Girls Basketball-The Vernonia Lady Loggers are off to a great start this season, racing out to an 8-1 record overall and a 3-0 record in Northwest League play.
The Lady Loggers, under head coach Steve Whiteman, have been winning in dominating fashion, outscoring opponents by a combined 580-287 score. The Lady Loggers defeated Knappa 67-41 in league play on December 20 and then defeated league rival Gaston 66-24 in a non-league match-up in the first round of the Cougar Classic holiday tournament at Gervais on December 27.
Vernonia lost their first game of the season on Saturday, December 28 in the finals of the Cougar Classic, falling 51-50 to Santiam. Santiam is currently ranked first state-wide in Division 2A; the Lady Loggers were ranked tenth.
Vernonia is scheduled to return to action on Saturday, January 4 with an away, non-league match-up against Southwest Christian. Vernonia resumes Northwest League play on Tuesday, January 7 at home against Portland Christian. The Lady Loggers also have upcoming home games against Neah-Kah-Nie on Saturday, January 11 and Gaston on Tuesday, January 14.
Boys Basketball-The Loggers boys basketball team are 1-2 in Northwest League play and moved to 4-5 overall after taking third place at the Cougar Classic during the holiday break.
Logger head coach David Weller is fairly pleased with his team’s play so far this season but he sees a lot of room and areas for improvement. Weller notes that after leading in every game this season and losing several close games, the team could easily be 7-0. “We’re just not closing them out.” says Weller.
Weller acknowledges that he has an especially young team this year. “They’re not experienced and every situation is new, so we’re having to learn on the fly,” says Weller. “But we are learning, which is good.”
Weller says he expects the Northwest League to be pretty competitive this season and thinks the Loggers could advance to the playoffs. Weller thinks Gaston looks like the best team; the Loggers lost to Gaston 45-41 in the first round of the Cougar Classic on Friday, December 27. The Loggers went on to defeat Santiam 52-35 on December 28 to take third place in the holiday tournament.
Weller says free throw shooting is an area he hopes the team can improve in. Weller said that prior to the Cougar Classic the team had lost four games by a combined total of twenty-two points and had missed a total of fifty free throws. Weller says he would also like to see the team improve their defense and rebounding. He also says the team has consistently found themselves in foul trouble, which means Weller has been unable to play his preferred line-up for most of the season.
Weller has been extremely pleased with the play of Alex Rubiero, who, as the point guard, has led the team in scoring in most games, including games of 37, 34, 27 and 21 points.
Weller has also been pleased with the play of Emil Hardenburg as the second scorer on the team. Weller also noted the play of freshman Brett Elliot who has been the first player off the bench and is seeing consistent minutes on the varsity squad. Weller also mentioned the improved play of Julius Haake. “He’s going to see more and more playing time as the season goes on,” says Weller. “He learns, he listens well, he does what we tell him. He could really be a threat for us.”
The Loggers play Southwest Christian on Saturday, January 4 and then resumes Northwest League play on Tuesday, January 7 at home against Portland Christian. They also have upcoming home games against Neah-Kah-Nie on Saturday, January 11 and Gaston on Tuesday, January 14.
Wrestling-Head coach Chris Barnes has been bringing along his young team slowly. After the cancelation of several early season meets the Loggers have finally had a chance to go up against some rival competition.
Coach Barnes says that Zane Kovelda has been the best wrestler on the squad so far this season and has really responded to the extra responsibilities of being a team captain. Kovelda has been dominant in several matches this season and performed well in several tournaments, taking first place in the Haggerty Invitational at Nestucca on December 21 and fourth place at the Harrisburg Eagle Classic on December 27. Kovelda followed that up with a first place finish at the Clatskanie Tournament the following day, defeating brother David in the 160 pound championship match, 19-16.
Vernonia dominated both Warrenton and Clatskanie in duals meets hosted by the Loggers on December 18. Zane Kovelda won both his matches by pin and David Kovelda, Jeffery Goodman, Jason Bouslaugh were among several Loggers with impressive wins.
At the Haggerty Invitational David Kovelda took second place and Goodman and Damian Young took third, both by pin.
At the Harrisburg Eagle Classic on December 27, Bouslaugh and Bridger Steward took second place, Damian Young took third, and Jake Harbour and Sam Hout took fifth.
At the Clatskanie Tournament on December 28, in addition to one-two finish by the Kovelda brothers, Bouslaugh and Steward took fourth place and Harbour, Young, Hout and Trask Zook each finished fifth.