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The La Grande Observer Paper 08/27/14

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La Grande's Christie Weaver was named to The Oregonian second team 3A all-state girls basketball squad, while another Tiger, Seth Pennington, was named third team all-state for the boys.

Weaver, who has signed a letter of intent to play for Boise State, was named to the second team last year, too. She helped lead the Tigers to an eighth-place finish at the state tournament earlier this month, scoring 33 points in one of her games at the tournament.

Weaver averaged 19 points a game, seven rebounds, four-and-a-half steals and two assists on the season. She also made the Greater Oregon League first team.

Pennington, one of three boys named GOL player of the year (along with Ontario's Wade Douglas and Baker's Mitch Grove), had to recover from surgery in the fall to insert a screw in a bone in his foot. He broke the bone last summer.

Pennington got off to a slow start this season while he recovered from the surgery and built up his minutes. He still ended up leading the team with 15.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.1 steals per game.

La Grande coach Aaron Mills said Pennington was the key to the Tigers' success this year. Pennington led La Grande to the state tournament. He said Pennington's lower leg was emaciated when it came out of the cast, but he quickly worked himself back into game shape.

"We just weren't the same team once he became healthy — we became really good. Without him, we wouldn't have had a chance to go into the playoffs," said Mills.

Ontario's Stephanie Hawk, who is going to Gonzaga in Spokane, was named the 3A player of the year, while Burns' girls coach Alice Herauf was named coach of the year. Burns finished second in the state tournament.

Chelsea Ross of Burns also made the all-state first team, while Ontario's Maggie Smith-Davidson made the honorable mention team.

— Pierre LaBossire

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