Sailors on course for state

In an all-or-nothing situation on the road at Eddyville Monday night, the Mapleton boys basketball team managed an upset win to secure a spot at the state tournament. Leading the upset was senior guard Hunter Simington, who had a career-high 32 points in the game, along with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocked shots.
   "Hunter realized it could be his last night playing high school basketball, and he delivered the best game of his career," said Mapleton coach Will Crook. "More than that, it was the best performance of any Mapleton player in my three years coaching." Simington was a force, hitting mid-range as well as from well beyond the arc, along with going 8-of-9 from the freethrow line in the final minutes of the game to edge ahead of Eddyville.
   Freshman Nate Neece also had a career high, scoring 11 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. Junior Dominic Wells had 8 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks; senior AJ Foster had 6 points, 5 assists and 4 steals; and sophomore Gabe Simington had 4 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.
   The Sailors could play Siletz Valley in a play-off game tomorrow night at Siletz, with the final playoff game for a chance to advance to state set for Saturday, Feb. 18, at Northwest Christian University.
   "We play two more games and only need one to punch our own ticket to state," said Crook.