February 22, 2002 11:00 pm


By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

Dale Wagners 300th coaching victory Friday guaranteed he would get a crack at some more wins this season.

The Imbler Panthers advanced to next weeks state girls basketball tournament in Pendleton with a 33-25 victory over Pine-Eagle at the Wapiti League District 8-2A Tournament at Quinn Coliseum.

Wagner didnt tell his team about the pending milestone before the game the pressure of getting to state was enough.

They probably would have blown it just to spite me, he joked.

They nearly did. Imblers parade to the free throw line in the fourth quarter the whole game, for that matter resulted in a lot of missed foul shots, but enough made ones saved the day.

The Panthers were 17-for-36 from the line, just 47 percent.

Thats not a bad shooting percentage for a pressure game, Wagner said. We made more points on our free throws than we made on our baskets.

Indeed, 10 of Imblers 14 fourth quarter points came at the line. Those fouls were costly to Pine-Eagle, which had to play the final 5:14 without point guard Corie Carnahan.

That hurt them really big time, Wagner said. They had nobody to run their offense.

Imbler led by three, 22-19, and soon thereafter Emily Correll got an offensive rebound and put it back for a five-point lead. Pine-Eagle would get it back to two with two minutes to play, but Imbler made another six free throws to ice the game.

Until those final minutes, the game was as close as one would expect from a state-qualifying contest. Pine-Eagles stingy defense held Imbler to three first quarter points, but Imbler turned the tables in the second quarter and went in to halftime trailing 15-14.

Offensively, Imbler shot just 8-for-35 from the field. Leading scorer Tiffany Rasmussen was 0-for-11, but Amy Clerget and Correll picked up the slack. Clerget had 11 points, including four free throws in the fourth quarter, while Correll had six of her nine points in the fourth quarter, including both of Imblers field goals. She also had 14 rebounds and held Pine-Eagle center Amanda Hale to 11 points.

For the third year in a row, Imbler will play Enterprise in the district title game. Enterprise has won the last two games.

Pine-Eagle girls 10 5 4 6 25

Imbler 3 11 5 14 33

Pine-Eagle Hale 5-13 1-2 11, Co.Carnahan 2-6 2-2 6, Ca.Carnahan 2-10 0-0 4, Bonn 1-4 0-0 2, Peterson 1-6 0-0 2, Bonn 0-0 0-1 0, Ka.Hoover, Morrison, May 0-1 0-0 0, Ke.Hoover. Totals: 11-40 3-5 25.

Imbler Clerget 3-7 5-8 11, Woody 1-2 2-3 4, Correll 2-7 5-13 9, Campbell 2-7 2-6 6, Rasmussen 0-11 3-6 3, Hall 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 8-35 17-36 33.

Three-pointers Pine-Eagle 0-7 (Hale 0-2, Ca.Carnahan 0-4, Bonn 0-1), Imbler 0-1 (Woody 0-1). Fouled out Co.Carnahan. Total fouls Pine-Eagle 26, Imbler 12. Turnovers Pine-Eagle 26, Imbler 20. Rebounds Pine-Eagle 36 (Ca.Carnahan 10), Imbler 33 (Correll 14). Assists Pine-Eagle 5 (Peterson 2), Imbler 3 (Clerget 2).


By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

This wasnt exactly a rebuilding year for the Imbler Panthers boys basketball team, and a trip to state isnt exactly a surprise for a team that will be going to the Pendleton tournament for the fourth year in a row.

But after the Panthers 74-62 win over Nyssa at the Wapiti League District 8-2A Basketball Tournament, Imbler coach Ken Kramer called it a victory for a group of young players.

These kids really came on and gelled, Kramer said. I think were peaking. Well give Joseph a game tomorrow.

Ah, Joseph. The Eagles have size and speed and a pair of wins over Imbler this season, but at least todays championship game wont be the last of the season. Imbler will play at least two more at state, possibly four.

For a while earlier this year, getting this far looked as likely as the Grande Ronde River drying up in March. Imbler went 5-5 in the preseason, losing three games in a row at one point. The Panthers lost three straight earlier this month, all to the three other teams playing Friday at Quinn Coliseum.

