Fourteen games wasn’t enough to decide the top seed in the Old Oregon League after Powder Valley and Nixyaawii both went 13-1 in league play this season, with the only loss coming on the other team’s court.
The decisive tiebreaker Tuesday at Cove was all Golden Eagles.
Mick Schimmel and Deven Barkley both scored 12 points, and Nixyaawii used three big runs to distance itself from Powder Valley for a 59-42 win to lock up the No. 1 seed to the OOL district tournament, which begins Thursday in Baker City.
“We were kind of flat. We didn’t run our offense correctly,” Powder Valley head coach Warren Wilson said.
The Golden Eagles used a 15-3 run in the second quarter to break open a close game, an 8-0 run in the third to counter a comeback attempt by the Badgers, and an 11-0 spurt in the fourth to put a stamp on the victory, the team’s 21st of the season.
The Badgers led just once at 9-8 late in the first on a Hunter Davis jumper that capped a 7-0 run. Powder Valley, though, was within 15-12 after a Dawson Smith 3-pointer.
Then Nixyaawii got rolling.
Quanah Picard, who scored all 10 of his points in the second quarter, started the first big Eagles’ run with a jumper. A layup by Magi Moses and another jumper by Picard gave Nixyaawii a double-digit lead at 22-12, and Nixyaawii later scored the last six points of the half to go up 30-15 on a layup by Dazan Sigo, who had 11 points.
But the Badgers, who were just 2-for-16 in the second quarter, and 6-for-29 in the first half, found their stride in the third and fought back into the game. Two 3-pointers by Smith, who had 11 points, and a trey by Tanner Eubanks, who scored 10 points, helped pull the Badgers with 34-26. Davis, who finished with 14 points, later had a 3 to trim the margin to seven, and fed Eubanks for a layup that made it 38-33 with 1:40 to play in the third quarter
The Eagles, though, counted to quickly extend the margin back to double figures. Barkley made a wild layup, Sigo hit a 3 and Barkley followed with a trey to put the Golden Eagles up 46-33 after three quarters. They iced the contest with their third big run to take the largest lead of the game, 57-35, with just 2:58 to play.
The 42 points by Powder Valley’s normally efficient offense, which had averaged 65 points per game coming in, was held in check partially due to the team’s inability to crack Nixyaawii’s 2-3 zone. The Badgers, as a result, shot just 17-for-57 and hoisted 36 3-pointers, connecting on just eight of them.
“Hands down it’s an off night,” Wilson said. “It’s sad that people came over to see this and it wasn’t as competitive as the game should have been.”
Wilson also credited the Eagles’ balanced scoring.
“Mick and the Barkley boy, we held them in check, they each had 12,” he said. “This time, it was the others who stepped up.”
As a team, Nixyaawii shot just under 50 percent (26-for-54) and was 12-for-23 in the second half. Nixyaawii also had a 33-27 rebound advantage.
Powder Valley (18-5 overall) hosts either Joseph or Cove in the OOL district tournament Friday.
Enterprise 56, Union 54, OT: Brett Greenshields scored 21 points, including four in overtime, Jimmy Wells added 16 and Enterprise kept its state playoff hopes alive by outlasting Union in a thriller in the Wapiti League’s third-place tiebreaking game played at Imbler. Rylie Hayward added nine points.
Union, which saw its state playoff hopes dashed with the loss, was led by Cole McLean, who had 19 points and seven rebounds. Keegan Glenn added 12 points and Ryan Shoemaker pulled down 18 rebounds.
The last two games between these teams had been decided by a combined seven points — a five-point win by Union at Enterprise and a two-point victory by the Outlaws in Union.
This one was no different. Enterprise held a six-point lead at halftime, but was up just 33-32 after three quarters.
Wells scored seven of his points in the fourth for Enterprise. Glenn scored six for Union in the fourth while McLean had five points.
The teams went to overtime tied at 47-all.
With the win Enterprise (8-12 overall) advances to the No. 2 vs. No. 3 game Friday night against Elgin, with the winner earning the league’s second state playoff berth and getting a shot at Grant Union for the district tournament title.
Union (8-14) faces Imbler in the No. 4 vs. No. 5 game Friday afternoon. Both games are in La Grande.