Claire Hammond drives to the basket. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Claire Hammond drives to the basket. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

With less than a minute to go in overtime, Morgan Corrigan hit two free throws to put Crane up 55-54, and Glennie Milburn added two more free throws with 13 seconds left on the clock to give Crane a 57-54 win over Jordan Valley on Friday, Jan. 24.

It looked like Jordan Valley would win the game in regulation when they went on a 6-0 run to take a 49-44 lead late in the fourth quarter.

Crane’s Bryanna Dunn  hit two free throws to cut the lead to three, and with 12 seconds left in the final period, Rebekah Clark sank a basket, and was fouled. She calmly stepped to the line, and made the free throw, knotting the game at 49-49.

Jordan Valley’s last-chance shot was off the mark, and the teams headed into overtime.

In a game between two teams bearing the Mustang mascot, it was fittingly a horse race from the opening tip.

Crane’s Claire Hammond scored 10 of her 22 points in the first quarter, but Crane trailed 14-11 by the end of the period.

Trailing 21-18 in the second quarter, Crane reeled off six unanswered points to go up by three. After a pair of Jordan Valley free throws, Milburn hit a basket to give Crane  a 26-23 lead.

Jordan Valley’s Morgan Caywood closed out the quarter with two field goals, and Jordan valley went into the break with a one-point lead.

In the third quarter, with Jordan Valley leading 35-34, Clark hit a field goal and Milburn connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to give Crane a 40-35 lead.

Jordan Valley came back with three baskets in the closing minutes, and led 41-40, setting up Crane’s fourth quarter comeback, and the overtime.

Milburn finished with 17 points for Crane, Clark dropped in eight, Corrigan had six, and Maria Thompson and Dunn two each.

•••

On Saturday, Jan. 25, Crane hosted Harper/Huntington (H/H) and came away with a 65-45 victory.

It was a tale of two halves. Although Crane scored first, with Corrigan’s two, the teams battled it out evenly over the first eight minutes of play, with Crane up, 16-15. H/H went on a 10-3 run early in the second quarter. The Mustangs replied with a defensive stop, and got back to within one point. Clark ripped down an offensive rebound, and went up for two, Hammond and  Milburn converted three points from the charity stripe, Dunn hit a two, and Kayla Mims put back an offensive board to end the half, with Crane down 29-28.

The second half was all Mustangs, as they went on a 40-16 scoring spree to put the game away. All of the Mustangs saw action and scored in the second half.

The Mustangs had two players with double figure scoring and rebounds — Dunn had 18 points and 12 boards, Mims put up 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Milburn added 12 points, Hammond scored nine, Clark eight, Corrigan six, Thompson four, and Morgan Cronin one.

The Lady Mustangs are now 5-0 in league play, and will host Burnt River at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31. On Saturday, Feb. 1, Crane travels to Adrian, with the games starting at 2 p.m. MT.


 

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

 

Chase Patterson goes up for a fade away jumper against the Baker Bulldogs. (Photo by Randy Parks)

Chase Patterson goes up for a fade away jumper against the Baker Bulldogs. (Photo by Randy Parks)

Down 45-41 after three quarters, the Burns Hilanders outscored  Vale 27-7 over the final eight minutes for a 68-52 win on Friday, Jan. 17.

 
The fourth quarter charge saw Austin Feist score eight of his game-high 28 points, and Chase Patterson score seven of his 12 points, as Burns erased the four-point deficit and improved to 2-0 in the Eastern Oregon League (EOL).

 
Burns opened up the game with 3-pointers by Ty Hueckman and Trace Tiller, and led 15-13 at the end of the period.

 
The Hilanders went up 23-15 in the second quarter, only to see the Vikings go on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 23-23. The Vikings kept the momentum throughout the remainder of the period, and led 32-29 at the half.

 
Vale outscored Burns 13-12 in the third quarter, setting up the comeback for the Hilanders.

 
Hueckman was also in double-figures for Burns, finishing with 11 points, and Tiller added six.

 
•••
On Saturday, Burns hosted Baker, and it was the Bulldogs coming out on top, 59-48.

 
The Hilanders led 11-9 after the first quarter, but Baker outscored Burns 19-14 in the second quarter to take a 28-25 lead.

 
The third quarter saw the two teams trade baskets in the early going, but Baker then took control, outscoring the Hilanders 10-3 as the quarter came to a close with Baker leading 46-34.

 
Down 53-38 in the fourth, the Hilanders cut the lead to 10 on a field goal and 3-pointer by Tiller, but the Bulldogs made six of nine free throws over the final two minutes to hang on for the win.

