IRRIGON?— The Heppner Mustangs appeared poised to give the Irrigon Knights their best test of the season after hitting 7-of-11 field goals in the first quarter to trail the undefeated Knights by just six.

But those baskets quickly dried up once the Knights increased their defensive intensity and Irrigon romped to an 81-30 win on Tuesday in Blue Mountain Conference play.

Irrigon (14-0, 6-0 BMC) outscored Heppner 33-2 in the second quarter and went into halftime having already forced 25 turnovers.

“I don’t think we did a very good job of getting out and contesting their shooters (in the first quarter),”?said Irrigon coach Jake McElligott. “We (the coaches) really got on them.”

The Knights kept up the pressure in the second half and Heppner (2-8, 0-6 BMC)?only attempted eight shots in the second and third quarters combined, scoring just five points.

Irrigon, on the other hand, shot 54 percent from the field in the game and only turned the ball over nine times.

Anthony Landeros led all scorers with 20 points on 10-for-12 field-goal shooting for the Knights, many of his buckets lay-ins that resulted from his eight steals.

Ernesto Aguilera added 14 points and six steals for Irrigon.

Heppner, which lost its third straight, was led in scoring by JC Putman’s eight points.

The Mustangs will try for their first BMC?win on Friday when they host Elgin at 7:30 p.m.

Irrigon will host Union on Friday at the same time.

WESTON-McEWEN?53, UNION?50 — In Athena, Weston-McEwen overcame a poor first half behind a rising defense to take out Union 53-50 on Tuesday in a Blue Mountain Conference game.

Weston-McEwen (9-6, 4-3 BMC) went into halftime trailing 38-26 and having struggled to stop the Bobcats’ (6-7, 3-3 BMC) assault. With a few players in foul trouble on the inside, the TigerScots were having issues with Union’s size.

“The first half we did a lot of standing around — on both ends of the floor,” Weston-McEwen coach Brian Pickard said.

But the TigerScots looked reinspired in the second half. Union would only score 12 points after halftime while the home team started chipping away. Tyler Peterson scored a game-high 20 points and Jacob Ramirez turned in another all-around effort. The point guard only scored five points, but went for seven assists and eight steals.

Linton McAllister made up for Nick Pease’s foul trouble with eight rebounds and six blocks off the bench, playing bigger than his 6-foot-1 listing.

The TigerScots get a reeling Stanfield (9-3, 3-3 BMC) team on the road on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Tigers have lost three straight following a 9-0 start.

MAC-HI 76, WAITSBURG/PRESCOTT 45 — In Milton-Freewater, Mac-Hi blasted Waitsburg/Prescott (WA) from long range with 11 made 3-pointers in a non-conference victory on Tuesday, 76-45.

Saul Ortiz scored 15 points for the Pioneers (2-10, 0-1 GOL), all on 3-pointers and Carlos Angel added 12 points. He hit three from beyond the arc.

“They have been working extremely hard and have been coming up a little short over the last few games,” Mac-Hi coach Travis Chester said. “They deserved this win.”

It’s only Mac-Hi’s second of the year, to break a 10-game losing streak, along with an opening-day victory over Helix at home on Dec. 4.

The Pioneers will hope that some of the momentum carries over into the weekend when the team gets back into Greater Oregon League play. Mac-Hi travels to Ontario on Saturday for a 5:30 p.m. MST game with the Tigers.

NIXYAAWII?78, HELIX 67 — In Helix, the Nixyaawii Golden Eagles held a seminar on strong shooting when they played Helix on Tuesday. Nixyaawii knocked down 79 percent of its shots in a 78-67 Big Sky Conference victory.

Even when Helix (2-10, 0-3 BSC) came out after half, trailing 54-25, and performed better, they still couldn’t climb out of the well.

“That’s really difficult, to come out and see them score 50-plus points in the first half. It’s brutal,” said Helix coach Luke Hegdal.

The Golden Eagles (6-8, 3-3 BSC) were led by Elijah Bevis’ 21 points, but Ira Ashley also scored 17.

Derek Clark matched that 17 for Helix and Jason Busman scored 16.

The Grizzlies were coming off only their second win of the season over the weekend at the Helix Holiday Tournament when Brandon Thompson led the Griz to a 52-42 victory over Klickitat (WA) with 10 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and five steals.

Helix will host Condon/Wheeler next on Friday at 7:30 p.m. while Nixyaawii is at home for Ione that same day and time.

Girls’ Basketball

UNION?41, WESTON-MCEWEN 40 — In Athena, the Weston-McEwen TigerScots awoke from a two-quarter offensive slumber too late to catch the Union Bobcats on Tuesday and fell in the Blue Mountain Conference bout.

The TigerScots (9-6, 3-4 BMC) did pull even for a moment, though, erasing their 10-point deficit with just seconds to play. However, a one-of-two trip to the free throw line by Union scored the final point with 11 seconds to play.

Weston-McEwen’s shot for the win with three seconds left was tipped.

“All the girls contributed and while it is a tough loss, they've learned how good they can and will play,”?said Weston-McEwen coach Amber Doremus.

Marlene Bodmer led Weston-McEwen with 18 points while Keesha Sarman led Union (9-4, 4-2 BMC).

Kaci Langford had 10 rebounds for Union and Molly von Borstel led Weston-McEwen with nine.

The TigerScots will play at Stanfield on Friday at 6 p.m.

NIXYAAWII 39, HELIX 26 — In Helix, the Golden Eagles of Nixyaawii won a low-scoring Big Sky Conference game Tuesday.

Ronnie Sampson and Charlotte Barkley scored 21 of the Golden Eagles’ points — 11 and 10 respectively — as Nixyaawii (9-6, 2-3 BSC) took a big lead after the third quarter. The gap extended from five points to 16 with a 17-6 run in the quarter for the vistors.

Helix (2-10 0-3 BSC) dominated the boards, but couldn’t make shots when it had the opportunity. Blythe Gabriel grabbed 10 of her team’s total of 41.

Helix also made its first 3-point basket of the season in the loss.

The Grizzlies get conference leaders Condon/Wheeler at home Friday at 6 p.m. while Nixyaawii goes back to Mission for a game against Ione.

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