Run and gun

By Observer staff December 30, 2013 10:37 am

The Powder Valley boys basketball team came to the La Grande Optimist Christmas Classic on a mission, and after three days accomplished its goal.

The Badgers claimed the championship Saturday with a 77-48 win against the Imbler.

Typically it’s Marcus Pratt and Tyler Robinson leading the show, but Logan Allen used the stage of the title game to showcase his skills. 

The senior post finished with a team-high 18 points, while grabbing five rebounds. Allen went 8-of-12 from the floor, and he wasn’t laying the ball in. Most of Allen’s shots came from beyond 8 feet, and Allen made a killing on the baseline jumper. 

It worked so well that Brock Jones decided to use the same repertoire.  Jones was equally as good,  shooting 7-of-11 from the floor with 15 points to go with five rebounds.

Powder Valley shot 59 percent from the floor in the opening half, jumping out to a 43-24 lead. The Panthers shot 42 percent from the floor, a respectable mark, but not good 42 percent from the floor, a respectable mark, but not good enough to keep up with Allen and Jones.

Pratt still finished with 13 points and eight rebounds, despite being held in check in foul trouble in the first half. Robinson finished with nine points. 

Freshman Seth Dixon came off the bench to score nine points for the Badgers.

Returning co-player of the year in the Old Oregon League, Kyle Johnson, led the Panthers with 18 points. Sophomore Trace Vancleave finished with 14 points and six rebounds.

The Badgers (9-0) will travel to Prairie City Thursday for a 7 p.m. tipoff. Imbler returns to action at home against Adrian at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. 

Bobcats grab third

Cortin Nowak hit the signature shot during the Union boys basketball team’s 59-49 win against Dayville/Monument at the La Grande Optimist Christmas Classic.

Nowak drilled a long 3-point shot to close out the third quarter, and the Bobcats rode the momentum after taking a 45-38 lead into the final quarter.

All five of Nowak’s points came in the third quarter. 

J.D. Graves led Union with 14 points. Johnny Kennon scored all 13 of his points in the second half. Ty Coon hit double figures with 11.

Colten Winters led the Tigers with a game-high 23 points. 

Cove rallies over Joseph

The Cove boys basketball team battled back from a five-point halftime deficit to bring home the fourth-place trophy from the La Grande Optimist Christmas Classic Saturday.

Derek Murchison led the way for the Leopards with 19 points, scoring 14 in the second half. Colton DeMeerleer added 13 points.

Joseph held a 25-20 lead at the half, with Sam Beckman scoring five of his eight points in the second quarter to push his team out in front.

The Leopards erased that lead, and built a 20-point lead early in the fourth quarter.

Cayden DeLury finished with a team-high 13 points for the Eagles. Will Story added seven points.

Cougars fall to Rockets

A short-handed Wallowa boys basketball team couldn’t catch a break during the La Grande Optimist Christmas Classic. 

Saturday was no different, with a 54-42 loss to Pilot Rock. 

The Cougars had five players available for the game due to the flu bug sweeping through the team. That number went down by one more when Chaz Murray fouled out of the game in the fourth quarter.

Karl Wellens led the Cougars with 16 points, connecting on four 3-point field goals. Cole Hafer and Murray each added 11 points.

Justin Willingham finished with a game-high 17 points for Pilot Rock. Justin Pierce added 13 points.