 
The Hilanders were led by Tiller with 14 points, Feist with 11, Ty Reid with seven, and Trey Recanzone with six.

 
•••
On Tuesday, Jan. 14, the Ontario Tigers outscored Burns 20-3 in the second quarter to take control of the game, and went on to a 72-39 victory.

 
Burns kept the score close in the first quarter, thanks to three 3-pointers by Hueckman, and trailed 17-15 heading into the second period.

 

The Tigers dominated the second quarter, and outscored Burns 35-21 in the second half for the victory.

 
The Hilanders were led by Hueckman with 15 points, Feist with eight, and Tiller with six.

 
Ontario’s Jason Hauter led all scorers with 17 points.

 
Burns travels to Umatilla Saturday, Jan. 25, for an EOL match-up with the Vikings, and then return home to host Ontario Tuesday, Jan. 28.


 

Hilanders rank No. 3 in 3A state rankings

 
by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

 

Carli Feist takes the ball to the hoop against Sisters. (Photo by Randy Parks)

Carli Feist takes the ball to the hoop against Sisters. (Photo by Randy Parks)

The Burns girls varsity basketball team opened up Eastern Oregon League (EOL) play with a 47-33 win over Riverside Friday, Jan. 10.

 
The Hilanders, currently ranked No. 3 in the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) 3A rankings, will host EOL rival, Vale, who is ranked No. 1, on Friday, Jan. 17. The JV game begins at 3 p.m., with the varsity game tipping off around 6 p.m.

 
On Saturday, Jan. 18, Burns will be at home against Baker, with the games beginning at 1 p.m.

 
•••
The Burns girls varsity basketball team picked up its eighth win of the season by downing Sisters 59-46 on Tuesday, Jan. 7, at Burns High School.

 
Adina Thomas led the way for the Hilanders, scoring 16 points, Catherine Clemens added 14, and Kylee Fisher hit for 10 points, including two 3-pointers.

 
The Outlaws drilled a 3-pointer for the first score of the game, but the Hilanders answered with a 3-pointer by Hailey Sanders, and went on to lead 17-13 by the end of the first quarter.

 
The Hilanders applied plenty of defensive pressure, and stretched their lead to 29-21 by halftime.

 
The third quarter was fairly even, with Burns leading 40-31, heading into the final eight minutes.

 
Burns opened up the fourth quarter with an 11-0 run, and Sisters never recovered as the Hilanders cruised to the win.

 
Rounding out the scoring for Burns were Carli Feist with eight, Sanders with six, Madison Woodworth and Megan Lee two each, and Jordon Long with one.

 
Burns also won the JV game, coming back from a double-digit deficit for a 44-39 victory.


Crane wrestlers 2nd in Joseph

Posted on January 8th in Sports

 

by Lindy Steeves
Burns Times-Herald

 

The Crane Mustangs wrestling team placed second out of the 20 teams that competed at the Jo-Hi Invitational in Joseph, Jan. 3-4. The Mustangs’ final score was 154 points, and Culver as the only team to score higher with 222 points.

 
For the Mustangs, Dustin Ramge was the lone champion, winning the 120-pound title. The Mustangs’ Jake Clark (132 pounds), Clay Duckworth (195 pounds) and Michael Casey (220 pounds), all placed second in their weight classes. Finishing the tournament with third-place medals were Andy Lamborn at 126 pounds and Austin Roath at 138. Corey Jenkins (145 pounds) was fifth in his weight class.

 
Individual results are as follows:

 
120 –– Ramge received a bye; received a bye; won by decision, 5-0; won by major decision, 12-0; won by fall (4:40).

 
126 — Lamborn won by fall (0:25); won by decision, 2-1; lost by fall (3:52); won by fall (0:54); won by fall (2:10).

 
132 — Clark won by fall (5-2); won by decision, 5-2; won by fall (2:21); lost by fall (1:44).

 
138 — Roath lost by fall (2:45); won by fall (1:23); won by fall (4:41); won by fall (0:23); won by decision, 7-5; won by fall (1:55).

 
145 — Jenkins won by fall (2:48); won by fall (2:59); won by fall (0:49); lost by decision, 8-6; lost by decision, 16-8; won by fall (3:34).

 
182 — Sam Williams received a bye; lost by decision, 7-1; received a bye; received a bye; lost by fall (2:07); lost by fall (3:35).

 
195 — Duckworth received a bye; won by fall (0:16); won by fall (4:00); lost by fall (2:41).

 
220 — Casey won by fall (1:04); won by fall (1:10); won by fall (2:00); lost by decision, 10-3.

