By Cliff Richardson
McKenzie Migratory Flight to Eddyville Successful
The day after traveling to the Land of the Steens, Crane, the McKenzie Varsity Girls Basketball Team jumped back on the trail and landed in the Oregon Coast Range to lock talons with the Eddyville Eagles. Following non-League road trips to St. Paul and Crane, the road-tested McKenzie Eagles returned to Mt. West League play with 3 more road trips in row. The first, at Eddyville on Tuesday, Jan. 22, might have been the toughest following the long trip to the High Desert. Plus the improved Eddyville team (4-6, 7-8) has shown this season that they can be a dangerous team if taken lightly. Thus, the visiting Eagles displayed grit as they rebounded from the one pt. loss at Crane the previous day to a decisive 37-18 victory over Eddyville. McKenzie Sophomore Buggy Hiddleston played a fine game as she scored 12 pts and secured 7 rebounds for the victors. Fellow Sophomore Katey Totten added 6 pts., hauled in 8 rebounds of her own, and had 3 assists. Seniors Peace Shepherd and Macie Ryerse each scored 5 pts. in the contest as Ryerse also disrupted the Eddyville offense with 3 steals. Eagle Senior Sydney King also stole the ball 3 times for the Eagles. Fellow Senior Samantha Winningham added 2 more steals and blocked 2 Eddyville shot attempts. The win earned the McKenzie Eagles an 8-1 League record and kept them close behind League leader Triangle Lake (10-0). With two important League road trips pending, at Crow (Jan. 25) and Lowell (Jan. 29), McKenzie will finish out the regular season with 3 of 4 games at home, including a title showdown with Triangle Lake in the final League contest on Feb. 7. A road trip to perennial power Columbia Christian is scheduled for Feb. 2.
Eagle Wrestlers Host Home Meet
Head Coach Lane Tompkins and his Varsity Wrestling Team competed against Glendale and Oakridge in a three-way meet last Wed., Jan. 23. The event is the only home meet scheduled this season for McKenzie. At the 120 lb. weight class, Eagle wrestler Brodi Ballester finished the day 0-2, losing to two Oakridge wrestlers. First year wrestler Zephan Snapp won his first match over an Oakridge opponent at the 152 lb. weight class, but fell in the next match by a pin in the 138 lb. weight class to another Oakridge wrestler. Casey Mitchell lost his only match of the day by decision, 152 lb. weight class, also to an Oakridge athlete. Eagle Dylan Garr ended the meet at 0-3, as he competed once at the 170 lb. weight class and twice at the 182 lb. weight class.
McKenzie Mat-Men at Monroe Meet
The Eagle Wrestling team participated in the annual Monroe Invitational on Friday, Jan. 26. Brodi Ballester wrestled in the 120 lb. weight class and recorded an 0-2 win-loss record on the day as he lost to a Santiam Christian opponent in 1:00 min. and lost again to a West Salem wrestler in 3:25 min. Teammate Zephan Snapp, 132 lb. weight class, earned a 4th place honor in the meet as he won his first match against a Central opponent by pin in 1:23 min., then lost in his second match to a West Salem wrestler, (0:59 min.) and lost again in his final match to another West Salem opponent in 1:24 min. McKenzie wrestler Casey Mitchell, in the 145 lb. weight class, went 0-2 on the day where he lost his first match to a Waldport wrestler in 0:44 min. and lost his second match to a West Salem wrestler in an overtime decision on points, 11-9.
McKenzie Boys Defeat Crow, Undefeated in League Play
McKenzie's defense clamped down on the high scoring Crow Cougar offense, setting the stage for the Eagles 55-44 Mt. West League road win, maintaining McKenzie's undefeated record and in sole possession of first place in the League. The Eagles are 10-0 with Triangle Lake close behind at 10-1 in League. McKenzie defeated the Lakers on the road earlier 49-36 and will host them in a pivotal game at Finn Rock on Feb. 7. The Eagles travel first to Lowell on Jan. 29 and finish the rest of the their League schedule at home. Alsea arrives on Feb. 1, Crow is scheduled for Feb. 4 and then Triangle Lake. The Eagles squeeze in their last travel date to Columbia Christian (ranked 7th, OSAA), representing the Valley 10 League, in Portland on Feb. 2. Against the Cougars of Crow on Fri., Jan. 25, McKenzie Senior Victor Vidal lead all scorers in the game with 20 pts. Bailey Adams scored 13 pts. for the Eagles as well. Vidal also tallied 12 rebounds for the evening for a double-double. McKenzie is currently ranked 16th in the OSAA State rankings.
Eagle Girls Rout Crow, Stay in Title Hunt
McKenzie completely dominated the game from the tip-off at Crow last Friday evening, Jan. 25 as they lead 25-9 at the half and finished with a 54-13 Mt. West League win. The defending 2012 1A State Champion Eagles (9-1) trail League leading Triangle Lake (10-0) by a game and will host the Lakers in a crucial game on Feb. 7. Currently the Lakers are ranked 4th and the Eagles 12th in OSAA rankings. McKenzie Junior Makaila Hiddleston tallied a double-double against the Crow Cougars as she lead all scorers with 16 pts. and 10 rebounds. Teammate/sister Buggy Hiddleston dropped in 9 pts., added 5 rebounds and dished out 4 assists. Corinna Price scored 6 pts. in the game while Sydney King hauled in 6 rebounds. McKenzie's Shyla Harlan consistently disrupted the Cougar offense as she had 7 steals in the game. Samantha Winningham followed suit as she had 4 more steals.