ATHENA — After a slow start to open the what would be a tough Columbia Basin Conference matchup, Weston-McEwen was able to pull off its most satisfying win of the season, according to head coach Mike Giusti, a 44-34 victory over Heppner.
“It was a bit of a struggle, but we showed heart and guts and did a lot of nice things despite not shooting well,” he said.
The TigerScots (14-6 overall, 5-0 CBC) didn’t take the lead until halfway through the third quarter.
The Mustangs (12-5, 4-2) were up 20-16 at the break, but were held to only six points in the third quarter and eight in the fourth. All the while, Weston-McEwen would drop 18 points of the final two quarters to seal its eighth straight victory.
Leading those efforts was Katie Vescio, who finished with a game-high of 17 points. She was not alone, though. Chelsea Quaempts added 13 points, which also helped her reach an impressive milestone. Quaempts now has over 1,000 career points through her four years as a TigerScot.
The record game behind a great performance, Giusti added.
For Heppner, the reliable freshman, Sydney Wilson, led with 11 points.
PENDLETON 45, HOOD RIVER VALLEY 28 — At Hood River, the Pendleton Buckaroos stayed perfect inside the Columbia River Conference with a win over the Hood River Valley Eagles on Friday evening.
Jaiden Lemberger led the Buckaroos (13-6 overall, 4-0 CRC) with 13 points and Kalan McGlothan had nine. Every player saw the floor for the Buckaroos in the game, with the bench logging heavy minutes in the second half and gaining some valuable experience while keeping the starters fresh.
“I’m real proud of the group effort tonight,” Pendleton coach Kevin Porter said.
Halee Baker led the Eagles (9-9, 1-3) with 11 points and Lauren Orr added nine.
HORIZON CHRISTIAN 52, IONE 38 — The visiting Ione Cardinals stuck with Horizon Christian for the opening eight minutes of the game. Ione trailed by only four points after the first quarter. But Horizon Christian’s steady offense continued to build its lead by netting 14 points in the first two quarters and holding the Cardinals to only nine in the second.
The 52-38 victory was highlighted by a 22-point performance from Kaitlin Wenz. The Hawks (10-10 overall, 7-4 Big Sky League) got back to their winning ways as they look toward the final three games of league play.
Jessica Medina was Ione’s top scorer with 11 points. For the Cardinals (9-12, 8-3), the loss broke a seven-game winning streak.
BURNS 50, IRRIGON 32 — At Burns, the Irrigon Knights had their three-game win streak snapped with a tough loss on the road to Burns on Friday night.
It’s the second time this season the Knights (16-4 overall, 5-3 EOL) have lost to the Hilanders (13-8, 5-2) this season, with the 56-49 defeat in Irrigon on Jan. 19.
VALE 43, RIVERSIDE 34 — At Vale, the Riverside Pirates came up just short of a big victory on the road as they fell to the Vale Vikings on Friday night.
Its the third straight game the Pirates (14-7 overall, 2-5 EOL) have scored 36 points or fewer.
NYSSA 59, UMATILLA 26 — At Nyssa, the Umatilla Vikings (3-18 overall, 0-7 EOL) saw their losing streak hit 14 games on Friday with a big loss on the road against Nyssa.
CULVER 53, STANFIELD 19 — At Culver, the Stanfield Tigers mustered only 19 points as they fell to the Culver Bulldogs on Friday.
The game marks the eighth straight loss for the Tigers (2-19 overall, 0-6 CBC), while the Bulldogs (13-8, 4-2) have won two straight.
POWDER VALLEY 67, HELIX 28 — At North Powder, the Helix Grizzlies had their four-game win streak snapped with a loss to the No. 3-ranked Powder Valley Badgers on Friday.
The 28 points mark a season-low for the Grizzlies (13-8 overall, 7-4 OOL), while the Badgers’ (19-2, 9-2) 67 points are a season-high.
HEPPNER 71, WESTON-MCEWEN 48 — At Athena, Trent Smith nailed six 3-pointers to finish with 18 points and help his Heppner Mustangs knock off the Weston-McEwen TigerScots on Friday night.
Kevin Smith led the Mustangs (10-7 overall, 5-1 Columbia Basin Conference) with 19 points and helped his team out-rebound the TigerScots 50-15 for the game with 20 offensive boards. The Mustangs also shot 54 percent from the floor and 48 percent from 3-point range. On the other side the TigerScots (7-13, 2-3) got an impressive outing from senior Brett Speed, who put together 26 points, 11 steals, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Kevin Rodriguez added 15 points for the TigerScots.
THE DALLES 91, HERMISTON 85 — After The Dalles trailed for the first two quarters, the home Riverhawks put on an offensive show in the second half to defeat Hermiston 91-85.
The Riverhawks (10-8 overall, 2-2 CRC) were led by Dakota Murr, who scored a game-best 28 points. Jacob Hernandez chipped in 18 and Josh Nisbet scored 17 of his own.
For the Bulldogs (7-11, 2-2), Cesar Ortiz had a team-high 27 points — knocking down half of the team’s total 3-pointers (10) — and received help from Ryne Andreason (18 points) and Andrew James (13).
UMATILLA 47, NYSSA 45 — At Nyssa, the Umatilla Vikings picked up a huge road victory with a two-point victory in overtime against the Nyssa Bulldogs.
The victory puts the Vikings (17-5 overall, 5-2 EOL) just one game behind the Irrigon Knights in the win column for first place in the Eastern Oregon League standings.
BURNS 62, IRRIGON 40 — At Burns, the home Hilanders upset the first-place Irrigon Knights with a 62-40 victory on Friday night.
The loss snaps a four-game win streak for the Knights (17-3 overall, 6-2 EOL), who now sit just one win ahead of Umatilla and Burns (12-9, 5-2) for first place in the league.
VALE 52, RIVERSIDE 38 — At Vale, the Riverside Pirates lost for the third straight game on Friday, this time on the road against the Vale Vikings 52-38.
The loss keeps the Pirates (9-12 overall, 1-6 EOL) in last place of the league.
SHERMAN 86, CONDON/WHEELER 52 — At Fossil, the Condon/Wheeler Knights couldn’t keep pace with the first-place Sherman Huskies on Friday, resulting in a 86-52 victory for the visiting Huskies.
It’s the 15th consecutive win for Sherman (19-1 overall, 11-0 BSL), while the loss drops the Knights (14-7, 8-3) into third place in the league standings.
ARLINGTON 46, DUFUR 39 — At Arlington, the Honkers got back on the winning track on Friday as they held off the Dufur Rangers for a 46-39 victory.
The Honkers (11-9 overall, 7-4 BSL) remain solidly in fourth place in the league, now three games ahead of Dufur (7-13, 4-7) for fifth place.
HORIZON CHRISTIAN 62, IONE 51 — At Hood River, the Cardinals put up a fight on the road on Friday, but it wasn’t enough to take down Horizon Christian with a 62-51 defeat.
The Cardinals (5-16 overall, 3-8 BSL) lost by 21 points to Horizon Christian last month, and have now scored at least 51 points in three straight games.
POWDER VALLEY 50, HELIX 33 — At North Powder, the Helix Grizzlies couldn’t take down the red-hot Badgers as they fell 50-33 on Friday night.
The Grizzlies (3-18 overall, 2-9 OOL) have now lost three straight with three games left in the regular season. The Badgers (15-4, 10-1) have won eight straight games.