Panthers top Westview for 6A title in end to winter sports
March 10, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
Finally, Southern Oregon has a champion.
South Medford, charged all season by the mission of bringing respect to girls basketball in the Rogue Valley, won the Class 6A title at the Rose Garden Saturday night.
With spunky junior guard Yaremi Mejia providing 16 points, and key scoring runs, the Panther beat Westview 61-46 to cap a perfect season.
Tess Picknell added 10 points and 13 rebounds for South, which became the first team South of Eugene to win the large-school title since championships first began in 1976.
"We've been working for this for a long time," said senior guard Kylie Towry. "We've wanted to bring respect for basketball in Southern Oregon, and now we've done it.
"This is a historic win, and, hopefully, there'll be more to follow."
CLASS 5A - Springfield wins again
The top-ranked Millers overcame a stubborn game plan by rival Willamette to win its second-straight title, 16-7, at Matthew Knight Arena.
Willamette, which lost its previous two games against Springfield, slowed the game to a crawl, and trailed 4-0 at halftime after holding the ball for nearly the entire second quarter.
Mercedes Russell led Springfield with seven points and eight rebounds. Springfield attempted just nine shots from the field, while Willamette gambled on outside shooting, but made just one of nine three-point attempts.
CLASS 4A - Henley ends long title drought
Henley won a title for this first time in 21 years with a 41-35 decision over Sutherlin at Gill Coliseum.
The Hornets scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter to break a 28-all tie.
Elle Morgan had 19 points and seven rebounds to lead Henley.
The Millers edge rival Thurston at cheerleading state finals
Feb. 11, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
Springfield overcame a strong performance from rival Thurston to win a state title for the eighth-straight year Saturday at the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires state cheerleading championships.
Thurston finished ahead of Springfield in the coed division scoring, but had a one-point penalty from its routine and that boosted the Millers ahead by just .55 points, 70.25 to 69.70.
Tualatin and Westview both won titles for the second-straight year, switching their divisions from last year. Tualatin, the Class 6A Small division champion in 2011, won the 6A/5A Large division, while Westview, the large division champion last year, won the 6A Small division title by just 0.7 points over Newberg, which finished second for the third consecutive year.
The Timberwolves edged Clackamas by just 0.72 points, making the event one of the most competitive championships since scoring was added to OSAA results in 2001.
In other finals, Wilson won at Class 5A Small, while Sweet Home won at Class 4A Large. North Marion won at Class 4A Small for the sixth-straight year.
North Douglas won the Class 3A title for the second time in three years.
Westview moves down, while West Albany moves up in size
Feb. 7, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
When the state’s top cheerleading teams take the floor at the Memorial Coliseum Saturday, the line-up of top teams will look significantly different from a year ago as many have switched divisions.
Westview, which has won five of the last seven titles in Class 6A Large, will compete in the 6A Small division, while West Albany, which has won the past three titles at 5A Small, is moving up to the 6A/5A Large group, where it’ll tangle with Tualatin, the 6A Small champion last year.
Wilson, which made a run at the 6A/5A Large division title last year - finishing second to Westview - is returning to the small division, where it’s won titles in three of the past four years and now won’t have to face West Albany.
And Pleasant Hill, which won a title the past four years, is sitting the meet out entirely.
The staple of the competition, though, will continue to be Springfield, which is looking to run its string of Coed division titles to seven straight.
“We look at how many girls we’ve got every year to make our determination of which division we fit into,” Westview coach Melissa Hoekert said this week. “We like to be in the large division, but we had a large class of seniors graduate last year and we just felt we fit better in the small division this year.”
Hoekert said after Westview’s tryouts, there were 14 girls who fit on the varsity team with 13 or more being the dividing line for the large division. There had planned on competing in the large division until two weeks ago.
“We’ve competed in the small division before,” she said. “The big differences are the stunts you can perform and how big you can make your pyramids.”
The Class 6A Small division is likely to be among the most competitive of the finals with 14 schools involved, including four that finished in the top 3 of their finals last year.
“It’s a good change of pace for us,” Westview senior Allie Butler said. “There’s really good competition in that division.
Oregon City, which finished third in the large division, also moved to the small division, where it’ll be looking for its first title or even runner-up spot.
Newberg, which placed second the past two years in the small division, is also looking for its first title.
Lakeridge, which finished third in the small division, also returns.
Westview, Newberg and Oregon City have all won competitions in the past month.
