Sports Zone

HSSZ The week ahead: Basketball


Pleasant Hill’s Shyanne Fenley (3) extends for a lay-up in the team’s win over Blanchet Catholic last week.

Springfield Millers: 4-2, ranked #8
■ In the bonus: Springfield plays in its final consolation bracket game at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona today before coming back home for the holiday break. Regardless of how the team does at the tournament, it should be a fantastic learning and team-bonding opportunity for a team that hopes to be contending for the state title in March. Springfield’s first game after the break is next Wednesday at home against Class 6A Liberty.
Thurston Colts: 4-4, ranked #13
■ In the bonus: Thurston’s only game of the week is next Wednesday against Class 6A Southridge. Junior Bailey Tovey continues to be the scoring leader for Thurston, which is averaging just over 33 points a game as a team. Head coach Steve Eastburn will need the offense to pick up a little bit going into league play, and Tovey will be a big part of that.
Cottage Grove Lions: 3-4, ranked #29
■ In the bonus: A 3-1 record last week means new head coach Pete LeMay has his team rolling. Junior Jaylee Lima, senior Logan Zolezzi and freshman Mariah Bailey were the scoring leaders last week and the Lions will need them again this week. Cottage Grove hosts a holiday tournament and will be playing in its second game today. The Lions’ opponent will be No. 11 Stayton or Hidden Valley, depending on their result Wednesday against South Umpqua.
Creswell Bulldogs: 5-1, ranked #16
■ In the bonus: A 2-0 week for the Bulldogs has them sitting at 5-1 before they host the Bulldog Invitational, which happened Tuesday and Wednesday of this week post-deadline. Depending on those results Creswell could be on a roll going into the holidays. Creswell has a big first game coming out of the break as it hosts Class 4A No. 4 Marist Catholic next wednesday. Head coach Tyler Hollingsworth will need his team to slow down Marist senior guard Paige Doerr, who was honorable mention all-state last year.
Pleasant Hill Billies: 7-1, ranked #12
■ In the bonus: Pleasant Hill finds itself on a five-game win streak as it travels to Class 4A No. 5 Marshfield tonight in the last game before winter break. The Billies defense continues to stifle opponents as they are giving up on average 21.6 points a game. Seniors Kiley Campos and Shyanne Fenley have been the main engines on offense and should look to continue that against Marshfield.


Pleasant Hill sophomore Gavin Inglish (center) rises over two defenders in the Billies’ win against Blanchet Catholic last week. Inglish averaged 27.7 ppg over three games last week.

Cottage Grove Lions: 4-3, ranked #16
■ In the bonus: Cottage Grove’s last game before six days off is today at its own holiday tournament. The Lions’ opponent depends on the results of last night’s game against South Umpqua. Cottage Grove will play either No. 10 Stayton or No. 7 Hidden Valley tonight, and either opponent should be a great test before the holiday break. Senior leaders Brennen Murphy and Brayden Crump continue to be the feature players for the Lions, and both need to play well against a top-10 opponent tonight.
Creswell Bulldogs: 4-2, ranked #13
■ In the bonus: Creswell bounced back after a tough loss to Class 4A No. 2 Junction City by beating North Bend by 15. The Bulldogs’ big three of Connor Hanson, Max Velarde and AJ Hodge continue to play well, all averaging over 9 points a game. Sophomore Tyler Whitson has also been excellent in his role, averaging 9 points, 6.7 rebounds and a team-leading 2.7 steals per game. Creswell has a full week off for the winter break and returns next Wednesday for a home matchup against Marist Catholic.
Pleasant Hill Billies: 8-1, ranked #4
■ In the bonus: A 3-0 record last week puts the Billies inside the top five in Class 3A after a quarterfinal run last season. Sophomore Gavin Inglish continues to be an elite three-level scorer, and the senior big-man duo of Brooks Wilcox and Matthew Dutton have been wreaking havoc on the boards. Pleasant Hill’s only game this week is next Tuesday at home against Nestucca in what is the Billies’ final game before league play.
Springfield Millers: 2-4, ranked #27
■ In the bonus: The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Springfield, which had two big losses last week to Class 6A schools. The Millers, who have only two home games pre-2023, travel to No. 11 Crescent Valley tonight before returning from the winter break next Wednesday at No. 5 Summit, which is one of the favorites in Class 5A after going 27-1 and losing in the Class 6A finals last season.
Thurston Colts: 3-3, ranked #12
■ In the bonus: Thurston has had a roller-coaster start already, winning its first three games before losing its past three. The Colts return from break next Wednesday to play Jefferson (Portland) at the Barry Adams Invitational in Salem. Walker Bonar and Nate Stiffler continue to play well for the Colts despite the losing streak, and should look to help Thurston get back in the win column.



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