MCKENZIE BRIDGE, Oregon (STPNS) -- Eagle Boys and Girls Survive Flu/Sailor Blues

The McKenzie Eagle Boys and Girls Varsity Basketball Teams traveled to the Siuslaw River drainage for a Mt. West League game with the Mapleton Sailors last Wednesday, Jan. 16. Both Eagle teams won, but found the going tougher than expected as the Sailors, as always, came to play and gave the visitors all they wanted to handle. McKenzie, hit with the flu bug, felt fortunate to come home with the victories, which kept both teams in the hunt for the League title. The boys retained their League lead over the Triangle Lake Lakers and the girls remained one-half game behind the Lakers and 2 games ahead of the 3rd place Lowell Red Devils.



In the Boys game, Senior Blake Anderson scored 11 pts. as McKenzie won 40-34. Other stats were unavailable.

Eagle Sophomore Post Katey Totten led her team’s offensive output with 10 pts. and Sophomore Wing Buggy Hiddleston added 7 pts. Totten hauled in 8 rebounds and Hiddleston had 7 rebounds as well. McKenzie won 37-25. No other stats were available.

McKenzie Mauls Mohawk 68-25

McKenzie (9-0,10-6), easily defeated the Mohawk Indians at home on Friday, Jan. 18, keeping the Eagles at the top of the Mt. West League standings and ranked 17th in the OSAA State 1A rankings. Mohawk, one of the most successful basketball teams of the past decade, has yet to win a game this season in 15 starts. And the Indians unfortunately do not field a girls team as well, thus the Eagle girls had a bye. McKenzie’s Blake Anderson and Harrisburg transfer Seth Burson each led the Eagle team with 14 pts. apiece. Fellow Senior Victor Vidal scored an additional 13 pts. and Senior Jon Mahody scored 11 more pts. Other stats were not available.

Eagles Bucked Down in St. Paul

McKenzie, with a couple of bye openings available on its schedule, added the 3rd ranked St. Paul Buckaroos, for a non-League Girls Basketball contest, last Sat., Jan. 19. Ranked 12th at the time, the Eagles knew going in that the 11-5 Bucks, representing the Casco League, would give them a rough ride as St. Paul had previously upended #1 ranked and undefeated Damascus Christian two days earlier, 38-35. Indeed, Head Eagle Coach David Duncan knew St. Paul would clamp down on his offense with one of the best defenses in the State. And the Buckaroos proved true to their reputation as they defeated the visiting McKenzie team 41-24. Senior Sydney King scored eight points for the visitors. No other stats were available.

Both McKenzie Varsity Teams traveled to the Southeastern end of the State to tipoff against the Crane Mustangs, of the High Desert League, on Monday, Jan. 21. At game time, the Crane boys team was ranked at 12th and the Eagle boys at 18th. The Crane girls team was ranked 7th in the OSAA State Polls.

McKenzie returns to their Mt. West League schedule on Tuesday, Jan. 22 when the Eagle girls travel to play the Eddyville Eagles (4-5 and in 5th place in the League). That game will tipoff at 5:30 pm. The Eagle boys have the night off as Eddyville does not have a boys team this season. Friday, Jan. 25, both McKenzie teams travel to Crow to meet the Cougars for the first time this season. An earlier game with Crow, canceled due to adverse weather, was rescheduled for Feb. 4. The Eagle girls should be favored in their match-up as the Crow girls have struggled in League play thus far this season. Tipoff for that game is slated for 5:30 pm. The McKenzie boys, however, will have their work cut out for them as they attempt to slow down the high scoring Cougars. Crow averages 75.6 pts./game in League play and 71.2 overall. McKenzie averages 59.8 pts./game League and 52.7 pts. overall. Defensively, the Eagles average holding their opponent to 39.9 pts in League play and 45.7 pts. overall as compared to Crows averages of 46.5 pts. in League and 46.4 pts. overall. Crow has the advantage in scoring differential (League) at 29.1 pts./game compared to the Eagles at 19.9 pts./game. These stats were computed on Jan. 20. Tip-off for the game is slated at 7:00 pm.

