Ryan Harshfield made only two shots all night, but they were gigantic. He hit two straight three-pointers in the fourth quarter when Cove was rallying and threatening to take the game over. Harshfield admitted that while it may have appeared he was cool as ice when he took the shots, he was churning inside.

"I was just nervous when they went up," said Harshfield. He said the game meant a lot for the Cougars' confidence after the Crane loss Friday.

"It feels real good to win a game like this. You want to play every game like this," he said.

Though Wallowa got off to a quick start, the Cougars never could quite shake Cove. The Cougars still held a 30-24 lead at the half, but Cove controlled the action through the early part of the second half.

A the beginning of the fourth quarter, all of Cove's hard work and uphill climbing paid off as John Pfel hit a bucket to give the Leopards a 37-36 lead, their first lead of the game. Josh Pfel added another basket to make it 39-36. At this point, Cove had gone on an 11-2 run and seemed about to take control of the game.

But, Cove held its lead for only about 60 seconds. Harshfield stepped up and drilled a three-point goal to tie the game at 39-39. After a Randy Spaur basket, Harshfield added another three-pointer to make it 44-39 for Wallowa with just under four minutes to play.

Cove cut the score to 44-43 on buckets by Devon Frank and John Pfel. With the one-point margin, Frank then had two straight blocks on defense, and Josh Pfel forced a five-second turnover, but Cove wasn't able to take advantage on the offensive end of the court.

Wallowa's Dustin Byers drilled two free throws with 1:02 left to make it 46-43, and Justin Marler hit a shot for Cove to make it 46-45. Wallowa's Jeff Kendall added a pair of free throws in the final seconds to make it 48-45.

Cove set up a play with seven seconds left got the ball to Chris Taylor open on the left wing, but his game-tying shot just missed.

Spaur led the Cougars with 19 points, while Kendall added 15. Josh Pfel led Cove with 10.

Wallowa 17 13 6 12 — 48

Cove boys 12 12 11 10 — 45

Wallowa – Dustin Byers 0 2-2 2, Ryan Harshfield 2 0-0 6, Caleb Pringle 1 2-2 4, Randy Spaur 9 1-1 19, Jeff Kendall 6 2-2 15, Kyle McDaniel 0 2-2 2, Andre Long 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 9-9 48.

Cove – Justin Marler 3 2-4 8, Josh Pfel 4 2-3 10, Jason Hagey 0 0-0 0, Andy Altenburg 0 0-0 0, Chris Taylor 3 2-2 9, Devon Frank 4 1-2 9, John Pfel 4 1-2 9. Totals: 18 8-13 45.

Three-pointers: Wallowa 3 (Harshfield 2, Kendall); Cove 1 (Taylor). Fouled out – Harshfield. Total fouls: Wallowa 13, Cove 10. Technical fouls – Marler.


JOSEPH — The Joseph basketball boys perhaps overlooked Nyssa a bit Saturday night, as the Eagles got into a hole early and lost 59-49.

"We underestimated their quickness. They're scrappy and quick," said Joseph coach Ron Lathrop. Nyssa built up a 35-23 lead at halftime and 45-28 after three quarters.

Joseph was hurt at the free-throw line. While Nyssa shot 10-for-11, the Eagles shot just 7-for-17.

Cole Lathrop led the Eagles with 21 points, while Dustin Gibbs scored 13 and Eric Butterfield 10.

Joseph (0-2 in Wapiti League, 4-8 overall) plays Friday at Enterprise.

Nyssa 19 16 10 14 — 59

Joseph boys 12 11 5 21 — 49

Nyssa — Mike Fuentes 3 0-0 7, Mitch Holliday 5 3-4 15, Trent Holcomb 1 2-2 4, Jesse Garcia 2 0-0 6, Jared Rasmussen 6 3-3 15, Jason Rodriguez 3 0-0 6, Cody Waldo 2 2-2 6. Totals: 22 10-11 59.

