Friday's Boys Prep Basketball Preview

By Observer staff January 15, 2014 10:25 am

Imblerís Joe Griffin will try to keep the momentum going after a big win to open the league schedule.
Imblerís Joe Griffin will try to keep the momentum going after a big win to open the league schedule.
 Friday Boys Prep Basketball Preview

Old Oregon League

Wallowa (1-11 overall, 0-2 OOL) at Cove (8-4 overall, 1-0 OOL), 7:30 p.m.

Cove is in a perfect spot to pick up its second league win against a struggling Wallowa team. The Leopards got off to the league schedule on the right foot with a win against Joseph. Cove will look to pick on Wallowa County once again this week.

Wallowa has playmakers, but need more time on the floor to be able to get things going on the right track. Spencer Shelton and Chandler Burns will need big nights if Wallowa is going to snap a 10-game losing streak.

Joseph (4-8 overall, 0-1 OOL) at Powder Valley (10-1 overall, 0-1 OOL), 7:30 p.m.

Joseph comes to Powder Valley at the wrong time. A win by the Eagles was going to be tough enough, but the Badgers enter the game with a sour taste in their mouths. They lost the league opener to Imbler, and will make sure to pick up a league win Friday. The key will be playing under control. Powder Valley got in to foul trouble against Imbler, and the scorers have to be able to stay on the floor. Tyler Robinson, Jason Benites and Chace Dixon can’t spend time on the pine against Pine Eagle this week.

The Eagles play their 11th straight game on the road, going 2-9 in that stretch. Joseph will need to score in order to pull off the upset, scoring 37.5 points per game, while Powder Valley averages 70.5 points.

Imbler (11-1 overall, 1-0 OOL) at Pine Eagle (4-6 overall, 1-0 OOL), 7:30 p.m.

Imbler will look to build on the momentum of its win against Powder Valley last Friday to open league play. The Panthers will need to continue to get scoring from players other than Kyle Johnson and Trace Vancleave. Seniors Joe Griffin and Eli Bowers provided that punch against the Badgers.

Pine Eagle will have its work cut out against an improving Panthers squad. After starting the season 1-5, the Spartans have gone 3-1, beating Wallowa to open the league schedule. 

Blue Mountain Conference

Elgin (5-8 overall, 3-3 BMC) at Heppner (8-5 overall, 2-4 BMC) 7:30 p.m.

Elgin is currently sitting in the final spot in the conference standings for the postseason tournament. A win against Heppner would create a two-game cushion for the sixth seed. The Huskies have been playing better as of late, going 4-2 after snapping a four-game losing streak.

Heppner has been battle tested against the top teams in the conference, nearly picking up a win against second place Stanfield. The Mustangs edged out a 51-50 win against Grant Union in their last game, and will try to keep the momentum going.

Union (7-7 overall, 4-2 BMC) at  Irrigon (12-0 overall, 6-0 BMC), 7:30 p.m.

Union will face the top team in the state at the Class 2A level this week on the road. It will be a good measuring stick game for Brett Dunten’s team. The Bobcats have the capable scorers to put up points, but will need to show they can do it in a big game.

Irrigon is averaging 70.8 points per game, while holding the opposition to 40.8 points per game. The Knights already proved themselves against Class 2A No. 2 Stanfield during a 63-51 win last Friday, and will look to stay perfect in conference play.

Enterprise (4-7 overall, 1-5 BMC) at Grant Union (6-4 overall, 3-3 BMC), 7:30 p.m.

The time is now for Jeff Micka’s team. Enterprise is 1-5 in conference play, and needs to turn things around to make the postseason tournament. The Outlaws have shown flashes at times, but will need to play a solid four quarters to defeat Grant Union. Friday night would be the perfect time for Enterprise to snap a five-game losing streak.

The Protectors lost a heartbreaker to Heppner, 51-50 last Friday. Grant Union enters the game with back-to-back losses, also falling to Stanfield 75-56 Saturday. The Prospectors are in the same situation as most of the middle of the pack teams in conference play. Each win is crucial to staying in the top six, and making the postseason tournament. A win at home Friday would help that cause.