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

Santiam girls in state playoffs; Scio boys need one win

Santiam Wolverines

The Santiam High girls basketball has advanced to the Class 2A playoffs for the first time since the 2018-19 campaign.

The Wolverines, 14-12,  outfought Colton 37-34 on Feb. 13 in the Tri-River Conference playoffs and will be one of the four automatic qualifiers from the league to the round of 16 in Class 2A. 

Santiam, ranked No. 15, remains alive in the TRC playoffs and was scheduled to play No. 4 Regis in Thursday’s semifinals after The Canyon Weekly presstime. 

Santiam led Colton just 35-34 in the closing moments, but Brooke Massey grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled. Massey made both free throws to seal the win.

“Brooke Massey was huge,” Santiam coach Hannah Thompson said, “taking care of the ball, rebounding well and playing with great energy on defense.

“We just had a lot of girls step up.  Colton does a good job of trying to take Maizy Downey out of the game so having other girls being able to score was big.  In close games like that, every little thing matters so much and I think we had multiple different people step up in so many ways.”

Thompson praised Averie Peterson for “finding gaps and getting to the hoop, rebounding well, and guarding the best player on Colton’s team. Boston Flores did a great job defensively and handling the ball. Reese Longfellow was aggressive in getting to the free throw line and made some great passes. Eva Sloan contributed four points and hit some big shots for us.

“And even with Colton trying to take Maizy out of the game she still went seven for ten from the free throw line and was able to contribute in other ways.  It was a great team win.”

Santiam will find out its round of 16 opponent this weekend. The game, which will be on the road, will be played, Saturday, Feb. 24. A win there would put the Wolverines in the Class 2A quarterfinals in Pendleton.

Santiam’s last appearance in the round of 16 came in the 2018-19 season under coach Dave Plotts. The Wolverines lost at Heppner. The Wolverines’ most recent appearance at Pendleton came in 2013-14 when Thompson, then a junior, led Santiam to a fifth-place finish and was named first-team all-tournament after scoring 32 points, including four 3-pointers.

Santiam’s boys squad, meanwhile, lost at Gervais 55-53 in the TRC playoffs and finished its season 12-13.

Scio Loggers

In Class 3A, the Scio boys remain alive in the Loggers’ bid to make the state playoffs for the first time in 20 years. Scio improved to 12-11 with a 63-50 PacWest Conference playoff victory against host Santiam Christian on Feb. 13. It marked sweet payback for the Loggers, who lost to S.C. 69-60 and 67-63 during the regular season.

“The boys finally believed they could win and it showed,” Scio Coach Nathan McIntyre told The Canyon Weekly.  “It was a complete team effort right from the start. This was probably the most complete game we have played since we beat Amity [on Jan. 5]. We have been going back to the basics. Getting focused on moving our feet, keeping our hands out of it, communicating, and finally playing unselfish basketball. It worked.”

Hunter Courtney led the way for the Loggers with 19 points. Braden McIntyre added 13, Rhordan Meadows 12 and Parker Ziebert 11.

Next for Scio is a PacWest playoff game against Taft on Feb. 17 at Sprague High in Salem. Win there and the Loggers are in the 20-team Class 3A playoff field. The eight lowest ranked teams play on Feb. 20, with the round of 16 set for Feb. 23. The final eight start play on Feb. 29.

Scio lost to Taft twice during the regular season, 76-66 and 72-66.

“My gut tells me that this upcoming game will be different,”McIntyre said.  “We play on a neutral court at Sprague which will be nice. We are one win away from doing what we as a team set out to do from the beginning. We control our destiny and that is all we could ask for.”

WRESTLING: Santiam’s Wyatt Dayton will be making his fourth trip to the state wrestling tournament. Dayton, a 138-pounder who finished second at state a year ago, had a strong Class 2A-1A district meet, finishing second in the Feb. 10 competition at Toledo. Dayton pinned Nic Kaufmann of host Toledo at 1:43 of the first round in the semifinals before falling by pin at 5:24 of the championship match against Trevor Wolf of Vernonia.

Also wrestling well for Santiam was Lukus Lebahn, who took fifth at 165 pounds, falling one spot short of state qualification.

As a team the Wolverines scored 43 points finishing 11th in the 14-team tournament. Willamina won with 354.5.

“The boys wrestled hard in a very solid district tourney but came up short of placing with the exception of Dayton,” Wolverines coach Kerry Crowston said. Crowston noted that the 138 “bracket is very strong and he should have a good chance to place again.”

Also participating for Santiam were Connor Meeker (120), Burton Bodda (144), 150-pounders Harley Davidson and Randall Fox, 157-pounders Anthony Wisner and Evan Breen, Marcus Mitchell (190) and Dakota Derrick (215).

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