Sports Zone

HSSZ: The week ahead

Girls Basketball

0-0, Ranked #1, preseason

In the bonus:The Millers only had a jamboree game last week, and meaning they now start their incredibly difficult December schedule. The Millers, led by last year’s Class 5A state player of the year Danaeja Romero-Ah Sam, host preseason No. 4 Silverton on Saturday at 5 p.m. in this week’s Main Event. Springfield, ranked No. 7 to Silverton’s No. 2 at the time, beat the Foxes in last year’s quarterfinals 29-20, the Silverton will be looking for revenge this time out.

2-0, Ranked #23

In the bonus:Head coach Kim Beer’s squad has a busy week thanks to a three-day tournament at preseason No. 5 Santiam Christian. The Billies face the Eagles in what should be a great indicator of where Pleasant Hill is at right now. Pleasant Hill was led last week by a balanced offensive attack and a dominant defense that gave up 17.5 ppg in the two wins.

2-0, Ranked #6

In the bonus: Head coach Steve Eastburn has his team in rhythm after week one, in large part due to junior Bailey Tovey, who was third-team all-league last year. The Colts face their toughest test so far next Tuesday when they travel to preseason No. 10 Mountain View.

0-1, Ranked #26

In the bonus:The Lions start the season a step behind as they had a last-minute coaching change. Head coach Pete LeMay signed on a week before the season began, so expect a slow start while Lemay implements a new system. This week Cottage Grove hosts Creswell, a deep, experienced opponent that could prove tough for the Lions.

1-0, Ranked #25

In the bonus: The Bulldogs have a road-heavy start to the year, with three of their first four games on the road. Two of those games are this week, with Creswell facing familiar foe Cottage Grove tonight. The Bulldogs lost a tight game to the Lions last year 47-43, but should be the favorites this time out with returning all-league players Samairah Quinones and Dakota Carson.

Boys Basketball

Cottage Grove: 1-0, Ranked #3

In the bonus:  The Lions host the Creswell Bulldogs in a non-league rivalry game on Thursday. Cottage Grove, led by seniors Brennen Murphy and Brayden Crump, look to keep bragging rights in CG after beating Creswell last season. This game should be a good one, as Creswell are ranked No. 6 in the Class 3A preseason coaches poll.

Pleasant Hill: 2-0, Ranked #6

In the bonus: The Billies have a jam-packed early-season schedule, playing six games in the first eight days of the season, including a three-day tournament this Thursday-Saturday at preseason No. 7 Santiam Christian. Head coach Darwin Terry has a young, talented squad led by sophomore Gavin Inglish, and the tough early-season schedule could pay dividends for the squads growth this year.

Springfield: 1-1, Ranked #21

In the bonus:  Head coach Crosby Green returns only three players from a team that went 3-21 last season. The Millers, led by junior Isaiah Navarrete, travel to preseason Class 5A No. 10 Silverton on Saturday in a tough game that will be Springfield’s fourth-straight away game to start the season.

Thurston: 2-0, Ranked #2

In the bonus: Head coach Blaine Liberatore has his team off to a hot start after missing the playoffs last season. The Colts head to Class 6A preseason No. 12 Barlow this weekend for a tournament. Thurston, led so far this season by sophomore Nate Stiffler and junior Walker Bonar, should get a great sense of its team’s early-season form this weekend.



Creswell had a disappointing start to the season as the Bulldogs were unable to compete in their opening-season tournament last Friday due to district delays and weather issues. Head coach Jeff Cardwell had to wait almost two extra weeks for his first tournament as head coach, but he gets it next Wednesday at the Sutherlin Wrestling Classic.


Thurston heads to the Rose City Championships on Friday and Saturday at Westview HS in Portland. Head coach Mike Simons hopes this is the year where both the men’s and women’s teams grab a state title, something Simon’s is yet to do in the same season. The Colts then travel to Dallas for a dual meet on Wednesday with the Dragons.


Springfield’s only meet this week is at the Philomath Invite on Friday. The Millers, led by head coach Chase Wells, look to improve on their 24th-place finish at their opening tournament. Nathaniel Williams led Springfield in the Men’s 285-pound weight class, and should look to do the same again this week.

Cottage Grove

Cottage Grove will compete at the North Bend Coast Classic on Friday and Saturday along with 38 other schools. Head coach Rich Herzog’s team looks to improve on its 19th-place finish at its season opener, and a big meet like the Coast Classic gives the team great early-season reps.

Pleasant Hill

Pleasant Hill will be at the Central Linn Invitational on Saturday along with nine other teams. Head coach Dahn Nikitins has the Billies looking to build on their sixth-place finish from last week’s Deven Dawson Memorial Tournament. 



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