February 25, 2002 11:00 pm

Three Northeast Oregon basketball teams start their quest for a state title at this weeks OSAA-U.S. Bank Class 1A Basketball State Championships in Baker City.

The third-ranked Cove girls (16-4) start things off with a 1 p.m. game Wednesday against fourth-ranked South Wasco County. Wednesday night, at 8:45, the fifth-ranked Powder Valley boys (14-9) take on top-ranked Dufur.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, the sixth-ranked Powder Valley girls (19-4) meet second-ranked Damascus Christian in the first round.

Girls semifinals will be at 1 and 7 p.m. Friday, with the boys semifinals at 2:45 and 8:45 p.m.

The other first-round girls games feature seventh-ranked Columbia Christian against fourth-ranked Days Creek at 7 p.m. Wednesday and eighth-ranked Butte Falls vs. top-ranked Condon at 1 p.m. Thursday.

The other boys game Wednesday (2:45 p.m.) features seventh-ranked Hosanna Christian vs. second-ranked Mohawk.

Jordan Valley, tied for second with Mohawk, plays number 9 St. Paul at 2:45 p.m. Thursday. Number 6 South Wasco County meets number 4 Paisley at 8:45 p.m. Thursday.