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Finals of Optimist Classic set

Powder Valley and Cove to meet in girls title game; Elgin, Sherman in boys

Editor's note: This post has been updated.

It’s hard enough to shut out a team in an entire quarter in basketball.

The Powder Valley girls did it for an entire half Thursday night.

Four different players scored seven points to lead the Badgers, and Powder Valley pitched a second-half shutout in a 44-12 blowout over Council in the semifinals of the Optimist Christmas Classic.

The Badgers held a slim 9-8 lead after one quarter, then started to blow the game open. Megan Bingham, one of the four Powder Valley players with seven points, started a 14-2 run with a fastbreak

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Editor's note: This post has been updated.

It’s hard enough to shut out a team in an entire quarter in basketball.

The Powder Valley girls did it for an entire half Thursday night.

Four different players scored seven points to lead the Badgers, and Powder Valley pitched a second-half shutout in a 44-12 blowout over Council in the semifinals of the Optimist Christmas Classic.

The Badgers held a slim 9-8 lead after one quarter, then started to blow the game open. Megan Bingham, one of the four Powder Valley players with seven points, started a 14-2 run with a fastbreak layup. Josie Ash and Kim Williams, who also had seven apiece, hit back to back jumpers to make it a 13-point game before Alli Matthews’ jumper made it 23-12 late in the half.

Matthews’ basket was the last points scored by the Lumberjacks.

Ash’s 3 made it 26-12 at the half. Bingham opened the third quarter with a trey of her own and the Badgers (11-0 overall) went on to outscore the Lumberjacks 18-0 in the second half.

Logan Nedrow also scored seven points.

Kylie Shumway scored five points to lead Council.

Also Thursday

Cove 29, Union 25: Maggie Ledbetter hit two tiebreaking free throws with 13.2 seconds to play, Keelye Musick followed with two game-sealing free throws, and Cove outlasted Union in a defensive battle in the semifinals.

Musick and teammate Sophia Pettit both scored seven points to lead Cove (4-6).
Ledbetter added six points.

Ellie Clark had 15 points to lead Union (5-5), including nine on three 3-pointers in the first quarter as the Bobcats jumped out to a 13-5 lead. But Union went the next 16 minutes without a point. The teams went into the half tied at 13-all, and the score held at 13-all until Clark’s jumper with 2:20 to play in the third. Cove retook the lead on a Pettit 3-point play, and went into the fourth ahead 19-18.

The Leopards held a three-point lead before a free throw by Clark and a 3-point play by Katie Good, who scored eight points, put Union ahead 22-21. Pettit banked in a free-throw line jumper, and Musick hit a layup to put Cove back up by three. Good hit a free throw, and Brianna Kohr hit a long jumper to tie the score before the Leopards finished the win at the charity stripe.

Imbler 55, Sherman 32: Caysie McGinness scored 24 points, including 15 in the second half, and Imbler put together a big second half to overtake Sherman in the consolation round.

The Panthers (3-7) were down 23-22 at the break before locking down Sherman on defense, holding the Huskies to just nine second half points, and three in the fourth quarter.

Imbler, meanwhile, put up 18 in the third quarter alone to take the lead for good, with McGinness leading a balanced attack with seven in the period. Imbler pulled ahead 40-29 and never looked back.

Trinity McKaig added eight points and Gracey Smith and Hannah Kilpatrick both added seven.

Savanna Orendorff scored 13 points to lead Sherman.

Elgin 53, Wallowa 49: Kaelin Evans hit the eventual game-winner with under a minute to play, and the Huskies ended a four-game losing streak by gritting out a close win over Wallowa.

The Huskies led 40-38 after three quarters, and still led by two late before Wallowa tied it up at the free-throw line. Riley Goller tied the score at 48-all with a pair of free throws. After Evans put Elgin (5-6) back up by one, Goller re-tied the score before Evans, who had eight points, scored on the low block.

Wallowa (2-8) had a shot for the tie miss, and the Huskies finished off the win at the free-throw line.

Hannah McClure scored 15 points to lead the Huskies. Tymra Anderson added 14 and Jayden Palmer had 10 points.

Shanna Rae Tillery and Jamie Johnston both scored 10 points to lead Wallowa. Ella Moeller added seven.


Elgin 40, Union 38: Elgin saw a 17-point first-half lead trimmed to a little as one point late, but had just enough down the stretch in a lackluster second half to hold on and beat Union for the second time in a week.

Brandon Howes scored 17 points, and the Huskies (8-4) survived a late flurry for a win over the Bobcats in the tournament semifinals.

Caleb Lathrop added 12 points, seven of which came in the final quarter to keep Elgin ahead. His free throws gave Elgin a three-point lead after Union had closed within 30-29. He later added a 3-point play and a layup.

But Union (5-5), which was once down 25-8, never went away. The Bobcats went on a 17-3 run that started late in the second quarter and ended on a rebound and putback by Ryan Shoemaker to make it 28-25 early in the fourth quarter. The Bobcats pulled as close as one point on four occasions, the last at 39-38 on a Shoemaker field goal with about 1:20 to play.

Union, though, saw two shots for the lead with under a minute left miss, and Tate Lantis had a shot at the buzzer to tie the game rim off.

Shoemaker finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds in the loss. Keegan Glenn and Cason Kirkland both added five.

Ian Smith scored five points for Elgin.

Sherman 66, Powder Valley 42: The rematch of the 2016-17 Class 1A boys championship game went the way of the Sherman Huskies — just like the title game in March did.

Luke Martin scored 18 points, Treve Martin had 16 and Sherman broke the game open with a 26-3 run en route to a blowout win over the Badgers in the semifinals.

