The Vernonia Loggers boys basketball team are preparing to host a district payoff game on Thursday, February 19.
The Loggers finished second in the Northwest League with a 10-4 record. The playoff game will be a rematch against the Nestucca Bobcats following the Loggers 58-26 win over Nestucca on Friday, February 13 in the final, regular season league game for both teams.
“We need to use our home court advantage and hopefully have this gym packed,” said Logger head coach David Weller. ”Since we’ve moved into the new school I’ve been waiting for a home playoff game. We would really like to see what’s like to fill this place.”
The top three finishers in the district playoffs earn a place in the state playoff. The Loggers have two chances to earn that trip to the states. As the # 2 seed in the district playoff, the Loggers play #3 Nestucca, with the winner advancing to face #1 Kanppa on Saturday, February 21 in Forest Grove and an automatic spot in states. The loser of the #2 vs #3 game on Thursday would play the winner of the #4 vs #5 game for the final state playoff spot.
“If we can shut down #40 for Nestucca, Brett Elder, like we did last week, they’re going to struggle,” said Weller. ”That will be our goal on Thursday–shut him down and make their other guys make shots.”
The young Loggers team is led this season by freshman Clay Sullivan, and sophomores Brett Elliot, Tristan Adams and August Johnson, who is injured, along with juniors Jared Medlars and Nikita Moskalev and seniors Will Botelho and ZiXian Chen.
“This team has shown it’s competitiveness and willingness to never give up,” said coach Weller.