Credit the offense for saving the season. Imbler (16-9) moved the ball well against Nyssa, setting up shots for Brandon Campbell, Colin Culbreth and Troy Hoskins, who often found themselves driving to the basket.

As long as we try to drive and dish, it helps out, Campbell said. I like to drive thats my game.

Campbell played it to the tune of 21 points Friday, topped only by the 24 points of Culbreth. Both players got a chunk of their scoring at the free throw line, where Imbler shot 31-for-40.

When they got into foul trouble it really helped us out, Campbell said.

Culbreth was 10-for-11 from the line and Campbell was 9-for-12.

Imblers offense never looked better than in the final 30 seconds of the third quarter. The Panthers had the ball and were holding it until the last shot, but Nyssa was trying to trap the ballhandlers near the halfcourt line. Imbler kept the ball out of trouble, moved it frequently, and finally Campbell drove along the baseline and found Trevor Crow in the key. Crow put up a soft jumper that swished and put Imbler up 46-32.

The teams combined for 58 fourth quarter points, but every time Nyssa scored, Imbler answered.

Kramer credits Campbell with his leadership this season.

He pulled the young kids up and made them believe, Kramer said.

Kramer also credited Crow, a point guard who had eight assists and three steals. He stepped up and hes the quarterback of the team.

Nyssa (10-16) got 22 points from Mitch Holliday and 14 points from Aaron Escobedo.

Nyssa boys 16 12 4 30 62

Imbler 15 20 11 28 74

Nyssa Garcia 1-4 0-0 3, Sapp 3-3 0-0 8, Rasmussen 1-6 0-0 2, Boster 2-6 1-3 5, Escobedo 6-9 1-1 14, Holliday 7-14 5-5 22, Fuentes, Holcomb, Martinez 0-1 0-0 0, Manley 1-3 0-0 2, Rodriguez 2-4 0-0 4, Whitmire 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 24-51 7-9 62.

Imbler Campbell 6-12 9-12 21, Crow 1-4 4-6 6, McIntosh 1-5 3-4 6, Glenn 1-5 4-4 6, Culbreth 7-14 10-11 24, ODonald, Tra.Hoskins, Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Gorham, Davidson, Wyatt, Tro.Hoskins 5-7 1-3 11. Totals: 21-48 31-40 74.

Three-pointers Nyssa 7-18 (Garcia 1-3, Sapp 2-2, Rasmussen 0-4, Escobedo 1-2, Holliday 3-7), Imbler 1-11 (Campbell 0-2, Crow 0-1, McIntosh 1-3, Glenn 0-3, Culbreth 0-1, Davis 0-1). Fouled out jSapp, Rasmussen. Total fouls Nyssa 28, Imbler 10. Turnovers Nyssa 14, Imbler 12. Rebounds Nyssa 25 (Escobedo 7, Rodriguez 7), Imbler 32 (Culbreth 9). Assists Nyssa 15 (Holliday 5), Imbler 11 (Crow 8).


By Raenelle Kwock

Observer Staff Writer

The Joseph Eagles expected a better match-up from Elgin Friday, but they cruised to a 74-45 Wapiti League District 8-2A Tournament win.

I thought itd be a tough game, said Tyler Nall, who scored 16 points. We just came out and played on top of our game.

Joseph (24-1) had a 21-6 lead after the first quarter, and it continued to rack up points leading into halftime.

I think we played good team ball, said Dollen Stroup, who had a game-high 24 points.

The only problem for Joseph was the third quarter, when it was outscored 21-12.

I was real pleased, Joseph coach Ron Lathrop said. We had a letdown in the third quarter, though.

Stroup scored 12 of his points in the fourth quarter. When Stroup last scored at the 3:20 mark of the fourth, Joseph had its biggest lead, 71-39.

Joseph lost its first round game against Union at last years district tournament after coming in as the prohibitive favorite. Lathrop wanted to make sure that didnt happen again, and the Eagles will play Imbler this afternoon seeking their first district title since 1998.

Marcus Wells had 12 points for Joseph, which also got 11 rebounds and nine points out of Cole Lathrop.

