MCKENZIE BRIDGE, Oregon (STPNS) -- McKenzie Varsity Sports Schedule This Week

The McKenzie Varsity Girls Basketball team will host Falls City/Kings Valley Charter on Tuesday, December 9, starting at 5:30 pm. The McKenzie Varsity Boys Basketball team will play Falls City/Kings Valley Charter directly after the Girls game, starting at 7:00 pm. A Boys Junior Varsity game will precede the Girls game, with the start scheduled for 4:00 pm.

The Eagle Varsity Boys will travel to Eddyville Charter the next night, Wednesday, December 10, with tip off scheduled at 6:00 pm. Both Varsity teams travel to Condon on Friday, December 12 with the Varsity Girls scheduled to play Condon/Wheeler at 6:00 pm. and the Varsity Boys scheduled versus Condon/Wheeler at 7:30 pm. McKenzie’s Varsity Girls team will play Prairie City at Condon the next morning, Saturday, December 13, with tip off slated for 11:00 am. and the Eagle Varsity Boys will play Prairie City at Condon starting at 12:30 pm.



Saints Sink Eagles In Opener

McKenzie Head Coach David Duncan’s team opened the 2014 Varsity Girls Basketball season against Trinity Lutheran. The Saints, an experienced team out of the Mountain Valley League, returns six seniors, three juniors and one sophomore from last season’s team that finished third (16-9 overall) in the Mt. Valley League and lost to Prairie City in the First Round of the 2013 OSAA State playoffs.

Strong opponents in the pre-season can help a coach and team judge where they are in preparation for the upcoming season campaign and Trinity Lutheran’s easy 46-22 victory over the home Eagles surely provided a lot of valuable information for Coach Duncan to process. The Saints zone defense clearly thwarted the Eagle offense all night, which struggled to effectively penetrate and break the zone down. McKenzie was outscored in every quarter and didn’t score its first basket until the second quarter.

Coach Duncan’s team was still in the game at the half time break, down only 19-8. The Saints, however, out scored the home team 27-14 in the second half to seal the deal. The graduation loss of All-League post Mikahla Hiddleston was apparent and the Eagles will need to address how to fill those empty shoes. McKenzie received just 6 pts. total from their three listed senior post players.

Senior wing Buggy Hiddleston led the Eagles in scoring with 10 pts., most coming off rebound put backs from missed shots. Katey Totten and Jorden Smith each added 4 pts. while Miyanna Hayes and Kailyn Ringler each scored 2 pts. The Eagles shot a paltry 20% from the field, led by Totten (2 made shots for 13 attempts) and Hiddleston (4 for 17).

Once Trinity Lutheran recognized the Eagles were not able to shoot effectively from the outside perimeter (1 missed 3 pt. attempt), the veteran Saints extended their zone and effectively forced McKenzie to continue a poor shooting evening. Without an effective inside game, the Eagles still managed to collect 18 rebounds as a team.

Hiddleston had a good game on the boards as she recorded 10 of the team’s total rebounds, 7 of which were offensive. Aly Heins grabbed 3 rebounds, Kailyn Ringler 2, and Idgie Joe, Hayes and Totten each had 1 rebound. Defensively, McKenzie also utilized a zone defense, but Trinity Lutheran found the seams, shot well from the outside and were strong inside, despite a height disadvantage.

McKenzie Boys Defeat Trinity Lutheran In JV Opener

The Saints of Trinity Lutheran do not field a Varsity Boys team, so McKenzie opened its 2014 season with a Junior Varsity non-League game versus the Bend visitors. With junior forward Drew Hamlow leading the charge, the Eagles defeated the upstart Mt. Valley team, 46-33.

As can frequently happen in a JV opener, the game was sloppy from the start by both teams, but it did, nonetheless provide an opportunity for McKenzie Head Coach Galen Scrivner to assess his team’s progress thus far. Veteran of many basketball campaigns, Coach Scrivner realistically approached this season, sharing that while McKenzie returns five players who started at some point last season and with the return addition of seniors Blue Bloomer and Jeffrey Bayer, his team’s success will be determined by “hard work, sacrifice for the good of the team, and a true desire to improve our skills.” Coach Scrivner added, “it won’t be easy, but then the good things often are not easy.”

Very true words indeed and if the Eagle Boys are going to succeed in finishing in the top four of the Mt. West League, as they aspire to do, they should take notes and learn from their experienced mentor. Scrivner states that the Mt. West League “should again be strong this season.”

Mt. West League 2013 Champion Siletz Valley returns all but one player from last season’s team and third place Lowell returns all players. Last season’s second place Triangle Lake graduated four seniors but the group returning are a strong core and add a very talented freshman (Parker Wynn).

Coach Scrivner sees the rest of the League as “pretty balanced (of course there will always be a couple of weak teams as there are every year).” Against the Saints, Drew Hamlow scored 13 points, Bloomer tallied 12 pts. and Eric Huffman dropped in 11 pts. Trinity Lutheran was led by Fionn Next with 20 pts.

Eagle Girls Take Two,

Tourney Championship

Hiddleston, Totten

All-Tournament

The McKenzie Girls rebounded from their season opening defeat earlier in the week to Trinity Lutheran by defeating host Yoncalla, 35-24, and Lowell, 40-25, to capture the 2014 Yoncalla Tip-Off Classic Tournament Championship. The Eagles raised their overall record to 2-1 on the young season.

Head McKenzie Coach David Duncan felt his team “came out focused following that loss” and “they were determined.” One of the keys to the Eagle success according to Coach Duncan was they (McKenzie) “played tough defense....Our defense was the big factor this weekend, active and caused problems for the other teams.”

