Sports Zone

HSSZ: Week of Feb. 15 Capsules

Editor’s note: This week’s capsules contain The Main Event, weekly previews and recaps for basketball teams, wrestling recaps, swimming recaps, cheer recaps, conference call, and results/schedules from our area teams.

What2Know: Class 3A conference playoffs. … Saturday, Feb. 17 at Thurston High School. … Times and matchups TBD. 
Tipping off: Postseason seeding and automatic bids are at stake. The exact matchups and times will be decided after Tuesday night’s games, the likeliest scenarios are: Creswell boys against either Sisters or Siuslaw for the final automatic playoff bid; Pleasant Hill boys against No. 5 Harrisburg for the first seed; Pleasant Hill girls against Creswell for the first seed. Creswell hosts Sisters on Thursday for the right to play Pleasant Hill.



COTTAGE GROVE: 8-11, ranked #17
Tipping off: Cottage Grove wraps up the regular season with two away games this week – at No. 10 Marshfield on Thursday and at No. 7 Marist on Saturday. With senior guard Gannon Leach out with an injury, the Lions have struggled, losing three straight games. The Lions are still in a position to participate in a play-in game for the postseason, and an upset win this week would solidify that.

SPRINGFIELD: 5-15, ranked #25
Tipping off: Springfield travels to No. 12 Thurston next Tuesday to kick off the final week of Midwestern League play. While first-year coach TC Combs was hopeful for a playoff appearance, the Millers will be once again on the outside-looking-in – though an upset win over their cross-town rivals could give them momentum heading into the offseason.

THURSTON: 13-6, ranked #12
Tipping off: Thurston’s big game this week is Tuesday evening – after The Chronicle’s deadline – as the Colts host No. 2 North Eugene. North Eugene (8-1 in league), Crater (7-2), and Thurston (6-1) all have a shot to win the league title with two weeks remaining.


COTTAGE GROVE: 13-8, ranked #18
Tipping off: The Lions travel to the top-two teams in the Sky-Em League to end the regular season this week. CG plays at No. 10 Marshfield on Thursday and at No. 11 Marist on Saturday. A win in the final week would secure a play-in game appearance for senior guard Payton Anlauf and the Lions.

SPRINGFIELD: 14-7, ranked #3
Tipping off: The Millers welcome the defending Class 6A state champs in No. 1 Clackamas on Thursday in a battle of the two defending big-school champs. The two teams each have the reigning players of the year in their classification as well, as Springfield’s Danaeja Romero-Ah Sam faces off with Clackamas junior guard Jazzy Davidson – the reigning Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year. While the late-season non-conference game won’t have any playoff implications for either team, it will give the Millers a great test as they attempt to slow down the best player in the state – a five-star recruit who’s ranked No. 2 in the nation in the ESPN recruiting rankings for the Class of 2025.

THURSTON: 7-12, ranked #24
Tipping off: Thurston travels to Eagle Point on Friday in a game the Colts need to win in order to keep pace with North Eugene in the race for third in the Midwestern League. Sisters Bailey and Payton Tovey have been key in wins for the Colts this season.



Cottage Grove went 0-2 against the top teams in the Sky-Em League, losing to No. 7 Marist 80-47 and No. 1 Junction City 68-45. Cole Kishen had a game-high 20 points in the loss to Marist.
Creswell traveled to Sisters on Tuesday night – just a few days after losing to Sisters – and beat the Outlaws 62-58 to retake sole possession of third place in the Mountain Valley Conference. Junior Tyler Whitson had a spectacular performance, leading Creswell with 28 points (8-for-11 shooting), 7 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Pleasant Hill extended its win streak to nine games with a 3-0 week, beating Siuslaw twice and Elmira once. In a 56-38 win over Siuslaw, Gavin Inglish had 25 points and 11 rebounds, and Landen Melvin scored 14. In a 68-49 senior night win over Elmira, Matt Nguyen had 22 points and 5 steals, and Inglish contributed 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Springfield grabbed its second Midwestern League win of the season with a 74-63 win over Ashland. A season after going winless in league, first-year coach TC Combs has the Millers with two league wins, and three games remaining to grab another.
Thurston had only one game last week, a 68-52 win at Churchill. Nate Stiffler (18 points, 4 assists, 3 blocks) and Noah Blair (15 points, 5 rebounds) combined for 33 points to lead the Colts.


Creswell beat Sisters in dramatic fashion last week to stay in second place in the conference. Down one point with less than a minute left, Brooke Moehlmann hit the game-winning three for the Bulldogs with 35 seconds remaining to grab the win. Dakota Carson led the team in scoring on the night with 10 points.
Pleasant Hill moved one step closer to a second straight undefeated conference season, going 3-0 last week to move to 11-0 in the MVC. The Billies handled Siuslaw twice, 51-12 and 57-15, and beat Elmira 47-25. Claire Crawford led the way, finishing the three games with 16 points and 6 rebounds, 22 points and 17 rebounds, and 11 points and 12 rebounds. 
Springfield bounced back last week after its loss to Crater on Feb. 2, beating North Eugene 54-37 and Ashland 91-16. Danaeja Romero-Ah Sam and Diamond Wright both had stellar weeks for the Millers. Romero-Ah Sam had 17 points against North Eugene and 25 points, 13 steals, and 5 assists against Ashland. Wright led the way with 20 points and 8 rebounds against North Eugene, and had 22 points in the Ashland win.
Thurston moved into fourth place in the Midwestern League with a 38-33 win over Churchill last Tuesday. After the win, head coach Kevin Durfee and the Colts are now just two games back of North Eugene for third place in league.


