Sports Zone

HSSZ: The Week Ahead

Wrestling – The Main Events

The basics: Girls District 2 Championships … At Cottage Grove High School … Schedule: Friday, 3 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.
What to know: Cottage Grove and Creswell girls compete at the Girls 4A/3A/2A/1A Special District 2 championships. Allison Palluck (115) leads the way for the Lions while Jenna Kruger (130) and Chantell Noffsinger (140) lead the way for the Bulldogs. The district championships also decide who goes to state later this month, the ultimate goal for every wrestler.
The basics: Girls Special District 3 Championships … At Thurston High School … Schedule: Friday, 3 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.
What to know: Springfield and Thurston compete for the Girls 6A/5A Special District 3 championship. Thurston is the No. 1 team in the state. Kaylee Annis (110) and Kristal Zamora (135) are both favorites for the Colts, and Lydia Stewart (120) should lead the way for the Millers.


Cottage Grove
10-8, ranked #13
In the bonus: The Lions have continued to rise in the rankings over the last two weeks and have a big rematch on Tuesday at No.19 Marshfield. Cottage Grove beat Marshfield 72-54 on January 20, but will have to travel to Marshfield this time around. Gannon Leach scored 24 and Brennen Murphy added 20 points 7 rebounds last time out, and both should want to replicate those performances this time around.

14-4, ranked #9
In the bonus: Creswell has a big non-league game this Friday at home against No. 10 Santiam Christian. The Bulldogs very likely could meet Santiam in the first or second round of the playoffs, so this game should serve as a great late-season non-league test. Max Velarde, already one of Creswell’s best players at the beginning of the season, has stepped up even more since AJ Hodge’s injury, and should look to continue that play down the stretch of the season.

Pleasant Hill Billies
15-4, ranked #8
In the bonus: The Mountain Valley Conference is officially a three-team competition for first. Pleasant Hill along with Creswell and Sisters are the top-three teams, and the Billies have a matchup with Sisters next Tuesday. Depending on how Pleasant Hill did against Creswell this Tuesday, after deadline, the game against Sisters could be a battle for first-place heading into the final week of competition. Either way, Pleasant Hill will need its backcourt trio of Gavin Inglish, Landen Melvin, and Matthew Nguyen to continue to lead the way.

2-14, ranked #30
In the bonus: Springfield has two Midwestern League games this week, at No. 12 Crater on Friday and at home against No. 8 North Eugene on Tuesday. The Millers have benefited recently from excellent three-point shooting from Sophomore Vincent Trinka, who went 4-8 against Crescent Valley last week. Along with the consistency of Isaiah Navarrete , the Millers’ need the shooting if they hope to upset either Crater or North Eugene this week.

10-8, ranked #13
In the bonus: Thurston is 4-1 in its last five games and now finds itself in a battle for the third and final playoff spot in the Midwestern League. The Colts have a huge home game on Friday in a rematch with Ashland. Thurston led by five with just over a minute but ended up losing to Ashland last time out. If the Colts are to get revenge and vault themselves into the top-three they’ll need continued excellence from their top scorers Walker Bonar, Nate Stiffler, and Hunter James.


Cottage Grove Lions: 
3-15, ranked #31
In the bonus: Cottage Grove finds itself in a tough spot, but has had one of its best offensive stretches of the season over the last three games. Cottage Grove’s only game this week is next Tuesday at No. 4 Marshfield. Last time out the Lions had one of their best showings of the season despite losing 56-43. Jaylee Lima and Mariah Bailey led the way last time against Marshfield with 17 and 11 points, respectively.

Creswell Bulldogs:
14-4, ranked #15
In the bonus: Creswell, all but locked in for a top-three spot for league play, has a big non-league game at home against No. 5 Santiam Christian on Friday. Santiam has three seniors over 5’10” so the Bulldogs will need stellar play from stars Lauren Bailey and Samairah Quinones to pull off the upset.

Pleasant Hill Billies: 
16-1, ranked #8
In the bonus: Pleasant Hill’s win streak is up to 14 on the season, and could be at 15 by time of publishing depending on Tuesday’s result against rival Creswell. If the Billies do beat Creswell, their two games this week could clinch the league title. Pleasant Hill travels to Elmira on Friday and hosts Sisters on Tuesday. Elmira the first time around was the Billies closest league game so far, which was a 38-28 win for PH in which Brooke Weimer led the way with 11 points.

Springfield Millers: 
14-5, ranked #1
In the bonus: The Millers have two of a three-game road stretch this week, at No. 5 Crater on Friday and at No. 12 North Eugene on Tuesday. Last time against Crater was Springfield’s closest Midwestern League game, so this time at Crater, the No. 2 team in the MWL, will be tough. For Springfield to stay undefeated in league play, it will need continued excellence from star Danaeja Romero-Ah Sam.

Thurston Colts: 
8-10, ranked #17
In the bonus: Thurston finds itself just on the outside of the playoffs, but has a chance to move up the rankings with wins this week. The Colts host Ashland on Friday and travel to North Eugene on Tuesday. Thurston beat both teams the first time around this season, but both games were close. Stars Bailey Tovey, Stella Hall, and Addison Nelson will all have to play well if the Colts want to keep pace in a tight playoff race.

*Records and rankings as of noon Tuesday.



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