Girls Basketball Preview: Far South

Girls Basketball Preview: Far South

Skyline Conference 

  1. Hidden Valley Mustangs 

2019-2020 Record: 23-2

2019-2020 League Finish: 1st

2019-2020 Final Rank: #3

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Hidden Valley was destined to make some noise in Forest Grove. Going 23-2 with their only in-state loss to #1 Philomath, this Mustang side was hoping to get revenge against Philomath in the State Title Game. Returning to the Mustangs is First Team All-State Forward Kaiah Fisher and Honorable Mention All-State Guard Teryn Powers. Most notably, Fisher averaged 18.7 pts., 14 rb., 6 asst., 3 blks., and 4 stls. per game. Anything but a trip to the state semifinals or better would be a disappointment for a Mustang side returning nine varsity players. 

  1.  Mazama Vikings 

2019-2020 Record: 13-9

2019-2020 League Finish: 2nd

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #10

Sporting an 11-5 record against 4A competition last year, Mazama will look to their nine returning varsity players to compete with Hidden Valley. Two single digit losses to the Mustangs last season will be a building block and focal point for long time coach Joy Lease. Mazama could make it to Forest Grove if they schedule more 4A opponents, which will result in potentially receiving a higher seed. 

  1.  Henley Hornets 

2019-2020 Record: 16-9

2019-2020 League Finish: 3rd

2019-2020 Final Rank: #11

The Hornets’ season ended unexpectedly early last year with a 51-65 home play-in loss to Gladstone. A season split with Mazama and two close single-digit losses to Hidden Valley highlighted a strong season for Henley. Graduating only three seniors, the focus for this season will be competing with Mazama for that second playoff slot. If the Hornets get in, they could make some first-round noise.

  1.  Phoenix Pirates 

2019-2020 Record: 12-12

2019-2020 League Finish: 4th

2019-2020 Final Rank: #20

Returning or Lost All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 8/10

Key for Phoenix: Rely on their young talent to make a run at play-ins.

  1.  Klamath Union Pelicans 

2019-2020 Record: 8-16

2019-2020 League Finish: 5th

2019-2020 Final Rank: #23

Returning or Lost All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 7/10

Key for Klamath Union: Compete with Phoenix and North Valley for a potential play-in spot.

       6.) North Valley Knights

2019-2020 Record: 6-17

2019-2020 League Finish: 6th

2019-2020 Final Rank: #27

Returning or Lost All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 7/13

Key for Lakeview: Compete with Phoenix and Klamath Union for a potential play-in spot.

Far West League

  1.  Sutherlin Bulldogs

2019-2020 Record: 25-3

2019-2020 League Finish: 1st

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #2 (Finished 2nd in state)

The story for Sutherlin going into 2020-2021 can be summarized in two words: beat Clatskanie. Last season, the Bulldogs finished 25-3, with two of those losses coming at the hands of the Clatskanie Tigers. The most important of these two losses came in the state championship game, where Sutherlin fell by a score of 40-51. While the loss of First Team All-State Guard Kiersten Haines, who set multiple state 3-point shooting records is a blow for the Bulldogs, they have a lot of talent returning. Returning for the Bulldogs is First Team All-State Guard Jadyn Vermillion, Honorable Mention All-State Post Amy Dickover, and Honorable Mention All-State Point Guard Micah Winks. The three of those girls, accompanied by an all-time great coach in Josh Grotting, make them an easy favorite to win the league and make the second day in Coos Bay. We predict a thrilling semifinal between them and the Burns Hilanders that could immediately become a classic.

  1. Brookings-Harbor Bruins

2019-2020 Record: 20-8

2019-2020 League Finish: 2nd

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #5 (Finished 5th in state)

Following a 2018-2019 season where the Bruins finished 4th in state and only graduated one senior, they were destined for a run at the state title but fell just short. A semifinal loss to back-to-back champions Clatskanie was the only thing keeping them from the state title game. In 2020-2021, the Bruins will look to compete in Coos Bay once again. Returning for the Bruins is Second Team All-State Guard/Forward Lexi Schofield and Honorable Mention All-State Guard Sierra Fitzhugh. Nine of twelve varsity players return for this Bruin side, which should make up for the loss of Third Team All-State Guard Sidney Alexander. The Bruins are an extremely well-coached side who could make the first and even second day in Coos Bay very interesting.