 
The Mustang wrestlers will stay in Crane this coming weekend for the 1A State Tournament on Jan. 11. Wrestling action will begin at 10:00 a.m.


Hilander wrestlers in Pendleton

Posted on January 3rd in Sports

 

by Randy Parks Burns Times-Herald

Seth Nonnenmacher and Austin Ryder claimed individual titles, and Burns placed seventh as a team at the Free-Berry Wrestling Tournament Saturday, Dec. 28, in Pendleton.

Nonnenmacher won all four of his matches by fall to claim the top spot in the 182-pound weight class, and Ryder beat three opponents, two by fall, on his way to the 220-pound championship.

The Hilanders’ Jaden Simpson wrestled to a second-place finish at 171 pounds, Dallon Higgins was fourth at 106, and sixth-place finishes went to Thomas Cain at 132 and Peter Cain at 145.

Pendleton won the team title, finishing with 297 points. McMinnville was second with 238 points, followed by Culver with 195, Weiser, Idaho 191, Walla Walla, Wash. 152, Ridgeview 131, Burns 126, Willamina 105, Mac-Hi 98, Madras 90.5, Riverside 75.5, The Dalles 75, Baker 51.5, Columbia 50.5, and Heppner 39.5.

Individual results for Burns are as follows:

106 — Higgins received a bye; won by fall (3:52); won by major decision, 13-0; lost by fall (2:40); lost by decision, 13-9.

113 — James Obradovich received a bye; lost by fall (2:26); received a bye; received a bye; lost by fall (0:52).

132 — T. Cain received a bye; won by fall (4:22); lost by technical fall, 17-2; won by decision, 5-4; won by decision, 7-4; lost by technical fall, 16-0.

145 — P. Cain received a bye; won by fall (0:37); lost by decision, 6-0; won by fall (0:27); won by fall (1:27); lost by decision, 6-2.

152 — Zachery Nelsen received a bye; lost by fall (0:49); received a bye; lost by decision, 14-10.

171 — Simpson received a bye; received a bye; won by fall (0:42); won by fall (5:50); lost by fall (0:14).

182 — Nonnenmacher received a bye; won by fall (2:09); won by fall (0:32); won by fall (1:13); won by fall (3:43).

182 — Johnathan Schmeck received a bye; lost by fall (1:03); received a bye; received a bye; lost by fall (0:48).

220 — Ryder received a bye; received a bye; won by fall (0:34); won by decision, 6-1; won by fall (3:24).

Burns wrestlers travel to Nampa, Idaho, Jan. 3-4, for their next competition. The varsity will compete in the Rollie Lane Invitational, and the JV will compete in the Mountain View Invitational.


 

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

 

Morgan Corrigan and Rebekah Clark wrestle the ball away from a Prairie City defender. (Photo by Randy Parks)

Morgan Corrigan and Rebekah Clark wrestle the ball away from a Prairie City defender. (Photo by Randy Parks)

The Crane boys and girls varsity basketball teams hosted the Alycia Jenkins Memorial, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 20-21, and both teams came away from the tournament with a 1-1 record.

 
The Lady Mustangs opened the tournament on Friday with a 52-36 win over Trinity Lutheran.

 
Crane took control from the outset, leading 11-4 at the end of the first quarter, and 18-13 at halftime.

 
In the third quarter, Crane outscored Trinity Lutheran 17-9, and then coasted to the 16-point victory.

 
Morgan Corrigan led the Lady Mustangs in scoring with 14 points, and Claire Hammond finished with 10.

 
On Saturday, Crane met Prairie City in the title game, and it was the Lady Panthers coming out on top 51-36.

 
Amy Black hit a 3-pointer, and Lindsey Stewart had back-to-back field goals to stake the Lady Panthers to a 7-0 score in the game’s opening minutes.

 
Crane answered with a 3-pointer by Bryanna Dunn, and a basket by Rebekah Clark to close to within two, but couldn’t get any closer.

 
Leading 14-9, with just seconds left to go in the first quarter, Black launched a shot from half-court that found its way to the bottom of the net, and Prairie City was up 17-9 after eight minutes of play.

 
The Crane zone defense slowed the Lady Panthers in the second quarter, and Crane trailed 22-20 going into halftime.

 
Prairie City opened the third quarter with a 9-3 run, and led 37-26 at the end of the period.

 
The Lady Mustangs cut the lead to eight points in the final quarter, but that was as close as they got, as Prairie City held on for the win.

 
Corrigan finished with 13 points, Dunn added eight, Glennie Milburn and Hammond each had five, Clark three, and Kayla Mims and Maria Thompson had one apiece.

