The Jordan Valley girls basketball team pose with the brackets for the 1A District 8 tournament. (Submitted photo)
JORDAN VALLEY – The Jordan Valley varsity girls basketball team began their quest for a 1A state championship with a resounding home win over Crane last Friday.
Tied 34-34 at the half, the Jordan Valley team remained confident against one of the most powerful teams in 1A basketball.
The Crane girls were equally sure they would win.
Almost, but not quite.
Jordan Valley’s Taylor Warn unlocked the offense with a game-high 18 points, Kiana Quintero made critical plays down the stretch, and the team held off Crane 53-49 to win the High Desert League district crown.
The intensity didn’t let up as the two teams fought hard throughout.
“It was a really exciting game,” said Kelsi Skinner, Jordan Valley varsity girls head coach. “I think we were all sweatin’.”
Quintero ended the contest with 15 points, three rebounds and four steals. Regann Skinner scored 11 points, and Warn took nine defensive rebounds.
“We finally got in the lead with two and a half minutes left in game,” Skinner said. “I’m really proud of the girls. They stepped up their game, and we were nine out of 10 behind the free throw line.”
The Lady Mustangs not only secured the division title, but locked in a spot in the second round of state playoffs with a first-round bye as one of the No. 1 seeds in their conference.
“There are eight No. 1 seeds, and we got the third highest,” Skinner said.
The team, ranked No. 5 by the Oregon School Activities Association in 1A play, finished the regular season 13-0 in league and 22-2 overall.
Meanwhile, Crane finished second in district with a 12-1 record in High Desert League play and 22-4 overall.
The Adrian girls finished third in district after defeating Dayville/Monument 51-45 last Saturday. The Lady Lopes end with a 9-4 record in league play and 13-13 overall.
While the Jordan Valley girls won’t know their first playoff opponent until after the first-round games this Wednesday night, they know they will play their second-round opponent at home this Saturday.
If Jordan Valley wins that game, the girls will advance to the 1A state championships at Baker High School, with the quarterfinals starting Feb. 28.
The Jordan Valley boys basketball team was knocked out of the 1A state tournament in the first round after losing 60-30 to Trinity Lutheran High School in Bend.
Jordan Valley entered the contest ranked No. 26, at 12-1 in league and 17-7 overall, while Trinity Lutheran sat at No. 6 with a 13-3 league record and 20-5 overall.
Last weekend, the Mustangs finished the 1A District 8 tournament in third place after defeating Adrian 70-47 last Saturday. The win followed a loss Friday night to Prairie City, 70-58, during the first round of district playoffs.