The Jacob Justesen, who had eight points, hit a 3-pointer to cap the lengthy run and give the Huskies a 30-10 lead midway through the second quarter. The Badgers never pulled closer than 18 points the rest of the way, and Sherman at one point led by as many as 34 points.

Tanner Eubanks led the Badgers (6-3) with 12 points, including hitting a trey for the Badgers’ only points during the game-changing run. Dawson Smith added 10 points and Hunter Davis scored seven.

Cove 41, Wallowa 40: Blake Witten scored 12 points, and Cove (2-8) held off Wallowa (5-5) for the win despite scoring just two points in the final quarter.

The Leopards held a 39-30 lead entering the fourth, and were up 41-34 late before letting the Cougars get close. Christopher Nobles, who scored 20 points, collected a steal and lay-in to make it a five-point game. Tristin Bales then hit a layup, and Nobles hit two free throws to make it a one-point game with 27 seconds left. Wallowa had one final shot, but Nobles’ tough runner for the win with about five seconds to play missed, and Cove hung on.

Nobles was joined in double figures by Sam Hilliard, who scored 10 points. Bales added four. Wallowa was up 28-24 at the break, but was outscored 15-2 in the third quarter.

Dawson Gaertner added seven points for Cove, and both Landon Moore and Emilio Ortiz had six.

Council 47, Imbler 26: Garrett Snider scored 17 points, and Council raced out to a 20-point halftime lead on its way to a win over Imbler in the consolation round.

The Lumberjacks raced out to a 35-15 lead at the half, then coasted to the finish line.

Lance Nichols added nine points.

Imbler (1-9) was led by Cade Gorham, who had nine points. Wyatt Whitaker added four points.



Cove 37, Elgin 32: Maggie Ledbetter scored 13 points, including seven in the fourth quarter, and Cove pulled away in the final quarter to top Elgin for the second time in a week.

The Leopards held just a 24-22 lead after three quarters, but got a boost in the fourth with Ledbetter leading the way. Keelye Musick added 11 points, nine of which came in the third quarter, and Sophia Pettit added five.

Elgin was led by Hannah McClure, who scored 11 points. Jayden Palmer added eight points, seven of which came in the second half.

Union 38, Wallowa 31: Taylar Daggett led a balanced scoring attack with nine points, and Union held off Wallowa.

All of Daggett’s points came from behind the 3-point line. Ellie Clark added eight points and both Katie Good and Abriel O’Reilly had seven points. Union built a 20-14 halftime lead, and extended it to 30-22 by the end of the third quarter.

Jamie Johnston scored 13 points to lead the Cougars. Shanna Rae Tillery added six points and Riley Ferre had five points.

Powder Valley 43, Imbler 15: Kim Williams scored 12 points, Megan Hufford and Megan Bingham both added eight, and Powder Valley dominated from the outset to top Imbler in a rematch of last year’s Optimist Christmas Classic title game.

The Badgers held Imbler to just two field goals in the first half and took a 22-6 lead into the break. Powder Valley extended the lead to 33-10 by the end of the third quarter.

Caysie McGinness led the Panthers in the loss with seven points. Trinity McKaig added four points.


Union 74, Wallowa 67, 3OT: Ryan Shoemaker scored 21 points and pulled down 28 rebounds, and the Bobcats outlasted Wallowa in triple overtime in the game of the tournament at the Optimist Christmas Classic.

Tate Lantis added 17 points and Levi Cloutier scored 14 to offset a 32-point performance by Wallowa’s Christopher Nobles.

Shoemaker and Jace Phillips both scored six points in the overtime periods, and Lantis had five. The teams were tied at 52-all after regulation, 56-all after the first overtime and 62-all after the second overtime. Union finally pulled away in the third extra session.

Nobles scored 13 of his points in the overtime periods. Sam Hilliard added 16 points — all in regulation — and Tristin Bales had eight points.

Union used a big second quarter, led by eight points from Lantis, to take a 29-20 lead at the break.

Wallowa closed to within 40-36 after three quarters before the teams played to the draw after four. Nobles scored 11 in the second half for Wallowa, and Hilliard had 10.

Elgin 50, Cove 40: Caleb Lathrop scored 18 points, Brandon Howes added 12 and Elgin gradually pulled away for a win over the Leopards.

Elgin led throughout, jumping out to a 31-24 lead at the break and a 43-28 lead through three quarters. Ian Smith added six points for the Huskies.

Blake Witten scored 14 points to lead Cove. Dawson Gaertner added six points and Collin Ruth added five points.

Powder Valley 57, Imbler 42: Tanner Eubanks scored 19 points to lead all scorers, and Powder Valley kept Imbler at bay in the final game of the first day of action.

Moziss Nesser added 11 points and Hunter Davis chipped in with nine for the Badgers, who led 32-18 at the half and were never threatened.

Garrett Smith scored eight points to lead Imbler. Jayce Burnette added seven.

La Grande Optimist Christmas Classic

Friday’s Schedule


Wallowa vs. Sherman, seventh-place game, La Grande High School, 11 a.m.

Elgin vs. Imbler, fourth-place game, Quinn Coliseum, 11 a.m.

Union vs. Council, third-place game, Quinn Coliseum, 3 p.m.

Cove vs. Powder Valley, championship game, Quinn Coliseum, 6 p.m.


Wallowa vs. Imbler, seventh-place game, La Grande High School, 12:30 p.m.

Cove vs. Council, fourth-place game, Quinn Coliseum, 12:30 p.m.

Union vs. Powder Valley, third-place game, Quinn Coliseum, 4:30 p.m.

Elgin vs. Sherman, championship game, Quinn Coliseum, 7:30 p.m.