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McKenzie Sports Report - March 2

McKenzie Varsity Sports Schedule This Week

There are no McKenzie Varsity sports contests scheduled this pending week. Varsity track season officially, per OSAA regulations, opens February 27, for practices.

Mt. West and Big Sky Leagues

Shut Out Of Baker Finals

No Varsity Girls or Boys teams representing the Mt. West League nor the Big Sky League qualified for the 2023 OSAA State Basketball Quarterfinals to be held at Baker City this season. Oregon Schools Activities Association (OSAA) sponsors eight Class 1A Basketball leagues in the State of Oregon. They are Mt. West, Big Sky, Old Oregon, High Desert, Casco, Mt. Valley, Valley 10, and Skyline. It's been a bit of a drought for the Mt. West League to send a team east over to Baker City. The last team extending their season over yonder was the Mohawk Girls of 2020, which earned the State's sixth-place trophy. As for the Boys, Baker City has not hosted an Mt. West team since the 2016 season, when Siletz Valley earned a spot. The Warriors went two and out that season at the State Tournament, but they earned a berth. This season didn't shape up much better as the MWL saw just two of its teams qualify for the Second Round of the State playoffs, and both entered that Round as the lowest (16th ) seed of the Round. Those teams were the Alsea Boys and Eddyville Charter Girls. Ironically, Crane, the number one State seed in both the Boy's and Girl's rankings, easily sent the MWL reps packing for home. The Mustangs routed the Eddyville Eagles Girls 61-25, last Friday, February 4, at Crane. And the next day, routed the Alsea Wolverines 65-35, in the same gymnasium. In First Round action earlier in the week, Eddyville Girls held off Umpqua Valley Christian, 64-59, to advance to the Second Round. Third-ranked North Douglas routed Triangle Lake 75-29, fourth-ranked Nixyaawii crushed Mohawk, 66-15, and seventh-ranked St. Paul rolled over Crow, 71-36. In First Round action for the Boys teams, Crane sunk Mapleton 64-9, the fourth-ranked Adrian Antelopes jumped over Triangle Lake, 67-25, and Mohawk put up a gallant effort, but came up with short, 38-34, to host Crosshill Christian. Alsea won its First Round effort versus Elkton in a close game at Alsea, 50-47.

Crane Boys And Girls Ranked One

Down in the Southeastern region of the State, a small Class 1A school is making a whole lot of noise in gymnasiums around. That's not new news to the Locals or those paying attention, however. Once again, the Mustangs of Crane are racing full gallop towards a State Championship trophy(s). This season, I doubt you're gonna be able to find anybody in the general Crane metropolitan area next week to ask about the weather or Steens Mountain directions. That's because the Mustang Boys and Girls teams have suffered just one loss apiece this season and both are currently ranked number one going into the State Quarterfinals up in Baker City. You can bet even money that the tiny Crane gym will teleport all its boots and spurs to Baker City and look out, the Mustangs are stampeding North. The Crane Girls are 26-1 going in but hang onto your hats, over on the other side eight-team bracket, looms second-ranked Damascus Christian, no stranger to this chapter of the season either. The Eagles have posted an excellent 23-1 record of their own and relish an opportunity to share quality court time with Crane in the Championship Game. Of course, the rest of the Girl's field are all looking at a “new season” as well and don't intend on getting the hook on their showtime either. The Crane Boys are running with their heads held high sporting a 28-1 2023 season record currently. But rest assured that ain't (I said ain't and I'm sticking to it!) about to impress the Golden Eagles of Nixyaawii out of the Pendleton region and who have earned a glossy 27-2 record of their own. If these two teams make it through their respective brackets to the Championship game this year, the scoreboard keeper might better have some band-aids handy at the bench to doctor their fingertips and the Baker hosts may want to fire up the air conditioner. However the Tournament rolls out for the sixteen teams entered, sixteen congratulations are always in order. And let's just put it out there, if you're looking for a fun, hoops-filled week over in sunny Baker City, where the hospitality is second to none, you might want to give it some serious thought. You're looking at a 6-hour drive, give or take an hour depending on the snow, straight through the Oregon heartland. It's a good trip, worth the drive and conversation, back and forth. Who knows, you might hazard catching a glimpse of an old Sasquatch along the trail. He's been known to show up unannounced on occasion!


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