Crane Mustangs Corral Eagle Teams

The McKenzie Boys and Girls Teams traveled to Harney County on a beautiful Jan. 21 day with full intent to wrangle the Crane Mustangs in a non-League varsity basketball match-up. Last season the Eagle girls defeated the visiting Mustangs 42-15 and the Eagle boys sent the Crane team back east defeated by a score of 66-58. This season the table turned as the Mustang girls defeated McKenzie in a low scoring nail biter 29-28 and the Eagle boys were sent packing with a resounding 51-23 thrashing. McKenzie’s Samantha Winningham led her team offensively with 11 pts. and 5 rebounds. Makaila Hiddleston added 6 pts. and 7 rebounds. Victor Vidal scored roughly half of his team’s total pts. as he led McKenzie with 12 pts. in the boys game. Crane’s defense held the Eagle boys to their lowest offensive output of the season.

Eagle Wrestlers Grappling, Gaining Experience

McKenzie Head Coach Lane Tompkins may not have many athletes to fill all the available weight classes, but he does have a dedicated group that have been representing the Eagles throughout the State in Tournaments. On Dec. 15, at the Central Linn Invitational, two Eagle wrestlers competed, Brodi Ballester in the 120 lb. weight class and Casey Mitchell in the 152 lb. weight class. Ballester went 0-2 in the multi-school event, losing on a pin to a Junction City wrestler and dropping a 17-0 technical fall decision to an Oakland wrestler. Mitchell wrestled to a 2-2 meet record, winning his first match over a Philomath wrestler 15-10, losing the second match by pin to a Central Linn wrestler, winning by an 8-5 decision over a Junction City wrestler, and finally losing by pin to a Waldport wrestler.

The Eagles next action was at the Myrtle Point Tournament on Dec. 29. Ballister, competing again at the 120 lb. weight class finished the event 1-2 by pinning his first opponent from Oakland, losing the second match by pin to a Roseburg wrestler, and losing his final match by pin to a Reedsport athlete. Zephan Snapp, in his first season as an Eagle wrestler, lost both of his matches at the 145 lb. weight class. Snapp dropped his first match by pin to a Coquille opponent, and also lost his second match by pin to a wrestler from Hidden Valley. In the 152 lb. weight class, Casey Mitchell finished the tourney with a 0-2 record by losing his first match by pin to a Roseburg wrestler and dropping his second match also by pin to Glide athlete.

McKenzie traveled to Riddle for the annual Riddle Shamrock Tournament on Jan. 5, again with three wrestlers. Ballester competed in the 120 lb. weight class and finished 1-2. Ballester won his first match by pin over a Madras wrestler but dropped his second opportunity by pin to an Etna Union wrestler and lost his final match by pin to a Coquille wrestler. Snapp recorded an 0-2 record in the tournament as he lost by pin to a Riddle/Days Creek wrestler and lost by pin to an Oakland wrestler. In the 152 lb. weight class, Eagle Mitchell earned a 1-2 record as he lost his first match by pin to a Roseburg wrestler, won an exciting double overtime match 12-5 over a North Valley athlete but dropped his third match on the day by pin to a wrestler representing Siuslaw.

Every year a tournament dubbed the 1A State Tournament takes place early in the season alternating hosts from Eastern Oregon to Western Oregon and is open to any 1A class wrestling team desiring to compete. This season the event was held at Lowell High School on Jan. 12. This tournament is not to be confused with the OSAA 1A State Wrestling Championships held at the regular season end. This year Brodi Ballester competed in the 120 lb. weight class and finished with a 2-2 record. Ballester lost his first match by pin (3:17) to a Hosanna Christian wrestler, but recovered to win his second opportunity by major decision, 17-6, over an Adrian wrestler. Ballester continued to wrestle strong, winning his third match by pin over a Gilchrist athlete before dropping his final match by pin to a Crane wrestler. Casey Mitchell finished his tournament at 0-3, losing by pin in his initial match by pin (1:02) to Josh Cardwell (Lowell), losing by decision, 7-2, in his second match, and losing by pin to an Imbler wrestler in his final match. Dylan Garr, competing for McKenzie in the 182 lb. weight class, went 1-1 on the day as he fell in a pin (1:04) in his first competition but rallied to win by pin (2:33) over a Lowell wrestler in his second match.

McKenzie will host it’s only home meet on Wednesday, Jan. 23. The Eagles will be hosting the Wrestling Teams from Oakridge and Glendale and will start at 6:00 pm. Head Coach Lane Tompkins will load up his team on Sat., Jan. 26 and travel to Monroe for the annual Monroe Invitational Tournament.