Nixyaawii has no shortage of skilled players.
Senior post Dazon Sigo ignited the Golden Eagles’ 85-40 win at Helix on Saturday, hitting 13 points, including three treys, in the first quarter alone. But it was senior guard Deven Barkley who drove the win, posting a team-high 20 points to keep the team unbeaten in the Old Oregon League.
“Most of our starting line has led us on any given night,” said coach Shane Rivera. “That makes it hard for other teams to pick any of us out.”
Sigo’s 3-pointers all came within the first 90 seconds of the game. He also hit sophomore guard Tyasin Burns with an assist to put Nixyaawii up front early. A 17-8 second-quarter run left the hosting Grizzlies down 43-19 at the half. There was no coming back.
It might have seemed like an easy bet that Nixyaawii, the OOL’s No. 1 team, would beat Helix, who have yet to win a league game. But Barkley said his team never hits the court with that kind of mentality.
“We can’t come out with the mindset that we’re going to destroy,” he said. “We always have the mindset that we’re going to work hard no matter what.”
Nixyaawii hit 10 unanswered points in the middle of the third quarter, and Helix scored a game-high 12 points in the frame, including threes from senior Preston Brower and junior D’Artagnan Carlson.
With a 70-31 lead going into the fourth, Rivera gave his bench minutes on the court. Helix made a six-point scoring run before the Golden Eagles put the game away for good.
Moses followed Barkley in scoring with 14 points. Sigo and junior guard Mick Schimmel each recorded 13. Despite another strong offensive showing, Rivera knows there are things to be improved if they’re going to continue to top the league.
“Our defense could have been better,” he said. “I give Helix credit for picking up those loose balls.”
Nixyaawii coughed up the ball 13 times in the game.
“That’s not good,” Rivera said. “I like our chances (in the league), but we have some tough games ahead. Joseph will be our biggest test yet.”
Sophomore Elijah Sprenger sunk 19 points for the Grizzlies (4-10, 0-4 OOL), who will host Wallowa on Friday. Nixyaawii (14-1, 4-0) will host Elgin before their Joseph game on Saturday.
The Nixyaawii girls evened out their Old Oregon League record with a 56-28 win at Helix on Saturday.
The game was decided early on as the Golden Eagles outscored their hosts 21-8 in the first quarter, and allowed only three points in the next. Helix hit a six-point streak in the third quarter, but Nixyaawii held them off 17-5 in the final eight minutes.
“We played better today than we did yesterday,” said Nixyaawii coach Jeremy Maddern. “We had only 18 turnovers, while we usually average 20-30.”
Junior guard Lark Moses took control in the first quarter with all 12 of her points coming from the outside.
Helix’s only points in the second quarter came from a three-point play from senior post Arianna Krol, who led the Grizzlies with eight points for the night.
Moses drove the Golden Eagles with 17 points, four rebounds, and two assists.
“We’ve been able to get Lark open to shoot those 3s,” Maddern said. “Our defense was really on-point tonight. I feel like we rotated correctly and got everyone in the right spots.”
Nixyaawii (9-6, 2-2 OOL) return home on Friday to play Elgin. Helix (3-11, 0-4 OOL) will host Wallowa.