Coach Duncan’s team shot much better against Yoncalla, 44% from the field and although they made just 1-3 at the 3 pt. line, Coach Duncan felt his team “shot well from the mid-range.” Against Yoncalla on Friday, December 5, the visiting Eagles opened with an 11-3 first quarter advantage and led 25-9 at the halftime break.

McKenzie extended its lead (33-14) through the third quarter and they held off a late run by Yoncalla to capture their first win, 35-24, of the season. Buggy Hiddleston again led McKenzie in scoring with 13 pts. and Katey Totten tallied another 12 pts for the victors. Both Eagle seniors were selected to the All-Tournament Team.

Miyanna Hayes and Jorden Smith each added 4 pts. and Aly Heins scored 2 pts. Smith hauled in 7 rebounds and 2 assists, Hiddleston gathered 4 boards and Totten collected 3 rebounds. Kailyn Ringler, Hayes, and Heins each grabbed 2 boards and Idgie Joe had 1.

In the Tournament Champion-ship Game, Saturday, December 6, the Eagles faced an old familiar foe in Lowell, who were 41-34 winners over Pacific the first day. Against the Red Devils, the Eagles quickly fell behind, 5-8, at the end of the first quarter but outscored Lowell in the second quarter, 10-6, to hold a slim 15-14 lead at halftime. The game was still close at the end of three, 28-22, but the Eagles finished off in fine style, outscoring their opponents 12-3 in the final quarter to claim their first championship of the young season.

McKenzie continued to shoot well from the field against Lowell, 42%, and Hiddleston continued as the top Eagle scorer with 14 pts. Totten scored 12 pts., Smith added 7 pts., Ringler finished with 7 pts. and Heins had 3 pts. Senior Buggy Hiddleston nearly recorded her first 2014 double-double as she hauled in 9 of her team’s 26 total rebounds. Idgie Joe had 4 rebounds, Heins and Ringler added 3 boards while Smith, Hayes, and Totten each tallied 2 rebounds. Freshman Paige Lowry had 1 rebound for the game.

McKenzie Boys

Drop Two At Yoncalla

The McKenzie Boys Varsity Basketball team traveled to Yoncalla to participate in the Yoncalla Tip-Off Classic Basketball Tournament last Friday and Saturday, December 5 and 6. The Eagles lost the first game to host Yoncalla, also Eagles, by a score of 80-15.

Yoncalla, a very experienced, tall team, finished third in the Skyline League last season, lost in the Second Round of the OSAA State playoffs, and realistically aspire to qualify for a post-season berth again this year. The hosts easily defeated the Eagles from the North behind Zack Van Loon’s and Joe Keller’s dual 18 pt. performances. The Yoncalla defense was stout as they held McKenzie to no field goals scored until midway through the third quarter.

The Eagles’ opponent the next day, Saturday, December 6, in the consolation round, was Mt.West League rival, Lowell, who lost their first round game to Pacific, 33-45. Pacific represented the Skyline League. Lowell squashed the Eagles hopes for a first season victory by upending McKenzie Head Coach Galen Scrivner’s team, 49-27. The Red Devils were led by sophomore Ryan Sinnett with 14 pts., junior Cory Hern with 13 pts. and senior Sean Castellani with 11 pts.

McKenzie senior Blue Bloomer paced the Eagles with 8 pts. and McKenzie’s Varsity boys record dropped to 0-2 on the season. McKenzie was hamstrung before Coach Scrivner and his team landed in Yoncalla. Senior 6-4 center Alex Nastasiuk did not suit up due to an ankle injury and 6-2 senior Jeffrey Bayer has not been available for play pending a shoulder brace arrival. The added presence of Nastasiuk’s size and experience in the paint will most certainly open up more opportunities for the Eagles, but other fundamental concerns of Coach Scrivner are the current turnover and poor shooting outputs. “The thing that really killed us, both nights was our inability to shoot. That was also an issue against Trinity,” the McKenzie Coach lamented.

At the Yoncalla Tournament, McKenzie shot a combined 10 made shots for 60 shot attempts (17% from the field) and the team committed 40 turnovers the first night against Yoncalla. “17% won’t keep you in game, let alone have a chance to win,” Coach Scrivner continued. “Once the boys learn they have a chance to be in the games when they play together as a team within our system we will be much better. I hope they learned that this weekend.”

With four games on the docket this week, the Eagle boys will have to make the most out of limited practice time, and one can be sure that Coach Scrivner will have a variety of shooting drills to work through. The good (hopefully) news is that the competition the Eagles face this week will not be as experienced nor skilled as either Yoncalla or Lowell. Perhaps with a couple of braces (ankle and shoulder), some shooting success, and positive ball control, the Eagles might earn a bit of swagger by the end of the week.

McKenzie Girls To Tackle 2013 State Champ. Condon/Wheeler

The Eagle’s preseason schedule doesn’t get softer as McKenzie travels to Condon to play the 2013 1A State Champions, Condon/Wheeler. The Knights graduated three players off a team that finished undefeated last season (30-0) and almost scored twice as many points as their competition. Condon/Wheeler is currently ranked 4th in the OSAA State rankings and is definitely looking for a two-peat at Baker City.

Also in the Tournament this weekend is Prairie City, who likewise qualified for the eight team Basketball Finals last season in Baker City. The Panthers captured sixth place last season at Baker City, dropping their first game to Triangle Lake, defeating Country Christian in the Consolation Semis and finally losing to Dufur in the Consolation Finals.

Either way, Head Coach David Duncan’s team will have their hands full, but will also experience a great pre-season match-up with two of the top teams in the State. On the Boys side of the Condon/Wheeler Tournament, McKenzie will be facing two teams, Condon/Wheeler and Prairie City, that are similar to the Eagles in that they are still sorting things out, having dropped their first two games of the season