 
Crane is now 4-3 on the season, and will open up league play Jan. 3 when they host Dayville/Monument.

 
•••
The Crane boys played the Baker JV team on Friday, and they lost 65-51 to the Bulldogs.

 
Baker started fast, jumping out to a 19-5 first-quarter lead, and led 34-15 at the half.

 
The Mustangs began to chip away at the lead after the break, outscoring the Bulldogs 18-11, but the lead proved to be too much, and the Bulldogs picked up the win.

 
The Mustangs were led by Nick Witzel with 12 points, and Joe Valentine with 11.

 
Crane met Prairie City in the consolation final, and used a balanced scoring attack to come away with a 39-32 victory for a third-place finish in the tournament.

 
Tyler Opie led the Mustangs with nine points, and Witzel, Travis Landon and Valentine each had six.

 
The Mustangs dictated the tempo in the first half, leading 13-7 at the end of the first quarter, and stretching the lead to 24-14 by halftime.

 
Crane outscored Prairie City 7-5 in the third quarter, and a basket by Opie to start the final period put Crane up by 14.

 
The Panthers came back with a 6-0 run to cut the lead to eight, but a basket by Jack Bentz, and two free throws by Landon with under two minutes to play, sealed the win for the Mustangs.

 
Crane is now 2-4 on the season, and starts league play at home on Jan. 3 against Dayville/Monument.


 

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

 

Adina Thomas goes in for a layup against Jordan Valley. Thomas would end the game with 17 points.

Adina Thomas goes in for a layup against Jordan Valley. Thomas would end the game with 17 points.

Adina Thomas scored 17 points, and Alycia Howes dropped in 16 to lead Burns to 63-25 win over Jordan Valley in girls varsity basketball action on Saturday, Dec. 14.

 
The Hilanders never trailed in the game, as Catherine Clemens scored three quick baskets before the Mustangs could get a point on the board. Howes, coming off the bench, hit three baskets to close out the first quarter, with Burns up 19-8.

 
Howes kept the hot-hand in the second quarter, scoring eight points as Burns stretched their lead to 35-10.

 
Thomas came to life at the offensive end in the third quarter, scoring 10 points, and Burns pulled away for a 55-15 lead.

 
The Hilanders slowed the game down in the fourth quarter, and improved to 4-2 on the season with the victory.

 
Clemens finished with 12 points, Carli Feist had six, Megan Lee scored four, and Madison Winn, Hailey Sanders, Madison Woodworth, and Jordon Long each had two.

 
Burns will host La Grande on Saturday, Dec. 21. The JV game tips off at 3 p.m. The games are also endowment games, meaning no passes will be accepted. Cost for admission is adults $6, students $4.

 
•••
Clemens scored 20 points, including 16 in the second half, to lead the Burns girls varsity basketball team  to a 53-34 victory over Grant Union Thursday, Dec. 12.

 
The Hilanders had five different players put points on the board in the first quarter as they built an 11-4 lead.

 
Feist scored six of her nine points,  including a 3-pointer, in the  second quarter, as the Hilanders stretched their lead to 28-17 by the end of the first half.

 
Clemens dropped in the first six points of the third quarter, and the Hilanders went on to lead 39-25 going into the final eight minutes of play.

 
The Hilanders closed out the game on a 14-9 run to improve to 3-2 on the season.

 
Kylee Fisher finished with eight points for Burns, Thomas and Madison Carson each added six, and Sanders and Woodworth had two apiece.

 
•••
On Tuesday, Dec. 10, the Hilanders traveled to Lakeview, and came away with a 68-44 victory.


 

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

 

Mustangs' Jake Clark. (Photo by Randy Parks)

Mustangs’ Jake Clark. (Photo by Randy Parks)

The Burns and Crane wrestling teams got their seasons under way by competing in the five-team Woodfin-Robinson Memorial Wrestling Duals Friday, Dec. 6, at Burns High School.

 
Vale captured the first-place trophy by winning all four of their duals, while Burns, Crane and Baker each went 2-2 on the day. Lakeview finished the day with an 0-4 record.

 
In the first duals of the tournament, Burns beat Lakeview 48-42, and Vale topped Baker 66-6.

 
Burns results:
145 — Peter Cain won by fall (3:32)
152 — Forfeit
160 — Forfeit
170 — Jaden Simpson won by fall (1:17)
182 — Seth Nonnenmacher won by fall (:16)
195 — Jonathan Schmeck lost by fall (3:30)
220 — Austin Ryder won by fall (:45)
285 — Forfeit
106 — Andrew Beck won by forfeit
113 — James Obradovich won by forfeit
120 — Double forfeit
126 — Hunter Freitag lost by fall (:55)
132 — Jack Van Tassel won by fall (2:34)
138 — Forfeit

 
In the second round, Baker defeated Lakeview 42-39, and Crane lost to Vale 54-21.

