Boys Basketball - The Vernonia Loggers boys wrapped up Northwest League play on Friday, February 13 in stunning fashion, defeating the Nestucca Bobcats 58-26. The Loggers dominated the Wildcats, taking a commanding 31-6 halftime lead and cruising to the win in the second half.
The win gave the Loggers a 10-4 league record and moved them into a tie with Nestucca for second place. The Loggers needed to win by seven points to earn the tie breaker for the #2 seed in the upcoming playoffs, and did so handily.
Coach David Weller and the Loggers are now preparing to host a district payoff game on Thursday, February 19, when they will host Nestucca in a rematch of that final, regular season league game.
Against Nestucca the Loggers were once again led by freshman sensation Clay Sullivan, along with sophomores Brett Elliott, Tristan Adams and Nikita Moskalev and seniors Will Botelho and ZiXian Chen.
The win on Friday followed a dramatic comeback win by the Loggers on Tuesday, February 10. Trailing Delphian by as many as 23 points in the third quarter and by 15 points with two minutes left in the game, the Loggers clawed their way back and won 51-49. The Loggers have now won four games in a row.
“This team has shown its competitiveness and willingness to never give up,” said coach Weller.
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 state playoffs. As the #2 seed in the district playoff, the Loggers play #3 Nestucca, with the winner advancing to face #1 Knappa on Saturday, February 21 in Forest Grove and an automatic spot at state. 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.
“We need to use our home court advantage and hopefully have this gym packed,” said coach 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 it’s like to fill this place.”
Girls Basketball – The Vernonia Lady Loggers, under the leadership of head coach Steve Whiteman, have once again won the Northwest League Girls Basketball Championship and qualified for the state playoffs for the third year in a row.
The Lady Loggers dominated their league, going undefeated with a 12-0 league record. They finished the season with a 20-3 overall record and ranked #2 in the state in the 2A division.
The Lady Loggers enter the district playoffs as the #1 seed and will face the winner of the #2 Faith Bible vs. #3 City Christian game on Saturday, February 21 in Forest Grove.
The Lady Loggers defeated Nestucca 64-21 for their final league victory on Friday, February 13.
The Lady Loggers are led this season by seniors Julia Fletcher and Meghan Sullivan along with juniors Marketa Veselkova, Paige Smith, Sara Smith, Jocie Roberts and sophomore Lisa Paje.
Coach Whiteman reached a career milestone on Friday, February 6 when he coached his 600th career varsity girls basketball game.
Wrestling - Coach Chris Barnes and his squad will be competing at the District Tournament at Knappa on Friday and Saturday, February 20-21.
Barnes will be taking ten wrestlers to the tournament and has high hopes of capturing second place behind a deep and talented Monroe team. The top two wrestlers in each weight class qualify for the state tournament and Barnes believes several of his wrestlers have a chance to earn that trip to state.
“This group of wrestlers has a lot of skill and they’re a really good bunch of kids,” says Barnes.
Mekhi Williams will wrestle at 113. Barnes says freshman Williams is strong, quick and enthusiastic and has done well in league meets. Barnes says he could go far at the district meet in a weight class with only a few competitors.
At 120 the Loggers have freshman Noah Rylands who has not wrestled much this season due to a hand injury, but says he will compete at Districts. Barnes says Rylands is tough and has good form.
Andrew Jennings should be a top seed at the district at 126 after a good season that included taking third at the Cougar Classic in a large bracket. Barnes also has two freshmen at 126, Storm Henson and Nick Bennett who he hopes can pick up points for the team.
At 132 senior Jeffrey Goodman will also be a top seed and has a chance to finish his high school career on a high note. Goodman has wrestled at 138 for most of the season and should do well in the lower weight class at District. “He’s our most experienced wrestler and has a chance to shine,” said Barnes.
Senior Daniel Rice faces a very tough bracket in the 138 weight class. Rice has wrestled well as a second year wrestler, but will face very tough competition at the district meet.
Jake Harbour will be a top seed at 145. Junior Harbour is quick and strong and has developed a couple good moves this season. He has only lost one league match and has been an exciting wrestler who has improved this season and beaten and pinned opponents he lost to earlier in the year.
Alex West will wrestle at either 145 or 152. West is an extremely strong, fast and very exciting wrestler who has developed a great double leg takedown. He has done well in numerous tournaments this season and should be a top seed at district. “If he stays focused he can beat a lot of people,” says Barnes.
Niklas Merzadah will be a top seed at 182 and has an excellent chance to advance to the state tournament.
“I’m happy with this team and excited about the progress they’ve made,” said Barnes. “I’m hoping we can peak this weekend at the district meet.”
Equestrian – The Vernonia Equestrian team competed in their first meet of the season during the weekend of February 12-15.
Coaches Dawn Carr and Dale Pedersen were pleased with the team’s effort. “Both the kids’ and the horses’ performances were strong and competitive,” said Carr. “The kids rode hard and showed good sportsmanship.”
Team members include freshmen Lily Buchanan and Jordon McCord; sophomores Pearl Cook and Lauren Glass: juniors Jordan Brickley, Kassidy Fetch and Sheyanne Pedersen and Senior Makayla McCord.
The team had numerous top ten placings including:
Keyhole-1st – M. McCord
Barrels-5th – K. Fetch
Birangle-5th – K. Fetch and P. Cook
Figure 8-3rd – K. Fetch
Freestyle Fours-4th – J. McCord, K. Fetch, M. McCord, P. Cook
Working Rancher-1st – S. Pedersen
Breakaway Roping-1st – S. Pedersen
Steer Daubing-2nd – M. McCord; 5th -S. Pedersen
Team Penning-4th – Vernonia Gold – J. Brickley, L. Glass, M. McCord
The team’s next meet is March 12-15 in McMinnville.
Cheerleading – The Vernonia Cheer Squad competed on Saturday, February 14 at the OSAA State Championships and finished ninth out of fifteen teams competing in the 3A/2A/1A division.
On Sunday, February 15 the squad competed at the Oregon Cheerleading Coaches Association Championships and did very well, taking second place. Two girls from the Vernonia Squad performed individual routines; Nicole Gardner took first place and Megan Schirmeister finished second.