WALLOWA GIRLS SNATCH NO. 4 SEED
By Raenelle Kwock
Observer Staff Writer
BAKER CITY After the stirring 42-40 victory over Jordan Valley, the Wallowa girls could not believe they were headed to the 1A district basketball tournament as the Old Oregon League No. 4 seed.
"I never thought we'd get this far," Wallowa's Emily Isley said.
The Cougars began the season 0-11 and won five out of their last eight games to force a special playoff with Jordan Valley for the final district berth. Both teams had 5-7 league records.
"It has not set in," Wallowa's Mysha Oveson said. She drained two huge 3-pointers in the final 25 seconds. The game-winner came with five seconds left.
The Cougars trailed 38-34 with 1:17 remaining in the game.
Mysha said her dad (coach Greg Oveson) told the Cougars in the timeout with 1:09 left that they were going to win this game.
"We had nothing to lose," Mysha Oveson said.
After the timeout, the Mustangs scored a basket.
Wallowa's Lynique Oveson hit two free throws with 45.4 seconds to cut the deficit to 40-36.
Lynique Oveson rejected a Jordan Valley player's shot that went off her hands to give the ball back to the Cougars with 33.1 seconds.
Mysha Oveson hit her first 3-pointer with 25.1 seconds left to pull the Cougars to within 40-39.
Jordan Valley's Anna Watkins' throw up the floor went out of bounds.
Then, Wallowa's Chelsea Frei had a key steal that eventually set up Mysha Oveson's game-winning 3-pointer.
After a timeout with 2.9 seconds, another throw up the floor from Watkins landed out of reach of her teammate giving the ball back to the Cougars.
"I'm so happy," Wallowa's Caitlin Turner said. She said the win is surreal.
Frei said the Cougars have been underdogs and they are proud.
"Towards the end, we came together as a team," Isley said.
The Mustangs had a 21-6 halftime lead after the Cougars had zero points in the second quarter.
But the Cougars gradually chipped away at the deficit in the third quarter. They cut the deficit to 23-15 with under four minutes to go in the quarter.
The Mustangs led 29-19 heading into the fourth quarter.
Coach Oveson said defense allowed the Cougars to get back in the game.
The Cougars had a flurry of steals with around four minutes left in the fourth quarter, when they went on a 9-2 run to close to within 38-34.
Frei led the Cougars with 16 points. Lynique Oveson added 11.
The Cougars (6-14 overall) open district play at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Burnt River in Baker City.
Wallowa 42, Jordan Valley 40
Jordan Valley girls 9 12 8 11 40
Wallowa 6 0 13 23 42
Jordan Valley Bailey Kershner 3 0-0 6, Angela Larsen 2 0-0 4, Katie Johnson 0 1-2 1, Shari Baltzor 2 0-0 4, Lauren Cuvelier 7 0-2 14, Julie Eiguren 0 1-2 1, Anna Watkins 5 0-1 10. Totals: 19 2-6 40.
Wallowa Mysha Oveson 2 0-0 6, Caitlin Turner 1 0-0 2, Lynique Oveson 4 3-5 11, Emily Isley 3 1-2 7, Chelsea Frei 7 2-2 16, Hayley Oveson, Wendy Spaur. Totals: 17 6-9 42.
Three-pointers Jordan Valley, none; Wallowa 2 (M. Oveson 2). Fouled out None. Total fouls Jordan Valley 11, Wallowa 11. Technical fouls None.