 
Crane results:
152 — Forfeit
160 — Forfeit
170 — Hunter Davis won by decision, 8-7
182 — Justin Baldwin lost by decision, 11-9
195 — Sam Williams lost by fall (1:13)
220 — Clay Duckworth lost by fall (:57)
285 — Michael Casey lost by fall (2:40)
106 — Double forfeit
113 — Forfeit
120 — Forfeit
126 — Andy Lamborn won by decision, 7-5 OT
132 — Jake Clark won by fall (:21)
138 — Austin Roath lost by decision, 12-6
145 — Corey Jenkins won by decision, 12-6

 
The third round of duals saw Crane outscore Baker 43-36, and Vale down Burns 60-24.

 
Crane results:
160 — Forfeit
170 — Baldwin won by fall (5:24)
182 — Davis won by forfeit
195 — Williams won by forfeit
220 — Adrian Huerta lost by fall (:47)
285 — Casey won by fall (:52)
106 — Forfeit
113 — Forfeit
120 — Forfeit
126 — Lamborn won by decision, 5-0
132 — Clark won by fall (:19)
138 — Roath won by major decision, 15-3
145 — Jenkins won by forfeit
152 — Forfeit

 
Burns results:
160 — Forfeit
170 — Simpson won by fall (1:23)
182 — Nonnenmacher won by fall (:51)
195 — Schmeck lost by fall (:59)
220 — Ryder lost by fall (1:38)
285 — Forfeit
106 — Dallon Higgins won by forfeit
113 — James Obradovich lost by fall (1:30)
120 — Forfeit
126 — Freitag lost by fall (3:55)
132 — Van Tassel won by fall (3:47)
138 — Forfeit
145 — Cain lost by fall (3:31)
152 — Forfeit

 
In the fourth round of the duals, Crane defeated Lakeview 48-18, and Burns lost to Baker 48-39.

 
Crane results:
170 — Davis won by fall (1:09)
182 — Baldwin won by fall (3:15)
195 — Williams won by fall (:47)
220 — Huerta lost by fall
285 — Duckworth won by fall (1:11)
106 — Double forfeit
113 — Double forfeit
120 — Double forfeit
126 — Lamborn won by fall (5:58)
132 — Clark won by fall (1:14)
138 — Roath won by fall (1:16)
145 — Jenkins won by fall (3:26)
152 — Forfeit
160 — Forfeit

 
Burns results:
170 — Simpson won by fall (1:30)
182 — Nonnenmacher won by forfeit
195 — Schmeck lost by fall (1:37)
220 — Double forfeit
285 — Ryder won by fall (:24)
106 — Higgins won by decision, 9-7
113 — Obradovich won by fall (4:49)
120 — Forfeit
126 — Freitag won by fall (1:20)
132 — Van Tassel lost by fall (2:29)
138 — Forfeit
145 — Forfeit
152 — Cain lost by fall (1:36)
160 — Forfeit

 
In the final duals of the tournament, Burns edged Crane 36-30, and Vale beat Lakeview 57-18.

 
Burns vs. Crane results:
182 — Nonnenmacher  won by fall over Davis (1:08)
195 — Schmeck won by fall over Williams (2:29)
220 — Ryder won by fall over Duckworth (:18)
285 — Casey won by forfeit
106 — Higgins won by forfeit
113 — Obradovich won by forfeit
120 — Double forfeit
126 — Lamborn won by fall over Freitag (:46)
132 — Clark won by fall over Van Tassel (2:34)
138 — Roath won by forfeit
145 — Jenkins won by forfeit
152 — Double forfeit
160 — Double forfeit
170 — Simpson won by fall (:25)

 
•••
On Saturday, Dec. 7, Burns and Crane traveled to Bend to take part in the Central Oregon Wrestling Officials Tournament at Mountain View High School.

 
The lone champion for the two Harney County teams was the Hilanders’ Higgins, who received a bye in the first round and won his next two matches to claim the title at 106 pounds.

 
Jenkins and Baldwin of Crane, and Ryder of Burns, all finished second in their weight classes, and the Mustangs’ Roath, Clark and Casey all finished third.

 
Fourth-place finishes went to Lamborn and Duckworth of Crane, and Simpson of Burns.

 
Van Tassel of Burns wrestled his way to a fifth-place finish.

 
Freitag also competed for Burns, but didn’t place.

 
Results for Burns (B) and Crane (C) are as follows:
106 — Higgins (B) received a bye; won by decision, 8-2; won by fall (2:33) 1st
126 — Lamborn (C) received a bye; won by fall (:57); lost by fall (3:38); lost by fall (1:32) 4th
Freitag (B) won by fall (1:10); lost by fall (:57); lost by fall (:48)
132 — Clark (C) received a bye; won by major decision, 10-2; lost by fall (1:07); won by decision, 4-3 3rd
Van Tassel (B) won by fall (1:07); lost by major decision, 10-2; won by fall (1:04); won by fall (2:21); won by major decision, 15-4 5th
138 — Roath (C) won by decision, 4-3; lost by decision, 11-4; won by fall (1:49) 3rd
145 — Jenkins (C) received a bye; won by fall (1:41); won by fall (1:00); lost by technical fall, 15-0 (5:10) 2nd
170 — Baldwin (C) won by fall (4:48); won by decision, 15-9; lost by fall (2:52) 2nd
Simpson (B) won by fall (5:54); lost by fall (1:33); lost by fall (3:23) 4th
220 — Ryder (B) received a bye; won by fall (4:17); won by fall (3:02); lost by fall (3:53) 2nd
Duckworth received a bye; won by fall (3:42); lost by fall (3:02); lost by decision, 8-4 4th
285 — Casey (C) won; lost; won 3rd

 
Both teams will compete in tournaments on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13-14. Crane travels to Alturas, Calif., for the Northeast Classic, and the Hilanders take part in the Muilenburg Tournament in La Grande.


 

by Lindy Steeves
Burns Times-Herald

Fresh off the football and volleyball seasons, the Crane Mustangs sports teams are gearing up for their first winter games of the year. The men and women’s basketball teams have began practicing for their first tournament in Union, Dec. 6-7. Meanwhile, the Mustang wrestlers have began working in preparation for their season opener in a tournament in Burns Dec. 6.

Boys basketball

The boys basketball team, under the direction of head coach Hector Martinez and assistant coach Matt Zander, has kicked off the season with a new set of goals.

“I would say our goals fall in the areas of sportsmanship. We are trying to learn how to be mentally tough, we are working on improving every day, and we want to share our passion for the game. So, toughness, improvement, and passion. We’re calling it ‘win the TIP’… When I say ‘win the TIP,’ it’s not the ball, it’s those facets of the game. Because if we win those facets, we will put ourselves in a position to win the outcome of the game,” Martinez said.

With a “good-sized” returning squad, Martinez is optimistic in the leadership of both upper and underclassmen.

“We have Tyler [Opie], who has been varsity for three or four years, so that’s exciting. But, we’ve got a really big sophomore group that shows a lot of promise. We’ve also got good leadership from Travis [Landon] as a returning junior and a lot of role players who are working really hard. So I think that really completes all the pieces you need for a good team,” Martinez said.

As far as games go, Martinez said that the team would first be concentrating on preseason, then the season, then post-season. As far as rivalries go, Martinez said, “We’re really trying to just look at preseason right now, and not get too far ahead of ourselves.”

But Martinez did have one team he was looking forward to competing with.

“I would have loved to play Nyssa this year, because that’s where I was before this, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet,” Martinez said with a laugh.

“But, we’ll be playing Burns this year, so that should be a good Harney County-focused game. I’m also excited to go to the Heppner tournament, because 2A basketball is pretty competitive, so we’d like to go and pull some upsets,” Martinez said.

He also mentioned that the reformation of the program even reaches into the grade school.

“I’m excited to have coach Zander as my assistant, and we’re excited that the middle school is aligning their program with ours. We’re going to try to start with the lower-level youth so that the program will be streamlined all the way through high school.”

Girls basketball

Head coach Stub Travis, along with assistant coaches Darwin Dunten and Darcy Ugalde, have begun girls basketball practice in preparation for the season opener in Union.

“We have a bigger turnout than we’ve had in two years. We have 15 girls out, and that’s about double of what it was two years ago,” Travis said. “We have seven freshmen — so that’s a pretty good sized class — and three returning varsity starters, and another girl that played a lot of minutes last year. Unfortunately, we lost some kids that transferred, so we had to rethink what kind of a team we would be. We’ll have to change some things there, but I think we have a lot more depth than we’ve had for a couple of years.”

With the increased turnout and positive attitudes from the girls, Travis is optimistic about what the year will bring. He is hopeful that the depth of the team will help them in tough matchups.

