News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Scio boys remain in playoff hunt at halfway point

Scio Loggers

What could be a magical and historical season of boys basketball at Scio High has passed the midway point of the PacWest Conference season.

The Logger boys program, which never has made the state playoffs, is at 4-3 in league play and 10-7 overall. Dayton (7-0) and Taft (5-2) lead the league, with Scio and Santiam Christian 4-3 and Amity 3-3. Three PacWest teams receive automatic Class 3A playoff berths, with one at-large team selected statewide.

“We are actually in a really good place,” Scio coach Nathan McIntyre told The Canyon Weekly. “Sometimes it gets lost that we are having one of the best seasons Scio basketball has experienced in a very long time. The players have almost to their detriment focused on where they are in league standings. I think this is because it has been a very long time since we have been in a position to finish league play towards the top.

“Our focus is now on the back half and what we need to do to finish strong. At this point you really aren’t teaching anything new but instead refining what we already know and practicing on getting better at it.”

Scio improved to 4-3 in league with a 67-62 win Tuesday vs. Jefferson. Upcoming games against Amity (Friday, Jan. 26 at home) and at Santiam Christian on Tuesday, Jan. 30, will play key roles in playoff positioning.

“Scio basketball has changed,” McIntyre said. “We have been more competitive than we have ever been.  I encourage anyone to come watch a game. You’ll have a good time.” 

Santiam Wolverines

The Santiam boys, meanwhile, also continue their drive toward a possible playoff berth. The Wolverines, 9-7 overall and 3-5 in the Tri-River Conference, have taken down 5-3 Gervais and 4-2 Colton in recent weeks. 

The top four teams in the Tri-River, currently Regis, Western Christian, Kennedy and Gervais, automatically qualify for the playoffs, but there are three state-wide at-large berths that are awarded based on OSAA ranking.

Last year the Tri-River placed six squads in the state playoffs, sent five teams to the 2A tournament in Pendleton and had Salem Academy, Western Christian and Kennedy take home the top three trophies. Santiam is seventh in the league, but its No. 14 ranking means the Wolverines are very much alive for a playoff berth.

Santiam’s girls, in their second year under coach Hannah Thompson, are engaged in a similar stretch drive. The Wolverines improved to 3-4 in the Tri-River by dealing Colton its first loss of the league season by a 34-31 count on Monday, Jan. 22. Santiam is 8-8 overall, currently in sixth in the Tri-River with its No. 15 state ranking giving the girls team the same level of playoff hopes as the boys. 

Thompson said her keys for the rest of the season are limiting turnovers, rebounding and success in transition.

“We have been continuing to improve and if we can do these 3 things consistently we will continue to grow and be able to get some solid wins against some of the tougher teams in our conference,” Thompson said.

The Wolverines were on a three-game win streak at The Canyon Weekly’s presstime, with Maizy Downey, Reese Longfellow and Averie Peterson shining brightly during the run.

“Maizy is averaging 11.2 points per game and is our leading scorer along with doing so many other things for our team,” Thompson said. “Reese is becoming more consistent each game and doing a great job on both ends.  Averie Peterson has also been doing a great job all around. She is one of our best defenders as well and is usually matched up with the best player on our opposing team.”

Wrestling: Santiam coach Kerry Crowston continues to report strong performances as the Wolverines fine-tune before the Feb. 10 district meet in Toledo. Senior Randy Fox (150 pounds) and freshman Dakota Derrick (215) recorded pins at Sisters. At Oakland, senior 138-pounder Wyatt Dayton and Derrick had falls against Oakland and junior Burton Bodda (144) won a wild 12-10 decision.  Senior Harley Davidson (150) and junior Lukus Lebahn (157) both had falls vs. Nestucca.

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