The boys and girls Eagles team went 2-3 over the weekend in district basketball play in Baker City, and both also fell to arch-rival Powder Valley. Both teams clinched third place in the Old Oregon League and will go on to compete at state.
The lady Eagles played masterful ball in their 60-30 rout of Echo Feb. 14. Coach Lance Homan said that the team played a complete game with all the ladies stepping up from the beginning to the end.
“We had a very balanced attack and really played well defensively with 17 steals and creating 34 turnovers,” he said.
Madelyn Nelson and Sabrina Albee flew high over the scoring with 15 points each while teammate Alexis Sykora knocked in 12 and brought in five boards.
Friday’s game saw the Eagles girls nearly put Powder Valley under despite the 60-46 score, with the ladies cutting the lead to five in the fourth quarter but unable to get over the hump.
“Powder is a very tough team and a tough matchup for us, but I was proud of how our girls fought,” he said.
Homan noted the second half play of Sykora in the loss. The JCS senior knocked in 21 of the team’s 46 points while hauling in 10 rebounds in a sparkling effort. Albee contributed 13 to the battle.
The ladies put in a herculean defensive effort in a 52-38 victory over Griswold Feb. 17. The Eagles forced 29 turnovers in the battle. The team’s offense sputtered for a time but Sykora and Albee put on amazing fourth-quarter performances for the victory.
“Our kids played their hearts out for the win,” Homan said. “Griswold is a tough team to play. They were focused and really wanted the get the third spot in our district and make it to state.”
Sykora led the scoring with 19 while Albee knocked in a 17-point effort. Nelson contributed seven points to the total.
The ladies play at Sherman Feb. 20.
The boys met Cove on Thursday coming away with a 44-35 victory. The Eagles looked for an easy cruise after ending the first quarter with a 16-2 lead.
However, Cove fired back, allowing the Eagles only six in the second quarter while scoring eight. Both teams scored 13 in the third quarter with the Eagles’ 12 in the final quarter sealing the win.
“Every team is playing for their season, and Cove brought everything they could,” Coach Olan Fulfer said. “They made everything tough.”
In one of his best games of the season, junior Tyler Homan knocked at the door with 15 points, three steals and four rebounds. Post Caevan Murray sailed in with 11 points and seven rebounds while Chase Murray brought eight points to the table. Fulfer also noted the defensive wizardry of freshman Mason Ferre.
“His whole weekend was pretty amazing,” Fulfer said.
Friday was the Powder Valley matchup. For much of the game, it looked like the Eagles would triumph. They trailed by one after the first and went into the half, 27-25. The Eagles went cold in the third, scoring only five points and rallied in the fourth, pulling within two late in the game. Two turnovers and a Badgers three-pointer sealed the deal, Joseph coming up just short, 49-43.
“It was a tough battle,” Fulfer said. “We were so close to winning the district title.”
Caevan Murray led the charge with 18 points and nine rebounds
“We’ve come to expect that he’ll have a great game for us,” Fulfer said.
Chase Murray reeled in 13 while Trey Wandschneider knocked seven through the hoop.
In Saturday’s game against Wallowa, the Eagles were flat until the fourth quarter and after a pep talk from Fulfer. The Eagles won going away, 42-31.
Chase Murray led the Eagles with 16 while Wandschneider chipped in another seven points.
The Eagles compete Feb. 21 at Condon/Wheeler.