Special hoops season: State next for Trojans, Foxes hope to follow

February 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community, Sports

James DayThe next two weeks could be pretty special for area high school basketball fans. All four teams at Silverton and Kennedy are ranked in the top 10 in their class. Both Kennedy teams already have qualified for the Class 2A tournament. And both Foxes squads are one win away from the 5A tourney.

Here is the rundown:

The Kennedy girls will take the top seed into their March 1 quarterfinal in Pendleton against Heppner. The Trojans are 26-1 overall, advancing to state via a 53-17 home win last Friday against Vernonia. Kennedy is looking to duplicate its 2016 title, and its veteran roster includes seven players from the championship squad.

The Kennedy boys are ranked ninth in the state and advanced to state via a 52-36 win at Pilot Rock, a round trip of 500-plus miles. The Trojans have a tough draw in their quarterfinal, No. 2 Columbia Christian.

The Silverton boys are ranked No. 1 in Class 5A after a 14-0 Mid-Willamette Conference season in which 12 of the victories were by 20 points or more, capped by an emphatic 86-44 win against Dallas last Friday night. Silverton will host a round of 16 playoff game Saturday, March 3 against a team that had not been determined by Our Town’s presstime.

The Foxes’ girls squad, which won a state title in 2016 and finished second a year ago, is ranked fifth in the state. Silverton drained 11 3-pointers in a 56-35 win last Friday at Dallas which clinched the Mid-Willamette Conference title. The Foxes play at home March 2 against a team to be determined. The 5A tournament begins March 6 at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.

How about a couple more numbers? The four teams are 83-20 overall and finished a combined 45-7 in league play.

And speaking of basketball champs, Silverton’s Unified team won a Special Olympics district tournament over the weekend in Corvallis.

Athletes and partners on the roster include Ayden Russell, Jared Johnson, Eleasha Zitzelberger, Liz Dahl, Jhonathan Shackelford, Daniel Briseno, Brian Sung, Sadie Enderle, Cooper Hannan, Mehey Kraskov, Dalton Curtis, Marco Garcia-Ramirez, Christina Effimov, Carson Ortega, Maddy Mead, Brooke McCarty, Aracell Gaspar, Jordyn Hanse, James Dahl and Tristan Catrett.

The squad is coached by Neal Glynn, Will Silcox, Brenda Beyer and Hank Ulven.

Swimming: Silverton made history Feb. 16-17 at the Class 5A swimming championships at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.

The girls finished seventh in the Class 5A team race with 14 points. The boys were eighth with 18. This was the first time in school history that the Foxes have cracked the top 10. Senior Jason Orr took second in the 100 back in 54.41 and fourth in the 50 free in 22.50. Before this year the top finish by a boys swimmer or relay at state was fifth.

All five relay teams the Foxes sent to state finished on the podium (top six). The girls 200 medley relay team of Samantha Zurcher, Marie Tolmachoff, Maggie Kelley and Maddie Broyhill was fourth in 1:56.88. The boys 200 medley relay team of Orr, Kyle Reiser, David Reeves and Blake Doerfler was fifth in 1:43.22. The girls 200 free relay team of Maggie Kelley, Breanna Castell, Broyhill and Tolmachoff took fourth in 1:44.39. The boys 200 free relay team of Tristan Allen, Doerfler, Reeves and Orr swam to fourth in 1:33.03. And the girls 400 free relay unit of Jayla Toland, Hailey Kelley, Andrea Fitch and Castell was sixth in 3:59.13.

No girls relay had finished better than sixth at state before. And from 1983 to 2017 Silverton swimmers or relay teams reached the podium six times. They were there seven times on Feb. 17.

“I’m so proud to be an Aqua Fox,” said third-year coach Lucky Rogers. “Our swimmers were amazing. Our fans were even more amazing. I had so many compliments about our cheering section. I really just don’t want this season to end.”

Wrestling: Silverton soph Kaden Kuenzi took second place at 120 pounds Feb. 17 in the state wrestling tournament at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

The top-seeded Kuenzi, who won a state title as a freshman at 106, won his first three matches by pin or technical fall to advance to the final against No. 2 Zeth Brower, a senior from Crater of
Central Point.

Kuenzi had upset Brower in the 106 semifinals a year ago, but Saturday night Brower turned the tables via a 5-2 score.

Kuenzi’s efforts helped the Foxes score 32 points and finish 20th in the competition. Also scoring for Silverton were sophomore Matthew Guenther (132), freshman Isaac Whitehead (126) and sophomore Hayden Roth (195).

Guenther advanced to the quarters before losing, while Whitehead and Roth each won one match in the consolation bracket.

Madison Shockley took third place for the Foxes in the 110-pound bracket of the girls division with a win against Tess Barnett of McKay. Shockley repeated her third-place finish of a year ago.

“It was a fun, long and tough season with lots of trials and triumphs but most importantly lots of moments of growth from our wrestlers,” coach Keegan Davis told Our Town. “With a team that consists of nine freshmen, ten sophomores, six juniors and just four seniors we are extremely young with tons of room for improvement, however, despite being young we were able to accomplish some pretty awesome things.”

The new program at Kennedy advanced Mathew Marrow (106) and Carlos Saravia (120) to the Class 2A-1A meet but neither wrestler placed.

Tennis anyone? Practice for the spring sports of tennis, golf, track and field, baseball and softball started Feb. 26. The first contest date is March 12. Our Town is predicting rain.

Follow me on Twitter.com @jameshday. Got a news tip? Email me at jamesday590@gmail.com. Follow Our Town on Facebook.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.