District wrestling, basketball postseason contests highlight weekend prep sports action

Nyssa’s Jesse Aragon looks to his coaches for guidance during the 220-pound championship match. (The Enterprise/PAT CALDWELL)

NYSSA – There was plenty of prep athletic action last weekend as Class 1A and 3A grapplers competed in separate district wrestling tournaments and the Vale boys varsity basketball team clinched a state playoff berth.

In Vale Friday night, the Vikings shrugged off a slow start in the first half to post a 46-35 win over Umatilla in an Eastern Oregon League District Championship game.

With the win, Vale (25-5) secures a home-court state playoff game against Amity (12-10) at 6 p.m. this Friday.

Vale’s Colten Stepleton (3) chases Umatilla’s Micheal Montez (40) down the court during their game Friday night in Vale

Vale sophomore Brooks Haueter led the Viks with nine points while Kade Kurata scored eight, pulled down 10 rebounds and forced four steals.

Vale coach Colby Shira said the Vikings came out tight in the first half and it showed.

“We were making a lot of mistakes. It took us two quarters to calm down,” said Shira.

Kurata said the slow start was frustrating.

“We just couldn’t get going,” he said. “It took us a little bit to get our feet under us.”

Vale took control late in the game after building a narrow, 27-23 advantage at the end of the third quarter.

The Vikings opened up the final frame with a scoring binge and led 39-25 on John Wolfe’s lay-in with 4:29 to go in the game.

Kurata said the Vikings never give up.

“These guys fight to the end,” said Kurata.

After the game, Shira and the Vikings got a ladder and cut down the net from the south basket in the Viking gym.

Shira smiled as he climbed down with a piece of the net.

“I’ve been kind of dreaming about this for a long time. Didn’t know if I’d get a shot at it,” said Shira.

The Vale girls (11-13) are scheduled to face Santiam Christian at Santiam Christian at 2 p.m. Saturday for a first-round state playoff contest.

Prep wrestling

In prep wrestling, seven Nyssa wrestlers and four Vale grapplers will move onto state after the district tournament Saturday in Nyssa.

The Nyssa Bulldogs ended competition Saturday with three district champions.

Kody Van Meter claimed top honors in the 285-pound weight class while Jesse Aragon was first at 220 pounds. Alec Carey also clinched first place at 182 pounds for Nyssa.

Payton Perry, a freshman on the Vale wrestling team, focuses on her opponent in competition on Saturday, Feb. 19, at the district tournament in Nyssa. (The Enterprise/LES ZAITZ)

Viking wrestler Kase Schaffeld takes on a couple of young challengers – Gerardo Bernal, left, and Lincoln Browning – ahead of real competition on Saturday, Feb. 19, at Nyssa High School. (LES ZAITZ/The Enterprise)

Viking wrestler Kase Schaffeld takes on a couple of young challengers – Gerardo Bernal, left, and Lincoln Browning – ahead of real competition on Saturday, Feb. 19, at Nyssa High School. (LES ZAITZ/The Enterprise)

Nyssa’s William Savage clinched third place at 126 pounds at the district tournament while teammate Porter Carlton was third at 145 pounds.

Ashton Wilson had a third-place finish for the Bulldogs at 152 pounds, and teammate Orlando Perfeto claimed third at 170 pounds.

The Viking mat men recorded four state qualifiers. Nathan Kimball (138 pounds) and Kase Schaffeld (160 pounds) finished second for the Vikings, while Colt Cummings (132 pounds) and Raul Gonzalez (182 pounds) each finished in third place.

In team standings, La Pine claimed first place with 381 points while Burns was second (263 points) and Nyssa third (209 points). Vale finished fifth with 108 points.

In Class 1A district wrestling action, local wrestlers Chase Andrade and Toby Clow earned top places Saturday.

Clow was the district champion at 220 pounds while Andrade claimed second place at 170 pounds.

 In team standings, Culver claimed first with 359 points. Elgin was second (138 points) and Pine Eagle third (124 points).

Adrian finished 11th in team standings with 49 points.

The Class 2A/1A state tournament will be Saturday at Culver High School.

The 3A wrestling state tournament is Saturday at La Pine High School.

In other sports action:

Thursday, Feb. 17

Girls Basketball

Nyssa 60, Burns 58

Friday, Feb. 18

Girls Basketball

Crane 64, Adrian 32

Boys Basketball

Adrian 56, Jordan Vly 35

Vale 46, Umatilla 35

Saturday, Feb. 19

Girls Basketball

Crane 44, Jordan Valley 31

Prairie City 55, Adrian 40

Boys Basketball

Crane 76, Adrian 62