Sports Zone

HSSZ Capsules – Week of March 7


#7 Springfield Millers vs. #2 Crater Comets
Who: The Millers (17-8) vs. the Comets (24-1)
Where: Linfield University, 900 SE Baker St., McMinnville
Tickets: Student (5 thru HS senior).  Adults $10 per session, students $6 per session. All sessions: Adults $70, students $40 …
Tipping off: The Millers’ state title defense begins in earnest this week at Linfield University in McMinnville on Thursday. The 7th-seeded Millers face off with Midwestern League rival Crater in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 8:15 p.m. Crater got the best of Springfield both times this season, winning the first game 59-49 and the second matchup 58-56. Springfield senior Danaeja Romero-Ah Sam, back-to-back state player of the year, will finish her high school career this weekend.


Three area teams had their seasons come to a close in postseason play last weekend: the Cottage Grove girls, Creswell girls, and Thurston boys basketball teams.

Creswell competed at the state tournament in Coos Bay, earning sixth-place at the tournament. The 7th-seeded Bulldogs opened the quarterfinals with a 48-32 loss to No. 2 Sutherlin, Dakota Carson led the way with 10 points. In the consolation semifinals, Creswell took down No. 11 Nyssa 43-28 behind Carson’s 19 points and 7 rebounds, as well as 12 points and 8 rebounds from Lauren Bailey. In the consolation finals the Bulldogs fell to No. 5 Banks 44-37, with Elliette Kinney leading the team with 15 points.

“I’m super proud of the girls. I think we felt like we all could have done a little bit better. But, you know, it’s still pretty good to finish sixth, so we were happy with that,” Creswell coach Tyler Hollingsworth said. “The girls were just emotional in general, but not in a bad way, just knowing that all the hard work is over. Super proud of them as I said.”

Carson earned second-team all-tournament honors for Creswell, which brought home the program’s first state trophy since 2014 and second ever, according to Hollingsworth.

“That’s pretty cool. I didn’t realize it going in. I’ve been there two times, but we hadn’t won a game either time. So our goal was just, can we just win a game?” Hollingsworth said. “It’s pretty impressive, and it’s definitely a testament to our girls.”

The Bulldogs graduate six seniors: captains Carson and Bailey, as well as Lizabelle Osborn, Koda Priest, Chloe Halgren, and Leaghanna Sharp. Hollingsworth said the postgame talk was centered around the senior class, and how much they’ve done for the program.

“I told them how proud I was of them. And, you know, thanks for taking us on the journey with them because they worked really hard,” he said. “The reason I think we were so successful is because we had good leadership. The seniors that played and the seniors who didn’t play as much. None of them really wavered in making that be an issue. They were there for the team, and it was a predominantly team-first mentality.”

■ In the Class 4A girls bracket Cottage Grove’s season came to a close at No. 1 Astoria last Saturday with a 54-25 loss in the first round. The postseason appearance was Cottage Grove’s first since the 2020 season, and came just a season after winning only four games.

■ On the boys side, Thurston took down Eagle Point 67-34 last Tuesday to end regular-season play before falling to No. 5 West Albany 75-55 in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs. Nate Stiffler led the way in the EP victory with 20 points and 5 rebounds. In the postseason loss, the Colts had three players finish in double figures: Noah Blair with 18 points and 6 rebounds, Walker Bonar with 13 points and 7 rebounds, and Stiffler with 10 points and 5 rebounds.


Weekly notes from around our area teams’ conferences:

Marist, Junction, North in state playoffs

■ Three area boys teams will be competing in the state playoffs this week. In the Class 4A boys bracket at Forest Grove High School, No. 2 Junction City hosts No. 7 Henley and No. 6 Marist hosts No. 14 Crook County. JC beat No. 15 Scappoose 60-31 in the first round behind 22 points from Keivon Riley, while Nick Hudson scored 13 points in Marist’s 59-30 win over No. 11 Phoenix. A win Thursday by both teams sets up a Sky-Em rematch in the semis – the teams split the season 1-1.

■ In the Class 5A boys bracket, No. 3 North Eugene heads to Linfield University on Wednesday to face No. 6 Putnam in the quarterfinals. North made its second straight quarterfinal appearance thanks to Elias McKinnis’ 16 points in a 63-46 first round win over No. 14 Silverton. A quarterfinal win for North would likely set up a game against No. 2 Wilsonville – the back-to-back state champs.

Marist girls upset No. 6 La Grande

■ The Marist Catholic girls basketball team, seeded No. 11 in the Class 4A playoffs, upset No. 6 La Grande last Saturday. The Spartans finished the regular season 11-11 before traveling to the Greater Oregon League champs in La Grande. With the upset win, Marist faces No. 3 Philomath (20-5) in the quarterfinals on Thursday – a team that has beaten Marist twice this season.



Tuesday, Feb. 27
Thurston 67, Eagle Point 34
Friday, March 1
(5) West Albany 75, (12) Thurston 55

Tuesday, Feb. 27
Eagle Point 50, Thurston 40
Thursday, Feb. 29
(2) Sutherlin 48, (7) Creswell 32
Friday, March 1
(7) Creswell 43, (11) Nyssa 28
Saturday, March 2
(1) Astoria 54, (16) Cottage Grove 25
(5) Banks 44, (7) Creswell 37
(7) Springfield 61, (10) Central 51


Thursday, March 7
(7) Springfield at (2) Crater (Linfield University), 8:15 p.m.
Friday, March 8
Class 5A Semifinals
Saturday, March 9
Class 5A Finals



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