Sports Zone

HSSZ: Midseason reports


Cottage Grove: 9-7, ranked #17

■ Highlights: Cole Kishen 22 points, 4 assists, 2 steals against Stayton. Brennen Murphy 20 points, 12 rebounds against Phoenix. Murphy 15 points, 11 rebounds against Scappoose. Kishen 16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals against Phoenix.
■ Moving forward: The Lions sit in second place in the Sky-Em League, which would guarantee them a home play-in game come playoff time. Cottage Grove’s remaining schedule has two games against No. 2 Junction City, but other than that the Lions should be small favorites in their Sky-Em games, including next Wednesday at Marist.

Creswell: 12-4, ranked #9
■ Highlights: 56-54 win over rival No. 7 Pleasant Hill. Senior Connor Hanson 23 points against Cottage Grove. Max Velarde 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists against La Pine. Velarde 25 points, 6 steals against Siuslaw. AJ Hodge 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks against Marist.
■ Moving forward: Creswell’s biggest remaining game is a rematch with rival No. 7 Pleasant Hill on Tuesday. A win would all but secure the Mountain Valley Conference title for the Bulldogs, their third in the last six years under coach Jesse Thomas.

Pleasant Hill Billies: 14-4, ranked #7

■ Highlights: Nine-game win streak from Dec. 8 – Jan. 9. 66-33 win over Umatilla in Portland Trail Blazers arena. Sophomore Gavin Inglish 32 points against Blanchet Catholic and Santiam Christian. Freshman Landen Melvin 20 points against Creswell. Matthew Dutton game-saving block in 58-56 OT win at Sweet Home. Inglish 16th in state with 21.4 ppg, 18th in state with 2.5 apg.
■ Moving forward: Pleasant Hill has a huge home game on Tuesday against rival No. 9 Creswell, which beat the Billies 56-54 at Creswell earlier this month. A win would put Pleasant Hill back in the title race and give the Billies a shot to win their first league title since 2018-19 when they reached the state semis.

Springfield: 2-11, ranked #29
■ Highlights: Freshman Jayden Robinson 32 points against reigning-finalists Silverton. Isaiah Navarrete 16 points against No. 7 Crater. 70-38 win over Hillsboro.
■ Moving forward: While the playoff hopes for Springfield are all but over, the Millers can still gain valuable experience for a team that has only one senior. The Millers continue a five-game road stretch this week.

Thurston: 8-8, ranked #13

■ Highlights: Walker Bonar game-winning jumper with 8.2 seconds left in 57-55 win over Century, finished with 20 points in the game. Hunter James 25 points against Century. Nate Stiffler back-to-back 13 points and 13 rebounds games. Bonar 19 and 8 rebounds against Jefferson. Stiffler 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks against Parkrose. Stiffler 15th in state with 7.0 rpg.
■ Moving forward: While the Colts sit in fifth in their league, they do hold one of the two at-large spots for the playoffs because of their ranking. It’s risky to rely on the at-large spots however, and a top-three finish in the MWL is realistic for Thurston. The Colts have a critical game on Friday against Crater.


Cottage Grove
■ Highlights: Boys: Carter Bengtson (138) 2nd at Nick Lutz Tournament and Grapple at the Grove. Nathan Abrams (285) 5th at King of the Hill and 6th at Perry Burlison Tournament. … Girls: Allison Palluck (110-120) 1st-place finishes at King of the Hill, Bay City Invitational, Nick Lutz Tournament, North Bend Coast Classic Girls, and Burlison Girls Invitational.
■ Moving forward: The Lions, ranked #12 on the boys side, have two big events coming up, highlighted by the Cottage Grove Invitational this Saturday. Cottage Grove will also host the Girls Regional 1-4A tournament on Feb. 3-4.

■ Highlights: Boys: Lyosha Mitchell (113) 1st at Covered Bridge Invitational, 2nd at Sutherlin Invitational. … Girls: Chantell Noffsinger (140) 1st place at Nick Lutz Tournament, Screamin’ Eagle, and Sutherlin Invitational.
■ Moving forward: The Bulldogs have no more regular-season wrestling to do, meaning the team will prepare for the Special District meets. The girls will compete at Cottage Grove on Feb. 3-4, while the boys compete Feb. 10-11.

Pleasant Hill
■ Highlights: Boys: Gavin Hoellrich (160) 1st at Deven Dawson Memorial Tournament, 2nd at King of the Hill. … Girls: Athena Sprague (155) 3rd at Deven Dawson Memorial Tournament, 4th at King of the Hill and Nick Lutz Tournament.
■ Moving forward: While Pleasant Hill may not be expected to compete for the team championship come state, the team does have some individuals who expect to challenge for the title. Before that, however, the Billies must finish their regular season this week


Cottage Grove: 3-13, ranked #31
■ Highlights: Freshman Mariah Bailey 17 points in consolation finals win at Seaside Holiday Classic. Jaylee Lima 10 points in 39-30 win over Sisters. Lima 17 points vs. No. 4 Marshfield. Bailey 12 points vs. Jefferson.
■ Moving forward: The playoffs might not be the goal for coach Pete LeMay, as his team has only three seniors and he took over the program a week before the season. This week Cottage Grove continues Sky-Em League play at home against No. 18 Junction City on Friday and at No. 10 Marist next Wednesday.

Creswell:12-4, ranked #16
■ Highlights: Lauren Bailey 17 points, 17 rebounds against Cottage Grove. Samairah Quinones 15 points, 14 rebounds against Cottage Grove. Quinones 10 points, 13 rebounds, 9 steals against North Bend. Bailey 15 points, 13 rebounds against Dayton. Bailey 20th in state with 8.0 rpg. Dakota Carson 20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals against South Umpqua. Carson 19 points with 4/4 from three against Glide.

■ Moving forward: Creswell is in great position to grab either the second or third automatic playoff spot in the Mountain Valley Conference. The Bulldogs have a rematch on Tuesday against No. 5 Pleasant Hill, and an upset win would put Creswell tied for first. Even with a loss to the Billies, Creswell can still lock up a playoff spot by beating Siuslaw and Sisters in two weeks time.

Pleasant Hill: 15-1, ranked #7
■ Highlights: 13-game win streak from Dec. 8-present, second-longest streak in Class 3A. 42-28 victory over No. 5



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