Foxes in first: Both Silverton hoop squads riding high

January 2019 Posted in Other

James DayThe Silverton boys and girls basketball team have hit the halfway point in the league season with identical 7-1 records.

The girls squad is ranked second in Class 5A and shares the Mid-Willamette Conference league lead with Lebanon. The Foxes’ boys team is ranked fourth in the state and is alone in first place, one game ahead of South Albany and Corvallis.

The Silverton girls scored a big win Jan. 22, using a 12-4 run down the stretch to win 55-48 at Crescent Valley, dropping the Raiders to 6-2 in league play. Ellie Schmitz led the Foxes with 21 points.

“It was a great first half of the league season (and) there are a lot of games to be played against some great competition,” Foxes girls coach Tal Wold told Our Town. “We have been defending pretty well, which has been important because we have had some stretches where scoring is a challenge. I know it is cliché to say, but our margin of error is so thin and our league is so good, that going forward, we have to keep focusing on that day. We are not in a position to waste a day or not give our all to a league opponent.”

Silverton’s lone league loss was Jan. 4 at Lebanon. The Foxes and the 6th-ranked Warriors battle again Feb. 5 in Silverton.

“We are where we want to be at this time,” Foxes boys coach Jamie McCarty told Our Town. “We are in control of our own destiny. We have to continue to get better defensively and rebounding. That will come with championship-level practices and a focus on giving full effort in everything we do. Great teams don’t just show up on game night. They get what they deserve, and this squad is really understanding the level of hard work it takes to be a championship level team.”

David Gonzales      James Day

Silverton’s lone league loss was an 87-81 overtime defeat at Corvallis on Jan. 11 in which guard David Gonzales lit up the gym with 35 points, including six 3-pointers.. The Foxes host the Spartans on Feb. 12, with a Feb. 1 game at 6-2 South Albany also looming large on the schedule.

The defending Class 2A Kennedy girls are ranked No. 1 and are a perfect 11-0 in the Tri-River Conference. The Trojans have a 3.5-game lead ahead of No. 14 Gervais after taking out the Bulldogs 53-40 on Jan. 26.

The Kennedy boys are ranked 8th in Class 2A and are 7-3 in the Tri-River. Top-ranked Western Christian is a perfect 10-0, with No. 6 Sheridan second at 8-2. The Tri-River only receives two automatic playoff berths, but Kennedy’s ranking puts the Trojans in good shape for one of the four at-large bids should the Trojans not overtake Sheridan. Kennedy, which won 63-44 at Sheridan on Jan. 14, closes the regular season at home against the Spartans on Feb. 5.

Trojans coach Karl Schmidtman told Our Town he liked the way his team finished in the first game against Sheridan.

“We had great ball-handling and movement without the ball and were able to continually get high percentage shots while getting stops at the other end,” he said. “We hope this is something we can build on through the rest of league play.”

Swimming: The AquaFoxes girls squad is 9-1 in dual meets and the boys are 8-2 as the program gears up for the Feb. 8-9 Mid-Willamette Conference district meet at Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis.

“I like how we are coming together for the district meet,” said coach Lucky Rogers, whose boys and girls teams have taken second the past two seasons at districts.

As an indicator of the squad’s depth Silverton’s boys squad won the Jan. 12 Molalla Invitational without winning any of the 11 events. The girls were second, also without event-winners.

Rogers thinks his squads should both be in the top three at districts, with the return of West Albany to Class 5A providing tough additional district competition for all.

Silverton under Rogers traditionally shines in the relay races and this year is no exception. The girls 200 medley and 200 free foursomes are tops in the district, with the 400 free in second. The boys are second in the 200 free and fourth in the medley.

Top individuals and relay performers include Marie Tolmachoff, Maggie Kelley, Maddie Broyhill and Samantha Zurcher for the girls and Blake Doerfler, David Reeves III, Emmett Bell, Kolton Howell, Carson Brighton, Cole Runion and Tristan Allen among the boys.

The Foxes and the rest of Oregon’s teams will have a new venue for the state meet, which usually is held at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham. The college’s 50-meter pool was damaged recently during the installation of a dome, and the meet, which is Feb. 15-16, has been moved to the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center in Beaverton. It is expected that the meet will move back to Mount Hood next season.

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