Local prep basketball and wrestling teams swing into postseason action

VALE – The Vale High School boys and girls basketball squads will host second-round Class 3A playoff games after recording big wins and clinching the Eastern Oregon League district championship crown Saturday, Feb. 17.

The Vale boys varsity basketball team defeated Riverside, 77-49, Saturday, to earn a home playoff game scheduled for Friday, Feb. 23. The Vikings will face the winner of the Burns-Coquille contest set to be played Tuesday, Feb. 20.

“We played very, very good defense,” said Vale coach Todd Gregory.

Luke McGourty scored 23 points and Diesel Johnson added 21 points for the home team.

The Lady Viks beat Nyssa, 50-28, Saturday and will take on the winner of the Sisters-Warrenton game – scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 21 – Saturday, Feb. 24, at Vale High School. Times on both games are yet to be determined.

Against the Bulldogs, the Lady Viks dominated from the free throw line and on defensive rebounds. Vale shot 65% from the charity stripe while Nyssa shot 32%.

As a team, the Viking pulled down 28 defensive rebounds to Nyssa’s 24. Kesley Stepleton paced the Vale attack with 11 points while Isabella Maag chipped in 10. Ambrie Draper led Nyssa with six points.

“I’m really happy for the girls to win the district championship.  Nyssa is just a really tough team.  They have girls that play hard all the time and they are very well coached.  We were really appreciative of the great crowd and all the support they showed,” said Vale girls coach Randy Seals.

Seals said Vale received key contributions from some younger players on the team.

“Izzy Maag, Elli Jacobs, and Karlee Crane all came off the bench and played big minutes,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Adrian boys basketball team fell to Crane 70-34 Saturday, Feb. 17 at the High Desert League Tournament in John Day after 61-49 win over Prairie City/Burnt River Friday. The Lopes will face Perrydale Tuesday, Feb 20 in the first round of the state playoffs.

The Lady Lopes fell to Prairie City/Burnt River 60-54 in double overtime and will face Echo Wednesday, Feb. 21. Results for both games were too late for press time.

The Four Rivers girls basketball team bested Huntington 27-21 Wednesday, Feb. 16 at the High Desert tourney and wrapped up their season. Meantime the Four Rivers boys squad fell to Prairie City 79-69 on Saturday. Jordan Valley boys downed Harper Charter 47-42 Friday at the John Day tourney. The Jordan Valley Lady Mustangs dropped their Saturday game to Crane 61-40, but will face Spray/Mitchell/Wheeler Wednesday, Feb. 21 at home in the first round of the state tournament.

The Ontario boys basketball team fell to La Grande in the first round of the Greater Oregon League playoffs 53-52 in overtime and ended their season.

For girls wrestling, the Vale girls team saw three grapplers win their weight classes Saturday, Feb, 17 at the 4A/3A/2A/1A Special District No. 1 Tournament in Scappoose.

The top four finishers in a weight class move on to the state wrestling tournament Thursday, Feb. 22 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

Vale’s Payton Perry, took first in her 130 weight division, while teammates Ava Collins and Jessicia Williams won their 140 and 145 respective weight categories.

Meanwhile, Ontario’s Hannah Hernandez took second in the 140 weight class.

Nyssa will send four wrestlers to the state tournament. Abigail Mardock, took second place in her 125 pound weight class, while Kiera DeLeon took third and Lorien Bowns and Hallie Bailou took fourth in their 100 and 155 weight divisions.

Wrestling in the 105 weight class, Lacatia Mason of Four Rivers claimed fourth and will represent the Lady Falcons at the state tourney.

As a team, Vale took fourth overall with 122 points, while Nyssa took seventh with 91 and Ontario finished 23rd with 30 points and Four Rivers tied Hepppner for 26th with 25.

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