The Silverton High girls basketball continues its unbeaten march through the Mid-Willamette conference.
The Foxes, ranked No. 2 in class 5A, moved to 12-0 in league play with a 38-30 win Feb. 7 against visiting Central. Silverton is 15-3 overall under first year coach Alyssa Ogle, with two of the losses to Class 6A teams and the other to Springfield, No. 1 in 5A.
“We have been working on getting better every day and it’s been super fun to coach these girls and see their progress,” Ogle told Our Town. “We have been having a lot of kids step up in different games and that’s the great thing about our team. We have a ton of players that can step up and give us what we need every game.”
Juniors Kyleigh Brown and Justina Semerikov and senior Lily Hayashida have been standouts in recent days, Ogle said. Brown has averaged 18 points, ten rebounds, and five assists in her past three games, while Semerikov and Hayashida have averaged double figures in scoring and have been helping out on the boards.
Looming ahead for the Foxes is a Feb. 21 rematch with No. 5 Crescent Valley, the defending 5A champion. The Raiders were 10-2 at Our Town’s presstime. The Foxes downed CV 35-31 on Jan. 19 in Silverton.
But the Foxes have games against contenders South Albany (8-4), West Albany (6-6) and Corvallis (9-3) before they even get to CV.
“In our league, you must be prepared every night to come out and battle,” Ogle said. “I have been very impressed with the girls’ focus on getting prepared for the next opponent but also on working at getting better in the areas that we need to improve on. As we are going through the second half of league, we know that these games will only be tougher, and we are excited about the opportunity to get better every night.”
The Silverton boys, meanwhile, fell to 6-6 in league play with a 55-42 loss to Central. The Foxes are currently in sixth place in the Mid-Willamette and must move into the top 4 to guarantee a playoff berth.
Kennedy Boys Hoops: The Trojans moved to 10-4 in the Tri-River East Division on Feb. 7, with a 58-42 win at Regis. The win gave No. 5 Kennedy the season series against the No. 11 Rams, also 10-4, and increased their chances of nailing down the East’s No. 2 spot in the upcoming Tri-River playoffs.
Brett Boen, JFK’s 6-4 senior post, led the way with 18 points on nine layups. Kennedy, said coach Karl Schmidtman, “did a great job of being deliberate on offense.”
Ethan Kleinschmit scored 12 points and Charlie Beyer and Javier Rodriguez added 9 points apiece for Kennedy, which is hoping for a return to Pendleton, where the squad went 0-2 in last year’s Class 2A tournament.
“We still have some stuff we can clean up,” Boen told Our Town, “but I think we can get back there.”
Wrestling: Kennedy and Silverton are sending a total of 5 wrestlers to the Feb. 23-24 girls state meet at the Memorial Coliseum. The two squads competed in regional competition this past weekend.
Advancing to the Class 4A-3A-2A-1A state meet from Kennedy are Alex Geschwill and Jen Rose Ifenuk, with Geschwill taking home first place at 130 pounds and winning 4 of her 5 matches by pin. The Foxes will send Jasmine Myers, Lilly Kamstra and McKayla Bonham.
Silverton Swimming: The Aqua Foxes headed into the Mid-Willamette Conference district meet in Corvallis Feb. 10-11 with some strong momentum. The girls squad was 9-0 in dual meets and won all three of its invitationals.The boys were 8-1 in duals and won two of its three invitationals, finishing second in the other.
The squad has battled injury issues this season, coach Lucky Rogers said, but Rogers added that “I always believe we will be at our best at the district meet.”
Key contributors for the Aqua Foxes are expected to be Catherine Hyde, Nolan Horner and Sawyer Beckman. Rogers’ form charts projected a second or third place finish for the girls and perhaps third or fourth for the boys.
Football: Austin Ratliff, a two-way standout on the Silverton football squad that won the 2021 state title, is transferring to Oregon State University from Air Force. Ratliff, a wide receiver and defensive back for the Foxes, is expected to be a preferred walk-on at defensive back for the Beavers.