Winter wrapup – Foxes 4th in girls hoops, JFK’s Geschwill wins title

March 2023 Posted in sports

By James Day

A light snow was falling in Corvallis at 9 a.m. Friday when the Silverton High girls tipped off against Rex Putnam of Milwaukie in the game for 4th place at the OSAA Class 5A basketball tournament.

The Foxes started cold as well, missing 20 of their first 21 shots while falling behind by 7 points. But Silverton righted the ship, and went on a 9-2 run in the third period to take a lead the Foxes would not relinquish  in a hard-fought 40-34 win. Silverton, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, finished 22-6 in its first year under coach Alyssa Ogle and took home its first state trophy since 2018, when the Foxes finished third. “This feels awesome,” Ogle told Our Town. “I just couldn’t imagine working with  a better group of kids than we have right now.”


The Silverton girls basketball squad is shown after finishing fourth at the Class 5A tournament Friday, Mach 10, at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis. The Foxes downed Rex Putnam, 40-34, on Friday to capture 4th place.  James Day

The Silverton girls basketball squad is shown after finishing fourth at the Class 5A tournament Friday, Mach 10, at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis. The Foxes downed Rex Putnam, 40-34, on Friday to capture 4th place.               James Day


The Foxes trailed 11-4 after that 1-for-21 start, but layups by Kyleigh Brown and Justina Semerikov and a 3-pointer by Lily Hayashida tied the game at 11-11. Putnam led 14-13 at halftime, but Silverton answered with a 12-2 run in the third period to take a 25-18 edge into the final period Rowan Reilly gave the Foxes their first lead at 17-16, with a Grace Hayashida free throw and layups by Hannah Bashor and Brown pushing the lead to 6. After 2 free throws by Putnam’s Rylee Lemen, Brown sank a 3-point for the 25-18 lead.

The Kingsmen didn’t quit, eventually within 31-30 with 2:45 left on 2 more foul shots by Lemen. But the Foxes hit their free throws down the stretch,with Brown making 4 of 5 and freshman Allie Mansur 3 of 4 to keep the Kingsmen at Bay.

Brown scored 18 points and added 13 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals for the Foxes. Grace Hayashida added 7 points, while Bashor and Semeriko each contributed 4 points and 5 rebounds.

“This feels good, but it’s not what we wanted,” said Brown, a 5-8 junior. “But we’re happy to go home with a trophy.”

Brown, who had a target on her back the entire tournament, praised her teammates, noting “a lot of people stepped up. This is a fantastic group. We have good team chemistry and love each other.”

Brown finished the tournament with 42 points, 26 rebounds, 10 steals and 7 assists while making 22 of 27 free throws.

Kennedy boys basketball: The Trojans achieved their highest finish ever in the Class 2A tournament, taking third place at the March 2-4 event in Pendleton. Kennedy downed Tri-River foe Santiam 56-46 in the quarterfinals, fell 38-35 in overtime to Tri-River foe Salem Academy in the semifinals and dominated Heppner 65-30 in the game for third place.

“We came so close to playing for that championship,” JFK coach Karl Schmidtman told OurTown. “The game was back and forth with lots of lead changes and both teams had possessions late in the game that could have decided the outcome.  

“After a tough loss like that, you never really know how your team is going to respond and we came out with great energy and confidence against Heppner on Saturday.  We would have loved to have a chance to play for that title, but unfortunately, it just didn’t work out this time around.”

Kennedy’s Ethan Kleinschmit was named first-team all-tournament, with teammate Luke Beyer earning a slot on the second team. The Trojans finished 24-6.

Salem Academy went on to defeat another Tri-River team, Western Christian, in the title game. Five of the 8 boys teams came from the Tri-River.

Wrestling: Kennedy’s Alexandra Geschwill captured the first state wrestling title in Trojans history by downing Julietta Leal of La Pine 3-2 in the title match at 130 pounds. Also scoring points for the JFK girls was Jenrose Ifenuk at 190 pounds. The Trojans scored 23 team points and finished 15th in the 4A-3A-2A-1A competition. Adan Reyes (113), Jesus Espinoza (120) and Mathew Chapman (195) all participated for the Kennedy boys, who finished with 4 team points in the 2A-1A meet.

Silverton, meanwhile, finished seventh in the Class 5A meet with 101.5 points.

“I thought the kids performed great,” coach Jared Wilson said. “Most of our kids performed above their seed, which is always the goal.”

Two Foxes finished second in their weight class, Steven Powell (182) and Brash Henderson (220). Powell, seeded No. 5, knocked off the top seed to reach the finals. Henderson, seeded third, defeated the No. 2 to reach his finals slot.

Kingston Meadors (106) took third, while Bo Zurcher (132) and Oscar Marks (160) lost in matches for third place. Joshua Jones (152) and Dalton Richie (285) also participated for the Foxes.

“I was really proud of how Oscar Marks and Bo Zurcher competed,” Wilson said.

The Silverton girls squad scored state meet points for the first time, with McKayla Bonham and Lilly Kamstra both taking fourth in their weight classes.

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