Elgin (13-9) had 14 points and nine rebounds from Brandon Burgess and 11 points and nine rebounds from Tyler Davis. The Huskies shot just 16 percent from the field in the first half, however, and couldnt overcome Josephs 50 percent shooting in the second half.

Elgin boys 6 4 21 14 45

Joseph 21 18 12 23 74

Elgin Harris 0-2 2-2 2, Burgess 7-15 0-0 14, Williams 2-12 0-0 4, McKone 1-5 0-0 2, Davis 4-12 3-4 11, Wightman 0-1 0-0 0, Hamill 3-3 0-0 6, Southard 0-1 0-0 0, Payne 0-1 0-0 0, Evans 2-9 2-4 6, Schumacher. Totals: 19-61 7-10 45.

Joseph Nall 7-16 1-1 16, Stroup 11-18 2-3 24, Wells 4-9 4-4 12, Col.Lathrop 4-6 1-2 9, Stubblefield 0-2 0-0 0, Hayes 0-1 0-0 0, Otten 0-1 0-0 0, Gorsline 1-1 0-0 2, Cod.Lathrop 3-7 2-2 9, Butterfield 0-3 0-0 0, Layton 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 31-67 10-12 74.

Three-pointers Elgin, none; Joseph, Nall, Cod. Lathrop. Fouled out Williams, Stubblefield. Total fouls Elgin 14, Joseph 12.


By Raenelle Kwock

Observer Staff Writer

Foul trouble and tweaked ankles did not stop Enterprise from winning its Wapiti League District 8-2A Basketball Tournament game Friday.

Enterprise (19-4) will play Imbler at 3 p.m. today for the championship. Enterprise has won the last six district title games.

It was awesome, Enterprise senior Ashley Anderson said, after the 58-42 win over Elgin (11-11). It took the whole team to do it. We stepped up and won.

Anderson was trying to get control of a rebound when her legs got tangled with an Elgin player, causing her to fall with 6:42 remaining in the third quarter. Anderson did not put pressure on her left ankle as she left the court.

She twisted it, Enterprise coach Mike Crawford said. Shell be a little hobbled. Shes a tough girl. Shell play hard.

Anderson left with Enterprise leading 31-16. Shortly after she left, starter Kazzie Dawson picked up her fourth foul. Then Danette Harvey went down on her ankle with 4:17 left in the quarter, but she continued to play.

Finally, Justinn Christensen fouled out with 7:48 left in the fourth.

Elgin took advantage of Enterprises woes and sliced the deficit to 37-35 on DeLeah Wiles bucket with 6:39 remaining in the fourth.

We panicked a little bit there, Crawford said.

Enterprise regrouped quickly. Lacey Nobles was fouled with 5:46 remaining and hit two free throws, giving Enterprise a four-point lead. Elgin was unable to muster another large scoring run.

Enterprise won by dominating the boards and outshooting the Huskies. Enterprise had a 44-33 rebounding advantage and shot 50 percent from the field.

Harvey led Enterprise with 16 points, and Nobles add 11 points and nine rebounds. Anderson had 12 rebounds and eight points.

Ashley Rysdam had 12 points for Elgin in the loss, and Wiles scored 10. Amber Looslie grabbed 12 rebounds.

Elgin girls 7 9 16 10 42

Enterprise 7 19 11 21 58

Elgin D. Wiles 4 2-5 10, Rysdam 4 0-0 12, Case 3 4-4 9, Schumacher 1 0-0 2, McCrae 0 2-4 2, Looslie 3 1-3 7, Darrow, Heighes, Fincher, Foster, H. Wiles, Leal. Totals: 19 9-16 42.

Enterprise Dawson 2 2-5 6, Gardner 2 1-5 4, Nobles 4 4-5 11, Anderson 2 4-7 8, Christensen 3 1-2 7, Morgan, Waldron 1 0-0 2, Davis 2 0-2 4, Hadden, Harvey 7 2-4 16, Conrad 0 0-1 0, Williams. Totals: 23 14-31 58.

Three-pointers Elgin, Rysdam 4, Case; Enterprise, Gardner, Nobles. Fouled out Schumacher, Looslie, Dawson, Christensen. Total fouls Elgin 27, Enterprise 16. Technical fouls None.