June 23, 2021 — Last week, the Siuslaw’s basketball teams wrapped up their seasons, each playing their final league games against Junction City away and Cottage Grove at home, with a non-league game against North Bend to finish out the week.
The boys’ team had an amazing win at Junction City on Tuesday, June 15, causing a major upset by defeating the first-place Tigers 65-59.
“We knew that we had an opportunity to make a big statement when we walked into the gym to play Junction City on their senior night,” said Coach Dylan Perry. “They were the No. 1 ranked team in the state, and we knew we could beat them if we executed our game plan. We were disciplined and poised throughout the entire game, and made the plays needed to take down not only the first-place team in our league but in the entire state.
“Within our team, we know that we can play with anyone, and that the only team that can beat us is ourselves. I was very happy for our team to display that sort of game towards the tail end of our season.”
The Vikings returned home on Thursday, June 17, to host the Lions for Senior Night, where Siuslaw honored six students for their contributions to the basketball team throughout their high school careers.
This year, Perry graduates Jacob Foskett, Liam McClellan, Skyler Mattson, Clay Kramer, Tyrone Krohn and Skyler Loomis.
Cottage Grove came out fighting hard, giving the Viks a difficult first quarter and finishing ahead 29-6, with Brody Terry picking up 2 three-pointers for the team.
“The game didn't start the way we were wanting it to,” said Perry. “We started some seniors who had not had a lot of experience in varsity contests before. They did their best, but Cottage Grove was on a mission.”
In the second quarter, the Vikings were able to cut the Lions’ lead with Braydon Thornton and McClellan racking up several three-pointers. Mattson hit a three-pointer at the buzzer, but they were still behind 47-29 going into halftime.
By the third quarter, Siuslaw truly seemed to be hitting their stride, grabbing several more three-pointers which helped them close the lead. They were only down by 7 points going into the final quarter of the game at 59-52.
The Vikings continued to push their hardest in the fourth, but the Lions managed to increase the lead again. Krohn scored the final points for the Viks with a three-pointer at 9 seconds left, but Cottage Grove pulled out the win 73-66.
“Our team did a valiant job of fighting back through a lot of adversity and almost pulled the game out,” said Perry. “Losing is never something we are going to be okay with here at Siuslaw, but I was proud of the way the team battled.”
In the end, Terry had 10 points and 2 three-pointers, Thornton had 20 points and 4 three-pointers, Foskett had 14 points, McClellan had 16 points with 4 three-pointers, and Krohn and Mattson each had 3 points. Their outside game was truly on point, with the team picking up a total of 12 three-pointers.
The Viks played their final game of the season at North Bend on Friday, June 18, and unfortunately succumbed to the Bulldogs 46-54.
“North Bend was also another game of adversity for us, missing a couple starters and a unique bus trip down,” said Perry. “But all of the seniors on our roster got significant playing time in their last game in a Vikings uniform, and I thought they battled hard.”
The Vikings finish their season in fourth place, having defeated every team in the league at least once with the exception of Marist. Considering it was the shortest sports season this school year and the team had the least amount of time to prepare, they did an amazing job.
“This year was another step in the right direction,” said Perry. “We were missing some key players throughout the season, but it allowed others to step up and get the much-needed experience they will need for next year.
“I fully expect our basketball team to make a deep run into the playoffs next year,” said the coach. “I look forward to getting back in the gym and weight room soon with the guys to get better.”
On the girls’ side, the Lady Viks also celebrated their senior night on Thursday, June 18, where Coach Ashlee Cole honored Lizbeth Garcia-Galvan, Brea Blankenship and Gracie Freudenthal for their contributions to the team throughout their high school careers.
The girls had a particularly difficult week to finish out the season, playing the No. 3 and No. 1 teams in their league respectively. They were defeated by Junction City on Tuesday 57-32 and fell to Cottage Grove at home on Thursday 46-16.
Their final game was against North Bend away on Friday, June 18, where the Lady Bulldogs took the victory 51-25.
The Lady Viks finish in fifth place this season and will retain most of their team members going into the 2021-22 school year.