Girls Basketball-Lady Logger Head Coach Steve Whiteman continues to have his girls on the right track this season.
The Lady Loggers are 13-1 overall and 7-0 in league play following a 69-28 win over Gaston on Tuesday, January 14. Vernonia is in first place in the Northwest League and currently ranked 4th in Oregon division 2A.
Following a tough loss over the holidays to then 1st ranked Santiam, the Lady Loggers have reeled off five straight wins, including a 63-37 home victory over league rival Portland Christian.
The Portland Christian game was close through the first half and Vernonia struggled to open up a 25-18 lead. “They thought they could use a full court press against us, and it worked for the first quarter,” said head coach Whiteman. “When they stopped using it in the second half I knew we had them rattled.” Whiteman also noted that Portland Christian had been averaging 9 three pointers a game. “Our goal was to be out on top and play good defense to take that away from them,” explained Whiteman. Portland Christian only made 1-9 shots from three point range against Vernonia. “Our defense really matched up with them,” said Whiteman.
The Lady Loggers had a tight win on January 10, defeating Faith Bible 25-24. “They have a very good coach, he was Coach of the Year last year in our league,” said Whiteman. “They always keep the score down, that is their style.” The Lady Loggers were also missing key players in Katka Brejchova and Stephanie Castro. “We had some younger players who had to step up and make up for a lot of missing experience,” said Whiteman.
Whiteman has been especially pleased with the play of Brejchova who has developed into an excellent point guard and brings real stability to the team when she is on the court.
Whiteman mentioned junior Meagan Sullivan, who has been playing the last few games with a broken finger. “It’s very painful and she has been playing through it,” said Whiteman. “She is one of the toughest girls I have ever seen.” Whiteman also noted Sullivan’s tough defense. “We give her the best post player on the other team to guard and she neutralizes them for us.”
According to Whiteman, Julia Fletcher has been a real spark for the team, who has had to play several different positions. “She hasn’t just scored for us, she rebounds, she passes; she is all over the court doing everything.”
Emma D’Onghia has had, “…four or five games with over 20 points,” says Whiteman. “She handles the ball well, sees the court and makes opportunities for herself.”
The Lady Loggers have an important away match-up with Portland Christian on January 21 followed by a home game against Delphian on January 24. They then hit the road for away games against Nestucca, Gaston, Riverdale, Knappa and Neah-Kah-Nie.
Boys Basketball-The Loggers have struggled this season but still find themselves in the hunt in the Northwest League. After several very close losses, the Loggers currently have a 5-9 overall record and are 2-5 in league play following a 53-45 loss to Gaston at home on January 14.
Previously the Loggers lost at home, 50-40 to Portland Christian and 70-49 at Faith Bible, before defeating Neah-Kah-Nie 69-48 at home.
The Loggers travel to Portland Christian on January 21 and then play Delphian at home on January 24, before a series of away games.
Wrestling-Loggers head coach Chris Barnes got exceptional performances at the prestigious PAC-RIM Armed Forces Tournament on January 11 from Zane and David Kovelda, who both took second place. David Kovelda, who went into the meet with a 13-3 record, pinned all three wrestlers he faced in the 152 weight class before losing by decision 9-5 in the finals to St. Helens’ Myles Terry. Terry is undefeated this season with a 25-0 record. Zane Kovelda went into the tournament with a 16-5 record and won three matches at 160 pounds before falling in the finals 10-3 to Scappoose’s Ben Gadbois.
Damian Young went 3-2 in the tournament for the Loggers with two pins and a major decision in his final match to take 7th place at 145 pounds. Sam Hout also went 3-2 with three pins at 182 pounds and also took 7th place.
The Loggers are now getting ready for the Oregon Wrestling Classic in Redmond on January 17-18 where they face Monroe, Heppner, and Oakridge in their pool.