Sports: Hoop season gears up

January 2015 Posted in School, Sports

James DayBy James Day

The Silverton High boys basketball is ranked ninth by the OSAA in Class 5A heading into Mid-Willamette Conference play.

“I feel like we’ve made a lot of progress in the last two weeks,” Coach Steve Roth told Our Town. Roth is back as the head coach for the first time since 2002 after serving as an assistant under Darren Shryock. “Execution is coming together on both ends of the court, as evidenced most recently against a very good Marist team.”

The Foxes downed Marist 63-47 on Jan. 6 to improve to 5-3. Silverton opened Mid-Willamette play Jan. 14 at Lebanon after Our Town’s press time. The Warriors are 7-3 and ranked 10th by the OSAA. Two other Mid-Willamette teams also are in the top 11: 6-3 Central, in its first year at Class 5A, is No. 7, and 6-4 Corvallis is No. 11.

“Our conference will be a dogfight,” Roth said. “Newcomer Central is playing very well. I don’t think we can afford mental lapses at all.”

Key contributors for the Foxes to date include Cole Chandler, Sam Roth, Danny Larionov and Julian Downey.

“Cole Chandler is such a positive force,” Coach Roth said. “He leads by example, plays so hard, steps up to every challenge, and does it all in such a humble manner. He is able to guard opposing wing players one minute, and a 6-10 post the next.”

Sam Roth has been the team’s most consistent scorer, with Larionov and Downey also adding offensive sparks. Coach Roth was especially encouraged by the offensive performance in the Marist game.

“We were able to disrupt their game plan and counter their size with quickness and physical play,” he said. “And the offense started clicking as well. We have kids that can ‘put the round thing in the round thing,’ but scoring has been a challenge up to now. It was nice to see the offense produce a little more.”

Coach Roth also praised the inside presence of 6-6 post Alex Reutov and noted the strong improvement that earned Larionov a starting spot.

Kennedy, meanwhile, also is off to a strong start. The Trojans are 11-3 overall, 2-1 in the Tri-River Conference and ranked No. 6 in Class 2A by the OSAA. The Trojans are tied with Santiam for second in the Tri-River behind 3-0 Regis. Kennedy visits Regis on Jan. 23.

Girls basketball: The Kennedy girls team is 10-3 overall, 2-1 in the Tri-River and ranked sixth by the OSAA. The Trojans, who came within one game of qualifying for last year’s state tournament, play in perhaps the toughest 2A league. Regis and Western Mennonite are ranked first and second, respectively, and the two schools played in last season’s state title game (Regis won for its fifth consecutive title). In addition, Santiam, also made the final eight last year.

The Trojans’ lone league loss was to Western Mennonite on Jan. 6. Kennedy visits Regis on Jan. 23.

Silverton, meanwhile, was 4-6 heading into its Mid-Willamette opener Jan. 13 against visiting Lebanon. The Lady Foxes have played a difficult schedule, facing seven Class 6A teams and also are missing two returning starters, Sequoia Rysdam and Tessa Oster, who are out with injuries.

Second-year Coach Tal Wold told Our Town that he is “very pleased with the progress of the team.” Wold noted that nine players saw their first varsity action during the non-conference season.

“To have six underclassmen play as much as they have against the opponents we have played speaks volume to the team as a whole and their competitive spirit,” Wold said.

Junior Alia Parsons and freshman Maggie Roth have been the top scorers for Silverton, while sophomore Kacey McLaughlin and freshman Brooke McCarty have led the way on the boards.

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