  1.  Cascade Christian Challengers 

2019-2020 Record: 13-12

2019-2020 League Finish: 3rd

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #13 

Cascade Christian found themselves in their first playoff game in nearly a decade last season where they fell in the first round to Willamina, the eventual 6th place finishers. A big story for the Challengers will be returning twelve of thirteen varsity players from last season. The experience these players gained last season in a state playoff game could prove to be extremely vital. The Challengers didn’t return nor lose any all-state talent, but they could be a shoe-in to make it to Coos Bay if they can compete with Sutherlin and Brookings-Harbor.

  1.  Douglas Trojans

2019-2020 Record: 8-16

2019-2020 League Finish: 5th

2019-2020 Final Rank: #23

Returning or Lost All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 11/11

Key for Douglas: Use the advantage of graduating no seniors from last year.

        4.)  South Umpqua Lancers

2019-2020 Record: 14-9

2019-2020 League Finish: 4th

2019-2020 Final Rank #16

Returning or Lost All-State Players: Loses Honorable Mention Guard Shalyn Gray

Returning Varsity Players: 7/13

Key for South Umpqua: Maintain a strong start. SU started 12-1, finished 2-8.

        4.)  Saint Mary’s Medford

2019-2020 Record: 2-20

2019-2020 League Finish: 6th

2019-2020 Final Rank: #28

Returning or Lost All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 14/14

Key for Lakeview: Utilize the huge advantage of returning all 14.

Southern Cascade League

  1.  Bonanza Antlers 

2019-2020 Record: 12-13

2019-2020 League Finish: 4th

2019-2020 Final Rank: #27

Fresh off of winning ten of their final fifteen games, the Antlers will head into 2021 looking to win their first league title since joining the Southern Cascade League. The SCL’s top three finishers from last season were very senior-heavy, which paves the way for Bonanza to compete for the top spot. Losing all but one senior, the Antlers are destined to make the state playoffs and potentially make it to the Elite 8 for the first time since 2015-2016. 

  1.  Lost River Pirates 

2019-2020 Record: 19-6

2019-2020 League Finish: 1st

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #7

Following an undefeated league season last year with a senior-heavy roster, the Pirates were destined to make it to Pendleton. However, Portland Christian stepped in their way and ended Lost River’s season early. The Pirates will lose Second Team All-State Forward/Guard Angela Taylor and Honorable Mention All-State Guard Damary Roman. Graduating eight of twelve varsity players will make for a tough year, but this well-coached Pirates side hasn’t missed the playoffs in over a decade, and we expect that impressive run to continue.

  1. Illinois Valley Cougars 

2019-2020 Record: 12-12

2019-2020 League Finish: 3rd

2019-2020 Final Rank: #28

Returning or Lost All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 5 / 8

Key for IV: Avoid a seventh straight league playoff game loss.

  1.  Lakeview Honkers

2019-2020 Record: 16-9

2019-2020 League Finish: 2nd

2019-2020 Playoff Seed: #15

Returning or Lost All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 3 / 8

Key for Lakeview: Make use of the sixteen JV Players they had last season.

  1.  Glide Wildcats

2019-2020 Record: 7-16

2019-2020 League Finish: 5th

2019-2020 Final Rank: #35

Returning or Lost All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 9/12 

Key for Glide: Use the advantage of nine returning varsity players.

  1.  Rogue River Chieftains

2019-2020 Record: 9-11

2019-2020 League Finish: 6th

2019-2020 Final Rank: #34

Returning or Lost All-State Players: None

Returning Varsity Players: 7/11

Key for Rogue River: Protect the home court: only two wins at home all last season.

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