Joseph — Cory Otten 1 3-4 5, Dustin Gibbs 5 2-4 13, Eric Butterfield 4 0-3 10, Cole Lathrop 9 2-2 21, Tristan Patton, Jake Layton, Andy Hayes. Totals: 19 7-17 49.

Three-pointers — Nyssa 5 (Garcia 2, Holliday 2, Mike Fuentes); Joseph 4 (Butterfield 2, Gibbs, Lathrop). Fouled out — Holcomb, Layton, Gibbs. Total fouls — Nyssa 16, Joseph 13.

JV score — Joseph 64, Nyssa 59


Perhaps the Powder Valley boys might want to get a short night's rest before every game.

Coach Blake Jones probably wouldn't agree with that assessment, but the Badger boys walloped Adrian Saturday after a long, grueling road trip to Jordan Valley Friday.

The Powder Valley basketball boys built up a huge first-half lead and never looked back in an Old Oregon League win Saturday against Adrian.

The Badgers (1-3 in OOL, 3-10 overall) won 77-38 after surging to a halftime lead of 44-10. Deven Thompson hit four three-pointers and scored 22 points, while Todd Baxter, coming back from the flu, shot 6-for-7 from the floor and scored 14.

Jones said several of the Powder Valley players were up first thing Saturday morning and played some early morning hoops with some North Powder youngsters. The lack of sleep didn't affect them Saturday night, though, and Jones was pleased with how well the Badger boys recovered from a rough game Friday in Jordan Valley.

"Jordan Valley was a good whupping. The kids really picked themselves back up," Jones said. "Adrian was a win we needed."

Powder Valley next plays Friday against Cove.

Powder Valley — Deven Thompson 9 0-2 22, Thomas Weems 3 0-0 6, Cody Taylor 3 1-2 7, Todd Baxter 6 2-5 14, Sheldon Heffernan 5 0-0 10, David Dozhier 3 0-0 6, Arden Perkins 3 2-2 8, Riley Grove 1 0-0 2, Kaycee Shroyer 1 0-0 2, Riley Wendt 0 0-2 0, Rick Stephens, Kevin Hopson. Totals: 34 5-13 77.

Three-pointers — Powder Valley 4 (Thompson 4)

Adrian statistics not available

JV result — Powder Valley defeated Adrian


UNION — The Imbler boys were unable to contain Union's Ben Williamson and Jeremy Shankel, but their defense clamped down on the rest of the Bobcats in their Wapiti League 76-46 win Saturday.

"The two big guys got points," Imbler coach Ken Kramer said. "No one else did."

Shankel and Williamson combined for 40 points.

"It was a big win for us on the road," Kramer said.

Union coach James Freitag said he was fairly happy with the team's performance after their league-opening loss to Grant Union Friday.

When the Bobcats (2-8 overall, 0-2 league) made a run, the Panthers (10-1, 2-0) answered back by extending the lead to double digits.

Two straight baskets by Shankel in the second quarter left the Panthers with a 29-22 lead. But, Imbler answered with two straight buckets to push the lead to 33-22. The half ended with the Panthers up 35-24.

In the third quarter, Shankel's basket cut the Panthers' lead to 40-32 before Trevor Crow and Colin Culbreth's baskets stretched Imbler's lead back to 44-32.

Shankel finished as the top scorer for the Bobcats with 23 points. Ben Williamson had 17.

Ethan Davis was the Panther's top scorer with 22 points. Trevor Crow, Tanner McIntosh and Colin Culbreth all had 12 points apiece.

The Bobcats will play at Elgin, and Imbler will host Pine-Eagle Friday.

Imbler boys 21 14 20 21 — 76

Union 9 15 13 9 — 46

Imbler — Alan O'Donald 1 0-0 2, Travis Hoskins 1 0-0 2, Trevor Crow 5 2-4 12, Ethan Davis 7 7-12 22, Tanner McIntosh 6 0-0 12, Cody Campbell 1 0-0 3, Bryan Davidson 2 0-0 4, Colin Culbreth 6 0-0 12, Troy Hoskins 3 1-2 7, John McKinnis. Totals: 32 10-18 76.

