Girls Basketball Preview: Far East

Girls Basketball Preview: Far East

 Blue Mountain Conference –

  1.  Union Bobcats

2019-2020 Record: 25-5

2019-2020 League Finish: 1st

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #2

Coming off of their first 25 win season since 2013-2014, Union will again contend for a state title. Returning for the Bobcats is their catalyst and First Team All-State guard, Callie Glenn. In 2019-2020, the sophomore averaged 16.3 points along with four assists per game. The young Bobcats overachieved last winter, and the loss of All-State Honorable Mention guard Brianna Kohr shouldn’t hurt them in the long run. This is a team that should win back-to-back league titles and make the state semifinals. 

  1.  Heppner Mustangs

2019-2020 Record: 14-10

2019-2020 League Finish: 4th

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #16

Coming into the new season, the Mustangs find themselves in the position every high school sports team wants to be in: losing no seniors. Heppner will be leaning on Second Team All-State forward Sydney Wilson to lead them back to Pendleton. Winning the state title in 2018-2019 in a thrilling 41-40 victory over Coquille, Wilson scored a team-high 22 points as a freshman. It is no secret that the Mustangs will go as their 1,000 point club forward does and give Union a run for the league championship. Heppner is a team that could make some serious noise in Pendleton. 

  1.  Enterprise Outlaws

2019-2020 Record: 17-7

2019-2020 League Finish: 3rd

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #11

Lost All-State Players: 3rd Team All-State Forward Ashlyn Gray

Returning Varsity Players: 10/14

  1.  Stanfield Tigers

2019-2020 Record: 19-8

2019-2020 League Finish: 2nd

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #13

Lost All-State Players: 3rd Team Guard Nyah Tejada and Honorable Mention Guard Kendra Hart

Returning Varsity Players: 7/13

  1.  Grant Union Prospectors 

2019-2020 Record: 8-14

2019-2020 League Finish: 5th

2019-2020 Final Rank: #25

Returning or Lost All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 9/12

  1.  Pilot Rock Rockets

2019-2020 Record: 6-17

2019-2020 League Finish: 6th

2019-2020 Final Rank: #38

Returning or Lost All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 8/10

  1.  Weston-McEwen TigerScots

2019-2020 Record: 2-21

2019-2020 League Finish: 7th

2019-2020 Final Rank: #41

Returning or Lost All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 6/11

Eastern Oregon League

  1.  Burns Hilanders 

2019-2020 Record: 24-6

2019-2020 League Finish: 1st

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #6 (Finished 3rd in state)

The script for Burns is simple: Allie Hueckman. The returning All-State Eastern Washington commit will look to finally get over the hump and reach her first state title game. The Hilanders have made back-to-back semifinal appearances, but close losses to eventual champion Clatskanie and runner-up Sutherlin kept them from the top. Averaging 17.4 points, six rebounds, and three assists per game, it is no question their offense begins and ends with Hueckman. The return of Honorable Mention forward Kaitlyn Wright will be a big help for a Hilander team who will once again be a second-day Coos Bay team. 

  1.  Vale Vikings 

2019-2020 Record: 19-9

2019-2020 League Finish: 2nd

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #10 (Finished 4th in state)

The Vikings are one the best defensive teams in the state. Known for their scrappy and relentless pursuits, they won’t let Burns simply waltz towards the EOL Title. The Vikings defeated Burns twice in the regular season last year before eventually falling to them in the league title game by way of a two point loss. Returning for this elite Vikings defense is First Team All-State Guard Mattyson Siddoway and Second Team All-State Guard Emersyn Johnson. The backcourt tandem held Burns in check all of last season, allowing them no game in which the Hilanders scored over 34 points. The only question of this Vikings team is how much of a threat their offense will pose. The league title will surely come down to a neutral site playoff, which could swing either way. Vale could potentially make their way into the semifinals at Coos Bay if things fall the right way.

  1.  Nyssa Bulldogs

2019-2020 Record: 12-13

2019-2020 League Finish: 3rd

2019-2020 Final Rank: #17

Returning All-State Players: Honorable Mention Post Gracie Johnson

Returning Varsity Players: 9/12

  1. Irrigon Knights

2019-2020 Record: 7-14

2019-2020 League Finish: 6th

2019-2020 Final Rank: #26

Lost or Returning All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 12/12

  1.  Umatilla Vikings 

2019-2020 Record: 7-18

2019-2020 League Finish: 4th

2019-2020 Final Rank: #27

Lost or Returning All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 10/12

  1.  Riverside Pirates

2019-2020 Record: 6-19

2019-2020 League Finish: 5th

2019-2020 Final Rank: #29

Lost or Returning All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 8/11

Greater Oregon League –

  1.  La Grande Tigers

2019-2020 Record: 18-7

2019-2020 League Finish: 2nd

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #5 

In a season that got cut short due to COVID-19, La Grande was preparing to make some noise in the state tournament. The Tigers were slated to face Astoria in the quarterfinals, a contest La Grande most likely would’ve won. The Tigers enjoyed a strong season which included an early victory over the eventual 3A state champion, Clatskanie, and a victory over the eventual 3A 3rd place finisher, Burns. Although they lost six seniors, returning for the Tigers is Second Team All-State Guard Cameryn Collman and Honorable Mention Post Ella Dunlap. This La Grande team should make the semifinals or higher this coming season and enjoy an extremely competitive league race with Baker.

  1.  Baker Bulldogs 

2019-2020 Record: 24-2 

2019-2020 League Finish: 1st

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #2

Prior to the COVID shutdown, Baker was surely the team that was going to challenge Philomath at the top for the state championship. Riding a 15 game win streak into the quarterfinals, the Bulldogs were confident it was their year. A year removed from that, with the loss of 1st Team All-State Guard Sydney Younger, Baker will challenge La Grande in the EOL and have a ceiling of quarter/semifinals at the upcoming state tournament. With local scheduling coming into effect even stronger with COVID, we could see some extremely competitive contests between La Grande, Vale, Burns, and Baker. These non-league affairs could prove to be pivotal in preparing all of them for eventual state tournaments, considering nobody in the western half of Oregon will have so many high level teams in the same region.

  1.  McLoughlin Pioneers 

2019-2020 Record: 9-16

2019-2020 League Finish: 3rd

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #25

Returning or Lost All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 7/13

  1.  Ontario Tigers

2019-2020 Record: 2-20

2019-2020 League Finish: 4th

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #29

Lost All-State Players: NoneReturning Varsity Players: 3/10

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: