By ADAM LAPIERRE
News staff writer
February 11, 2006
With only two games remaining in their regular seasons, the Cascade Locks boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have secured district playoff berths. Despite taking losses at home Tuesday to the South Wasco Redsides — the girls 45-40 and the boys 36-24 — the Pirates remain in the top three in the Big Sky West Conference, which is enough to advance to the preliminary round of the state tournament. And both teams will remain in the top three, regardless of the outcomes of their final two games.
The Big Sky West consists of eight teams and the Big Sky East has five. Three teams from the East and three from the West advance to the district playoffs, in which the top four teams advance to the next round, called sub-state. Girls’ standings from the West are set, with the Dufur Rangers sweeping the field with a 14-0 league record. The Redsides hold second at 9-5 and the Pirates secured third at 6-7. The boys’ bracket is still uncertain because the Pirates and the Horizon Christian School Hawks are competing for second behind the 14-0 South Wasco boys. Basically, if Horizon wins their remaining two games, the final one of which is against South Wasco, they clench the number two district spot. If the Hawks lose against South Wasco, they will finish third in the west because they lost to the Pirates twice.
Whatever the outcomes, representatives from the Big Sky west will be Dufur, South Wasco and Cascade Locks for the girls and South Wasco, Cascade Locks and Horizon for the boys. The first round of the district playoffs is set for Feb. 16.
Girls vs. South Wasco
After losing by 25 points in their first meeting with the Redsides at South Wasco, the girls proved to be a top conference competitor the second time around. With key plays from Heather Mohr, Nichole Martin, Holly Goben and Kelli Haskins, the Pirates kept pace with the Redsides for a 15-12 score at the end of the first quarter.
After several scoreless minutes in the second, South Wasco drained a three to up their lead to six points. Martin answered with a three of her own to keep the Pirates. The visiting team’s Hailey Hauser proved to be a defensive wall and an offensive sharpshooter, finishing with a team high 17 points. The Redsides built a 26-17 lead at halftime.
After a bit of motivation by Coach Donna Nolin, the Pirate girls opened the second half with fresh heads. Martin, Mohr, Haskins and Leah Stratton teamed up to bring the game back to within a point in the third.
South Wasco continued their solid shooting and tight defense through the fourth quarter. After allowing an eight point lead, the home girls closed in again but could not overcome the Redsides.
Nicole Martin —22 points, 7 rebounds,
Heather Mohr — 7 points, 4 rebounds
Kelli Haskins — 5 points, 4 rebounds
Boys vs. South Wasco
The boys played their lowest-scoring game of the season Tuesday night, finishing with only 24 points. The 36-24 loss was an improvement from the two teams’ first meeting, however, when the Pirates lost by 17 points.
After a painfully slow start in which the home team was plagued by missed shots and turnovers, the first quarter ended in a 6-6 tie. The second quarter was even slower for the Pirates, who managed only four points to South Wasco’s 10. Despite their best efforts and hustle, nothing wanted to go down.
On the positive side, however, Cascade Locks held the Redsides to their lowest-scoring league game of the season.
Down by only five points going into the final quarter, the Pirates had a solid chance of taking the upset win if they could nail a few key buckets and continue their effective defense. More turnovers and missed opportunities gave the Redsides some breathing room and they pulled away in the final minutes, making the score seem more lopsided than the game really was.
Joe Nolin — 11 points, 6 rebounds
Derek Kelley — 6 points, 6 rebounds
Sam Thomas — 5 points
The Pirates play their last regular season games this weekend. They went on the road Friday to play the Arlington Honkers. Tonight they host Echo, girls at 4 p.m. and boys at 5:30 p.m.