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McKenzie Sports Report - February 16

McKenzie Varsity Sports Schedule This Week

The McKenzie Varsity Boys and Girls Basketball 2022-23 seasons have concluded and no contests are scheduled. OSAA has scheduled the first Spring Track and Field practices allowed to begin on Tuesday, February 28.

Oh So Close! McKenzie Falls To Eddyville 42-41

That old bit of homespun wisdom reared up again last Thursday, February 9, in the House of the Eagle as in McKenzie. “Close only counts in horseshoes‚” comes to mind following a tough 42-41 loss by host McKenzie from guest Eddyville Charter. But to be sure, on this night, close counted for something other than horseshoes, and both teams could legitimately argue their case.

When the opening tip went up, the two Mt. West League rivals occupied the bottom of the League standings, with Eddyville earning 3 wins out of 16 games on the season and McKenzie winless in 20 contests. The Finn Rock crew, to their credit and as they have all season, put on the uniform, tied up their sneakers, and threw a determined look across the court.

Prior to the game, McKenzie honored its senior player, Trent Peek, and thanks to Spirit Week all week leading up, good advertising for the little Eagles playing hoops during halftime which is always a crowd builder. The House was nearly full and the fans were loud and proud. It brought back many memories for those who walked into the Gym, dressed in Green and Gold. And then, quite frankly, quite to the surprise of most, the Eagles of McKenzie and Eddyville gave the crowd a real treat, an in 'yer face‚ bruising knockdown, one he(ck) of a game for the money.

The opening tip was the calmest moment of the night, that is, especially after the two ramped-up opposing post players missed the tip and the officials had to throw it up a second time. And from there it only got more entertaining. Both teams went at it like a couple of boxers trading punches from toe to toe. That's not meant to be a “downer” adjective, indeed, anyone would have thought a State Championship was on the line and give credit to both coaching staffs for preparing their athletes.

To be sure, this was not a pretty game. Neither team has the experience, nor the skill level, to challenge legitimate post-season runs. But that's just the point. The boys from both camps laid it all out on the floor that night and what a joy it was to watch and support. The lead would change several times and the game was in doubt right up to the final horn.

McKenzie had rallied to take the lead back with less than 20 seconds on the score clock. Eddyville answered right back to re-take the lead, 42-41. McKenzie scrambled down the court and found themselves with the ball, in their frontcourt, with just 3.8 seconds remaining in the game, and taking the ball out of bounds on the side. Time-out by the home team would reveal the obvious, when play resumed, get the ball in, force the best shot available, hope for at least a fouled attempt, and win the game on a couple at the line. Or force OT and get after it some more.

McKenzie got the ball in, forced the best shot available, and looked to get the fouled attempt, but alas, did not hear a whistle and it was game in the books.

Another loss to some, but this is when you've got to tip your hat to the athletes on both teams and say, well done boys!! And thank you for a great game!! And thank you to all the fans from both School Communities for their loud, proud, and respectful support. The wins will come; maybe not quite soon enough for some, but these two teams have shown progress this season.

For now, there will be next season to prepare for and to anticipate success. And if more progress is to be had, it will only come from hard work and dedication from each individual seeking to “learn to be the best they can be.” That's the famous quote from the Wizard of Westwood, Coach John Wooden.

Now for the stats. Team-wise, 41 points was the most McKenzie scored in a game all season and 42 was the lowest score the team held their opponent to. McKenzie junior Thomas Hayes led his team in scoring with 10 points and he added 6 steals and 2 rebounds. Freshman Will Meister finished his night on the court with 9 points, 2 rebounds, a steal, and an assist. Eagle junior Salomon Acevedo also scored 9 points and grabbed 7 rebounds and had 3 steals and an assist. Freshman Allen Acevedo chipped in 7 points and 2 boards, junior Griffin Withalm added 6 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals and Trent Peek finished with 4 rebounds and a steal.

Eagles Wrap Up Hoops Season With 41-27 Loss To Cougars

Following the barnburner up in Finn Rock the previous night versus Eddyville, the McKenzie Varsity Boys Basketball team took to the road for their final road trip and game of the 2022-23 season, landing in Crow. The Cougars, with just three wins of their own on the season, hadn't heard of the hard-fought game in Finn Rock 24 hours earlier, or ignored all the hype and went about taking care of their own business with less fanfare.

At the final horn, Crow defeated McKenzie easily, outscoring the Boys upriver, 41-27. McKenzie's season under first-year Head Coach Neil Barrett finished 0-14, 0-21. Crow wrapped up 4-10, 7-13.

Will Meister took McKenzie top scoring honors for the game with 11 points, and he hauled in 3 rebounds and had 2 steals. Griffin Withalm scored 7 points to go with a rebound and a steal, Allen Acevedo added 3 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and a couple of steals, and Jovial Jordan finished with 1 rebound. Thomas Hayes added 2 points, 4 boards, and a steal, Trent Peek finished with 2 points and 4 boards and Salomon Acevedo scored 2 points, had 2 rebounds, and added 1 assist.


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