Sailors sweep Alsea

Girls win second game of the season, boys build momentum

Mapleton girls d Alsea 37-29

Mapleton boys d Alsea 60-16

Jan. 18, 2020 — It was a complete sweep for the Sailors on Thursday night as both boys and girls basketball teams walked away with a win as they visited Alsea.

Going into Thursday’s game, the Lady Sailors were riding high with their first win of the season against Crow after a 10-game losing streak. 

“We’re looking to build on that and use it as momentum going forward,” coach Mellissa Duffy said after the Crow win. “Hopefully, this is a turn in our season.”

It appears it was.

After Tuesday’s game against McKenzie was cancelled due to inclement weather, the Sailors had extra time to practice over the week. When they went to Alsea, they held the lead throughout the game, besting the Wolverines 37-29.

This is the first time the Lady Sailors have won two games in a row since 2016, when they defeated Eddyville and Mohawk midway through the season. Since 2016, the team went through a two-year losing streak which wasn’t broken until 2019 with a win against Eddyville. Last year, the Sailors lost against Alsea by a whopping 43 points, making Thursday’s win especially notable for the Sailors.

On the boys side, Mapleton continues to post a strong showing as they dominated Alsea with a 60-16 win.

“Anytime you win by 44, it’s a good feeling,” coach Eric Wolgamott said. “I’ve been on the other side of those games, getting blown out like that. You’ve got to enjoy it when you get a chance to win and win comfortably.”

The Sailors were especially strong on defense, hustling with discipline throughout the night.

“They were able to change up the defense, too,” Wolgamott said. “That’s something I wanted to stress coming into the game. We wanted to make Alsea uncomfortable and keep them guessing what formation we were going to be in next.”

The boys were able to get to their designated spots without hesitation, a large improvement over what the team has done over the past few weeks. The offense started clicking as well.

“I was really happy about how Nate Neece and AJ Moso worked together,” Wolgamott said. “They read off each other, they cut to the basket when the other had the ball.

They each found good looks for each other, and they really created some beauty baskets for us. They were layups and they were able to convert them, as they should have.”

Justyce Weirchs had scored 28 points against Alsea, his best game the year.

“It wasn’t just scoring, it was the way he ran the offense,” Wolgamott said. “He was calm, he didn’t force anything but at the same time he was aggressive. When he saw a lane, he took it.”

Neece also had a strong showing with 17 points.

Thursday marked the second win in a row for the Sailor boys team as well, which now has a 3-2 league record (6-6 overall).

“This is the first time in my coaching tenure that we are above .500 in league, so it’s nice,” Wolgamott said. “I feel like we’re one of the better teams in the league and I feel like every game we get a chance to prove that and every game we get a little better.”

Next week will be a bit tougher for the Sailors, who will head to Siletz Valley, where both girls and boys basketball teams are having a strong showing this year.

“I feel like Siletz is one of the better teams, if not the best team in the league,” Wolgamottt said. “But they got handled last night by Mohawk, which was surprising to me. It just shows that the league is open. If we play our best game possible, we can beat anybody. I think we’ve proven that so far. I feel like this game will tell us a lot more than Alsea did.”

Still, Wolgamott wants the players to embrace tough matches.

“I tell them not to shy away or be intimidated by it,” he said. “I keep trying to pound it into their heads that they’re good enough that teams should be timid to play us. When we go up against one of the top teams, we’re a top team as well.”

After that, the Sailors host Eddyville, which is also having a strong season.

“We’ve struggled with them in the past,” Wolgamott said of the Eagles. “We lost a close game to them last year by two points, so I know we’ll be ready for that one as well.”

The girls tip off Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. at Siletz, followed by the boys at 7 p.m.

On Thursday, the Sailors host Eddyville with a 5:30 p.m. start for the girls, and the boys tipping off at 7 p.m.


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