“We have a group of girls who have really come in working hard, and they have great attitudes and high expectations for the year. We’ll have more post play this year, and we have good versatility from some players who can play inside and out. So I think with all that combined, we’ll have a successful season,” Travis said.

As always, the competition is stiff across the board. This year, the implementation of charter schools and promising young athletes has made a state playoff spot even harder to acquire.

“Adrian is always competitive, and they have a great program. So they’re a team you always hope to beat. But, I think the power has kind of swung to the other side of the league. The East side has Prairie City, and I expect them to be really tough this year. They’ve got a great point guard and strong inside play. Dayville girls have a lot of good speed and good young kids. They might even be the fastest team in the league. Then, Harper/Huntington became a charter school this year, so that will make them more competitive than they have been. Jordan Valley always finds a way to be strong. So it’ll be tough to make it out of district with one of three state playoff spots,” Travis said. “But, if our kids continue to work, I think we have a good chance to get to Baker this year.”

Wrestling

With all but one wrestler returning to the Mustang wrestling team, head coach David Doman is optimistic about the coming season.

“After a week of practice, I can definitely say that I’m excited about this season. For starters, I’ve got a great group of kids and staff,” Doman said.

Jerry Holloway, Jeremy Clark, and Raymond Thompson are assisting him in coaching, and new additions to the team have increased Mustang numbers and expectations.

“We’re really excited about Quinton [Nyman] joining the team. We think he’s going to end up being a huge contributor to the team, and he might have a chance to go to state. I think he’s that ‘something extra’ that we need to round out our team. We’re also excited about Austin [Roath]. He ended the football season on a good note, and he’s bringing that same intensity to the mat, so we think he’s going to be a great team leader,” Doman said. “We’ve just got a really exciting group of athletes. Our lightweights are looking really strong this year with Dustin [Ramge] and Andy [Lamborn]. Plus, we’ve got a strong group of seniors that we’re expecting good things out of.”

According to Doman, Crane was not the only school to graduate few wrestlers last year. The top four teams in the state are all bringing back the majority of their squads this year.

“In our conference, we don’t have a lot of rivals because a lot of the 1A teams don’t have wrestlers. But as far as state rivals go, there’s always Lowell. They’re a 1A powerhouse who didn’t really lose anyone to graduation last year. That will be a battle. Also, with Burns moving to 2A, that means we’ll be wrestling against them at state. So there’s the potential for a good rivalry there,” Doman said.


 

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

Head coach Brandon McMullen directs practice. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Head coach Brandon McMullen directs practice. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Burns High School (BHS) athletes have put away the cleats, volleyballs and running shoes and have moved onto the gym floor and wrestling mat.  Here’s a look at the teams that will compete this winter:

 

BHS girls basketball

 

Hilander fans can expect to see something new from this year’s girls basketball team.

“What we’re going to run will be different than what we’ve had in this program,” first-year head coach Brandon McMullen said. “We’ve got a different group of kids, and I have a different coaching style.”

Before taking over as the girls head coach this year, McMullen coached the boys freshmen/sophomore team from 2006-2009, and served as the girls JV coach for the past three years.

“I was fortunate to serve under some good coaches, and I’ve tried to take the best from them, and put it into my coaching,” he said.

“We’re going to play up-tempo this year, and into the foreseeable future,” McMullen said. He added that it could be a young team, as there are some freshmen and sophomores that will have opportunities to get varsity time.

Players with varsity experience returning  include: seniors Kylee Fisher, Jordon Long and Madison Winn; juniors Madison Woodworth and Hailey Sanders; and sophomore Madison Carson. McMullen said they were still evaluating all the players to determine who would land a spot on the varsity squad.

“The most important thing is to have fun, but if you have the ability to change the game in your favor because you work harder and stay healthy, that’s what we’re going to do,” McMullen said. “Being young, and going to a new system, we’ll make some mistakes. I would be highly surprised if we’re close to where we want to be by the first game, but there should be a transformation by the time we start league play.”

McMullen said Vale and Nyssa are expected to battle for the top spot in the Eastern Oregon League (EOL), but don’t count the Hilanders out for the playoffs.

He stated Vale graduated the majority of starters from last year’s squad, but bring back lots of talent.

“The Bates girl is a true offensive threat,” McMullen said. “She has size, speed and is dedicated to the program. They also have the Hawkins girls back, and there’s talent there.”

As for Nyssa, McMullen said they have their starting core coming back, but they also have a new head coach.

“How they adjust to a new coaching style is something you have to take into account,” McMullen said.

So how do the Hilanders stack up against the two favorites? “We want to run, and Vale can play that way,” McMullen said. “The question is, in a tight game, can we stay focused? If we stick to where we want to go, we’ll be successful.”

