Best in class: Foxes hoops squads win 6A challenge

June 2021 Posted in Community, School, Sports

James Day

The Silverton High basketball squads have just completed a stunning 10-0 run through the Class 6A Salem squads.

The boys team went 6-0, winning the games against Sprague, South Salem, West Salem, North Salem, McKay and McNary by an average of 22 points.

One asterisk: North Salem, although a Class 6A school in terms of enrollment, is “playing down” at the 5A level.

The Foxes girls went 4-0, losing out on two games because the McKay game was canceled and North is not fielding a team.

What’s going on here? Is it the oddity of a COVID year? In one sense COVID played a huge role because the 5A schools in the Mid-Willamette Conference intentionally scheduled the Salem 6A schools to limit travel during the pandemic.

Also, Silverton has elite basketball programs, winning a boys state title in 2015 and a girls state title in 2016 while perennially earning spots in Corvallis for the 5A state tournament. Last year the girls were seeded No. 1 and the boys were No. 2 and both teams had reached the semifinals when the tournament shut down because of the virus.

It also should be noted that the Foxes girls squad had taken down 6A’s No. 1 team, South Medford, in January, while the boys’ lone loss in a 25-1 season to date came against 6A Sherwood at a December tournament in Salem.

“I think 5A basketball has been very good for many years.” said Tal Wold, the Foxes’ girls coach. “We have also done fine against the bigger schools.”

“I think it was an exciting and different opportunity for our program and our players really stepped up for the challenge,”

said boys coach Jamie McCarty. “Going 6-0 against the Salem schools was a memory that our seniors will always have.”

Both Silverton squads now return their attention to the Mid-Willamette schedule. The boys are 5-0 and control their own destiny. A win Wednesday, June 16 at 6-1 South Albany would go a long way toward giving McCarty a fourth league title in his four years at the helm.

Wold’s girls squad is 3-1 in league, with the lone loss a 51-48 decision May 22 at Corvallis, which has finished league at 7-0. Win out and the Foxes will finish one game back at 6-1.

Cross Country: Silverton Coach Erik Cross and his staff already are gearing up for official fall workouts, which start Aug. 16. Summer training is scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. starting July 5. For more information on how to get involved call Cross at 503-269-6350.

Softball: Foxes junior outfielder Marin Bliss was named second team all-state for Class 5A. Teammate Jordon Shepherd, a senior outfielder, earned honorable mention. Silverton finished 6-8 overall and 4-5 in the Mid-Willamette Conference.

Gymnastics: Silverton Gymnastics Academy turned in a series of exceptional performances at the state championships May 21-23 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem. The squad’s bronze, silver, gold and diamond squads all took first place in their team competitions. The platinum team finished third.

“Our teams did amazing at state,” said coach Celia Storey. “I was extremely proud of them.”

Alumni watch: Former Foxes running standout Haile Stutzman turned in a pair of all-American performances
at the NAIA outdoor track and field championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Stutzman, a sophomore at Huntington (Indiana) University, took fifth in the 1,500 in 3:56.00 and seventh in the 5,000 at 14:54.52.

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