“We think we’ve got an outside shot at winning,” Oregon City Tara Mahoney said. “We have a pretty high degree of difficulty in our routine, so if we can get through it super clean, we’ll be in great shape.”
Mahoney works full-time as a tumbling, stunting and cheerleading coach through her company Thunder Elite, which took over coaching the Oregon City program two years ago. She said the sport is rapidly advancing as college programs offer more scholarships, thanks in part to Title IX requirements.
The University of Oregon recently created an acrobatics and tumbling team in order to add baseball.
“The number of scholarships is definitely helping to make the sport more attractive,” she said.
While the 6A Small division appears highly competitive, the 6A/5A Large division has plenty of intrigue with defending champions lining up against one another. Tualatin tied for the top score in the meet last year at 72.50.
Brookings-Harbor and North Marion will be defending their titles in 4A Large and Small, respectively.
Top-ranked Crusaders end on a 10-0 run for 45-38 win
Feb. 1, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
Jesuit defended its position atop the Class 6A boys basketball ranks with a frustrating, physical win at Westview Wednesday night, edging the Wildcats 45-38 in the second overtime.
Senior post Colin Spickerman scored 12 points and guards Rick Maddock and Khyan Rayner added eight points each to lead Jesuit, which ran off 10 consecutive points to end the game.
Landen Lucas, Westview's 6-foot-10 post, led all scorers with 17 points, but had trouble getting the ball from teammates against the active Jesuit defense. Montie Leunen had 11 points for the Wildcats, who entered the game ranked fifth.
Jesuit took over sole control of the Metro League lead with the win, improving to 15-2 overall, 4-0 in league games. Westview is 13-4, 3-1. The teams meet in two weeks at Jesuit.
Both teams struggled to score from the start, with Jesuit scoring the game's lone basket in the opening four minutes. The Crusaders led 16-3 after a quarter and kept Lucas, who is headed for the University of Kansas, from scoring until 6:14 left in the first half. Lucas regularly established position under the basket against Spickerman, but the Wildcats' guards were unable to get him the ball.
Jesuit led 22-9 midway through the second quarter, but missed its next 10 shots to allow Westview to take a 23-22 lead early in the second half. The Wildcats grabbed eight offensive rebounds in the third quarter - seven more than they had in the first half, and trailed just 28-27 heading into the fourth quarter.
The teams traded the lead four times in the fourth quarter, which featured just 10 field-goal attempts. The first four quarters took just 70 minutes to play.
Westview led 38-35 after Leunen hit a 3-point shot on the first possession of the second overtime, but Maddock, a 6-1 senior, responded with a bucket and the Wildcats missed their final three field-goal attempts and had three turnovers to end the game.
Spickerman but the Crusaders ahead 39-39 with a rebound basket and Rayner hit shots on the next two possesions for a 43-38 lead in the final minute. Maddock closed the scoring with a pair of free throws.
Jesuit plays host to Beaverton Friday, while Westview plays at Sunset.
Central Catholic, Lake Oswego, Westview are top contenders
Jan. 17, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
Top-ranked Jesuit will enter Metro League play Friday coming off a rare loss, underscoring the competitive nature of Class 6A this season.
The Crusaders lost 57-49 at home to second-ranked Central Catholic Friday, evening the season series between the two schools. Jesuit beat the Rams in the semifinals of the Les Schwab Invitational in December, one night before losing its first game of the season to Oak Hill Academy.
Jesuit, 11-2 and the three-time defending state champion, plays at Southridge Friday.
Central Catholic, 12-3, is on a five-game win streak that includes a win over Barlow in its Mount Hood Conference opener Tuesday. The Rams play at seventh-ranked David Douglas Friday.
No. 3 Lake Oswego, 10-4, opened Three Rivers League play with a 65-38 win over Oregon City Friday. The Lakers have lost twice to Jesuit (52-50 and 65-59 in overtime).
Central Catholic - a state tournament semifinalist last season - has losses to Lake Oswego and Westview, which lost to Jesuit in the state final last year but has since added Landen Lucas, a 6-10 forward headed to Kansas.
Fifth-ranked Westview, 10-3, opens Metro League play Friday at home against Aloha. The Wildcats also lost to Jesuit in the state final in 2010.
Teams among the outside contenders include No. 4 West Linn, No. 6 North Medford, which reached the state semifinals last season, and David Douglas, which beat Westview in overtime earlier this month.