For the first time this year, the EOL will have a playoff system to determine the two teams that will go on to state. Following the league season, the third-place team will play at the second-place team’s home site. The winner of that game will then play at the league champion’s site to determine the No. 1 and 2 seeds.

“The league champion will be going to state, but maybe not as the No. 1 seed,” McMullen said. “And the second-place team has no guarantee of going to state at all. I think that’s where the pressure is going to be.”

Joining McMullen on the coaching staff are JV coach Kevin Feist, frosh/soph coach Brittainy Houck and varsity volunteer assistant Bruce Voges.

The Hilanders tip off their season Wednesday, Dec. 4, at Crook County. On Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7, they will take part in the La Pine Tournament.

 

•••
BHS boys basketball

 

With just one senior and two juniors in the rotation this year, head coach Ted Aubin describes his team as, “Young and inexperienced.”

The rest of the rotation will be filled by some combination of the nine sophomores on the team. “We have talent in the program, we’ve just got to get from ‘point A’ to ‘point B’ in a hurry to compete for the league title or a state tournament spot,” Aubin said.

The Hilanders return last year’s EOL Player of the Year, junior Austin Feist, as well as senior post Chase Patterson.

“We graduated six players that accounted for about 67 percent of our points, so we’ll have to make that up somewhere,” Aubin said.

Aubin stated that the team has the potential to compete in every game, but a lot depends on “how mentally and physically tough we are, how hard we play, and how unselfish we play.”

Aubin feels comfortable with his team’s ability to shoot the ball, and would like to see them recapture the intensity they played with over the summer. “There’s a little bit of an edge to us, and I like that,” he said. “We’ve got 17 games to get ready for league play, and we’ll see what happens.”

Looking at the EOL this year, Aubin noted that Nyssa will be a tough team. They return a number of good athletes, have size, and Danny Pratt, who coached the Bulldogs’ girls varsity for a number of years, has taken over the boys program.

He expects Riverside to also be in the running. “Their coach, Claire Costello, always finds a way to be competitive,” Aubin said.

Having an EOL playoff to determine the state playoff spots has both good and bad aspects Aubin said. Aubin pointed out that without the playoff, as in past years, his team had a bit of a layoff. “It doesn’t do us any good to sit around at the end of the season, while the other teams are still playing,” he said.

But one of the drawbacks is how those games can affect the OSAA RPI rating that is used to determine the playoff rankings. “Every game is a playoff game for us,” he said. “We’ve just got to win as many games as possible to improve our RPI. If we get wins over teams like Grant Union and Irrigon, that’ll help.

“It’ll be interesting to see how we come together as a team. We’ll push them early to get to where we want to be,” Aubin said. “If we win league this year, it’ll be the best coaching job I’ve ever done.”

The coaching staff is rounded out by JV coach Jed Patterson and volunteer coach Mick Miller.

Burns begins the season on Wednesday, Dec. 4, when they host Crook County, and then they play in the La Pine Tournament Dec. 6-7.

 

•••
BHS wrestling

 

After one year of “retirement,” Mark Hofman has returned matside to lead the Hilander wrestling team.

Hofman said there are about a dozen kids on the team this year, in varying weight classes. “We’ve got some good wrestlers, some young ones, but we don’t match up well in weight classes for wrestling partners,” Hofman said.

With the youth and inexperience, Hofman has had to use a different approach to the season. “We’re going over the moves, and I’m not used to having to do that,” he said. “We’re taking time to show the basics — like halves, positioning, riding, breaking people down and, of course, the cradle. Usually this time of year, we’re pushing them hard in conditioning right off the bat.”

Although the number of wrestlers seems low this year, Hofman expects the numbers to rise in the next couple of years. “We’re cycling through some small classes, but we’ll get more in,” he said. “The USA wrestling numbers are big again, and we should have more kids.”

Hofman stated he is looking for constant improvement from his team this year, and maybe a state champion or two by the end of the season.

The Hilander squad includes Seth Nonnenmacher, a returning state champion, Thomas Cain, Peter Cain, Zach Nelsen, Jack Van Tassel, Jaden Simpson, Jacob Steinbeck, James Obradovich, Austin Ryder, Dallon Higgins, Hunter Freitag, Jonathan Schmeck and Andrew Beck.

Hofman is assisted by Dally Swindlehurst and Devin Johnson, as well as several volunteer coaches.

The Hilanders open the season at home Friday, Dec. 6, hosting the Woodfin/Robinson Duals. Schools attending the tournament are Crane, Vale, Lakeview and Baker.


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