Union — Rudy Turner 0 1-2 1, Jim Garwood 1 0-0 2, Jeremy Shankel 11 0-0 23, Jared Baxter 1 0-0 3, Ben Williamson 8 1-5 17, John Dodds, Gavin Watson, Tanner Johnson, Joe Craig. Totals: 21 2-7 46.

Three-pointers — Imbler 2 (Davis, Campbell); Union 2 (Baxter, Shankel). Fouled out — None. Total fouls — Imbler 13, Union 16. Technical fouls — None.


JOHN DAY — The Elgin boys played "good, hard defense" against Grant Union, coach Kyle Evans said.

However, the Prospectors still came away with a 83-47 Wapiti League basketball win Saturday.

"We played hard," Evans said. "I tell you they shot the ball extremely well."

Charlie Schumacher led the Huskies (3-7 overall, 0-2 league) with 16 points.

The Huskies will host Union Friday.

Elgin boys 13 8 15 11 — 47

Grant Union 25 19 10 29 — 83

Elgin — Jeremy Hamill 0 3-4 3, Nick Southard 0 0-2 0, Josh Hamill 6 2-2 14, Skyler Payne 2 3-4 8, Charlie Schumacher 6 0-0 16, J.T. Keating 2 2-2 6. Totals: 16 10-14 47.

Grant Union — Thunnel 3 0-1 7, Schmadeka 5 4-4 15, Simmons 8 0-0 16, Curtis 4 0-0 11, Ellison 4 1-1 9, Kowing 3 1-3 7, Colson 3 1-1 7, Bartlet 2 0-0 6, Rose 1 0-0 3, Phillips 1 0-0 2. Totals: 34 7-10 83.

Three-pointers — Elgin 5 (Payne, Schumacher 4); Grant Union 8 (Thunnell, Schmadeka, Curtis 3, Bartlet 2, Rose. Fouled out — None. Total fouls — Elgin 17, Grant Union 19. Technical fouls — None.


HALFWAY — The Enterprise boys kept it close against Pine-Eagle in the first quarter, but their six-point second quarter proved to be the difference in the Spartan's 67-55 Wapiti League basketball win Saturday.

"We got in a hole," Enterprise coach Duff Pace said. "We couldn't get anything going offensively. We kept clawing back in the game. We woke up in the fourth quarter."

However, Enterprise's 28 points in the fourth were not enough to catch the Spartans.

Dan Kaesemeyer led the Spartans (7-3 overall, 1-1 league) with 19 points.

Tony Swart was Enterprise's top scorer with 16, followed by Kevin Gomes with 14.

Enterprise (5-5, 1-1) will try to regroup when it hosts Joseph Friday.

Enterprise boys 11 6 10 28 — 55

Pine-Eagle 15 23 14 15 — 67

Enterprise — Tony Swart 6 4-5 16, Zach Gassett 2 0-0 4, Kevin Gomes 4 3-4 14, Clay Freels 2 0-0 4, Craig Swart 1 0-3 2, Tim Gilbert 3 1-3 7, Brandon Kiser 1 1-2 3, Kelsey Lukens 2 1-2 5, Andy Marcum, Kyle Bollman, Brinn Jones. Totals: 21 10-19 55.

Pine-Eagle — Brad Casch 1 0-2 2, Scott Anderson 5 2-2 12, Dan Kaesemeyer 6 4-4 19, Kyle Durr 2 2-4 6, Travis Casch 5 2-2 13, Patrick Stromer 6 1-4 13, Ryan Coombes 1 0-0 2, Corby Wickham, Chance Marks, Eric Lower, Trenton Becktold. Totals: 26 11-18 67.

Three-pointers — Enterprise 3 (Gomes 3); Pine-Eagle 4 (Kaesemeyer 3, T. Casch). Fouled out — None. Total fouls — Enterprise 18, Pine-Eagle 21. Technical fouls — None.

JV result — Pine-Eagle defeated Enterprise


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