Jan. 18, 2022 — In the latter half of January, all four of the area’s high school basketball teams are in the midst of the grind that is the conference portion of their schedule.
That grind got a little more difficult for the Viking girls as Siuslaw Athletic Director Chris Johnson announced Monday morning that a member or members of the girls basketball team had been exposed to COVID-19. Both of their games this week have been postponed. The Siuslaw boys game will go on as planned.
Assuming they can avoid illness for the rest of the season, each team will play two or more games a week until the end of the season. These games will decide Mapleton and Siuslaw’s place in the league standings and eventually their eligibility for the OSAA State Championship at the end of the season.
The 4A championship tournament will be held at Forest Grove High this year while 1A will be hosted by Baker High. Mapleton’s boys and girls teams both play in the Mountain West Conference and its rules state that the top three teams in the league standings qualify. The Sky-Em Conference, home to Siuslaw’s boys and girls teams, is not quite as clear cut, but a top three finish would guarantee the Vikings have, at least, a shot at a play-in game for a chance to go the championship tournament in Forest Grove.
Here is a roundup of recent local basketball action.
Mapleton Boys 50 – McKenzie 28
The Sailor boys have their first winning streak of the season as they beat McKenzie on Jan. 13 for their second straight win. Sophomore Keevyn Walker had his best game of the season with 20 points.
“Keevyn is starting to become a very exciting player and one that coaches are starting to have to game plan for,” said MHS Coach Eric Wolgamott. “Being only a sophomore makes me very excited to see what he can become. He has played some really good basketball lately, and his best basketball is still ahead of him.”
Senior Joe Shepard was next with 9 points.
Freshman Dom Stewart scored a career high 7 points to go with several rebounds and played his best game of the year.
“He was all over the court and I feel like he is just scratching the surface of what he can become,” said Wolgamott. “The potential for him is very high, and once he understands the game better, he will be a difference maker.”
As has become a regular occurrence, sophomore Brian Burnett was also a difference maker on the defensive end.
“He is starting to take pride in being the player that will dive on the floor for the rebound and is becoming more disciplined each and every game,” said Wolgamott.
The win evens up MHS’ record in Mountain West play at 2-2, just 1.5 games back of Mohawk and Alsea, who are tied for first at 4-1.
Mapleton Girls 48 – McKenzie 22
The Sailor girls picked up their second league win of the season on Jan. 13 when they beat the McKenzie Eagles 48-22. Freshman Morgan Milbrett was the leading scorer for MHS with 16 points.
“Morgan is only a freshman and is just one example of the bright future of Mapleton basketball,” said Mapleton Coach Vanessa Clemons.
Senior Jahala Blake was next in scoring for the Sailors with 10 points.
The win puts Mapleton at 2-4 in league play and in fifth place — only two games behind Triangle Lake and third place and a spot in the state playoffs.
Mapleton hosted Alsea on Tuesday night, Jan. 18, after press deadlines. Next, both teams travel to Siletz Valley for games on Jan. 20. Boys tip at 5:30 p.m., girls at 7 p.m.
Siuslaw Girls 10 – Marist 44
The Viking girls team is still on the lookout for that elusive first victory. They traveled to Eugene on Jan. 14 to face Marist and fell 44-10. They will get a chance to avenge the loss when Marist comes to Florence for a game on Feb. 4.
Siuslaw Boys 52 – Marist 58
The Vikings got down early, came back and kept it close all game but could never fully close the gap. Senior Brody Terry scored 10 points in the first quarter, but Marist countered with four 3-pointers in the first frame themselves and were up 20-12 after one.
Terry finished with 23 points for the game. Fellow senior Braydon Thornton had 19 points for the Viks.
This was the first Sky-Em League game for both teams.
The Siuslaw boys traveled to Coos Bay on Jan. 18 to face Marshfield after press deadlines. Next, the Vikings host Elmira on Friday, Jan. 21. The boys game tips at 5:45 p.m. The girls game will be rescheduled.