Cottage Grove, Creswell, and Pleasant Hill boys all competed at their respective district championships. Pleasant Hill had the best finish, finishing fourth at its championships as two Billies won individual titles – Gavin Haratyk (120 pounds) and Vedder Anderson (144). CG finished fifth in its team competition behind three third-place finishers: Jeffery Conklin (120), Carter Bengtson (138), and Nathan Abrams (285). Creswell took sixth at its event, led by Lyosha Mitchell (120) and Brock Stubbs (157) each finishing third.


PHOTO PROVIDED. Cottage Grove’s Avery Bengtson (top) and Hayes Valley pose together after each winning individual titles at the district swim meet.

■ The 5A Midwestern League swimming district championships were last weekend, with the Thurston girls coming in second and the Springfield boys earning third. The Colts girls won five events: the 200-yard medley relay, Analeigh Mjelde in the 200-yard IM and 100-yard breastroke, Mckenzie Speldrich in the 100-yard backstroke, and the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Springfield boys were led by Andrew Grace, who won the 500-yard freestyle by over 20 seconds.
Cottage Grove swam at the 4A district championships, with freshman Avery Bengtson winning the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke for the girls, and Hayes Valley grabbing the 100 backstroke title for the boys.

Thurston Cheer takes second

The Thurston Colts Cheer team poses together after finishing second in the 6A/5A Coed Gameday competition. The Colts split the state title last season with Central, and followed that up with a second-place finish to Class 6A West Salem this year. In other cheer competitions, the Pleasant Hill Billies cheer team took home third place in the 3A/2A/1A Traditional competition.


Weekly notes from around our teams’ conferences:

Crater boys hand North Eugene first league loss
■ The Crater boys basketball team made the Midwestern League title race much more exciting last week as the 8th-ranked Comets upset No. 2 North Eugene 64-56 to hand the Highlanders their first league loss of the season. Kyle Bittle led Crater with 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. Crater, North Eugene, and No. 12 Thurston all have a shot at the league title with two weeks left in the regular season.

North Bend boys have rare double-forfeit tie
■ The North Bend boys basketball team was forced to retroactively forfeit five of their games last week after it was discovered that the Bulldogs used a player who was ineligible to play due to grades. North Bend forfeited three wins in the process, but the strangest forfeit is a game against The Dalles from late December. 

Earlier this season, The Dalles had to forfeit 12 games due to using two ineligible transfers – including their game against North Bend. Because both teams had to forfeit the game, the result is the rare double-forfeit tie, with the game not counting for either team.



Tuesday, Feb. 6
■ Marist 80, Cottage Grove 47
■ Creswell 62, Sisters 58
■ Pleasant Hill 56, Siuslaw 38
■ North Eugene 88, Springfield 55
■ Thurston 68, Churchill 52
Friday, Feb. 9
■ Junction City 68, Cottage Grove 45
■ Pleasant Hill 68, Elmira 49
■ Springfield 74, Ashland 63
Saturday, Feb. 10
■ Pleasant Hill 74, Siuslaw 43

Tuesday, Feb. 6
■ Marist 49, Cottage Grove 33
■ Creswell 42, Sisters 40
■ Pleasant Hill 51, Siuslaw 12
■ Springfield 54, North Eugene 37
■ Thurston 38, Churchill 33
Friday, Feb. 9
■ Junction City 41, Cottage Grove 39
■ Pleasant Hill 47, Elmira 25
■ Springfield 91, Ashland 16
Saturday, Feb. 10
■ Pleasant Hill 57, Siuslaw 15


Thursday, Feb. 15
■ Cottage Grove at Marshfield, 5:45 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 16
■ Thurston at Eagle Point, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 17
■ Creswell, Pleasant Hill at League Playoffs (Thurston HS), TBD
■ Cottage Grove at Marist, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 20
■ Springfield at Thurston, 7 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 15
■ Clackamas at Springfield, 6:45 p.m.
■ Cottage Grove at Marshfield, 7:15 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 16
■ Thurston at Eagle Point, 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 17
■ Creswell, Pleasant Hill at League Playoffs (Thurston HS), TBD
■ Cottage Grove at Marist, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 20
■ Springfield at Thurston, 5:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 16
■ Cottage Grove, Creswell, Pleasant Hill girls at 4A/3A/2A/1A Special District 2 Championships (Cottage Grove HS), TBD
■ Springfield, Thurston boys at 5A Midwestern League Championships (Eagle Point HS), TBD
Saturday, Feb. 17
■ Cottage Grove, Creswell, Pleasant Hill girls at 4A/3A/2A/1A Special District 2 Championships (Cottage Grove HS), TBD
■ Springfield, Thurston boys at 5A Midwestern League Championships (Eagle Point HS), TBD



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