The Observer. (La Grande, Or.) 1968-current, March 17, 2022, THURSDAY EDITION, Page 25, Image 25

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Are shot
coming to
Basketball shot
clocks a logistical
concern for Oregon
The Oregonian
OSAA basketball state
tournament brings with
it drama and excitement
every year. Some stu-
dent-athletes fulfill a
dream of hoisting a title,
while others face the
agony of season-ending
It also brings up
another topic of discussion
— a shot clock.
During practically
every game in the mul-
tiple OSAA basketball
state tournaments over
the past two weeks, the
team that was leading in
the fourth quarter used
the lack of a shot clock to
its advantage. With quick
passes and movement,
teams can drain min-
utes off the game clock
at a time. In the 6A girls
second round, Barlow
took nearly three minutes
off the clock in the fourth
quarter on a single posses-
sion against Ida B. Wells.
In the state championship
game, the Bruins were on
the receiving end as Bea-
verton ate time off the
clock with the late lead.
When teams go into
clock-killing mode, fans
from the opposing team
loudly jeer and many take
to social media to vent
their frustrations.
But why doesn’t
Oregon have shot clocks
for basketball?
That part is simple.
The Oregon School
Activities Association
is required to follow
sports rules that are set
by the National Federa-
tion of State High School
Associations (NFHS).
And until recently, the
NFHS’s rules stated that
high schools are not to
have shot clocks for bas-
ketball. This will change
with the 2022-23 school
year as the NFHS Basket-
ball Rules Committee cre-
ated a rule in April 2021
that allows states to adopt
a 35-second shot clock for
high school basketball.
Getting shot clocks in
Oregon isn’t as simple.
According to OSAA
executive director Peter
Weber, the OSAA Execu-
tive Board has touched on
shot clocks in the past, but
there was no major discus-
sion as it was outside of
the NFHS rules. He added
it has been a topic of dis-
cussion among the Oregon
Athletic Coaches Associ-
ation and the Oregon Ath-
letic Directors Association
in the past.
“In general, there
seems to be support from
coaches and concern from
ADs,” Weber said.
See, Clock/Page A10
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Youthful La Grande softball team leaning on its seniors for state title push
The Observer
A GRANDE — Spring
is in the air, and La
Grande’s softball stars
are ready to take the field.
After graduating five seniors
from a team that went 10-1
last season, the Tigers will be
looking for younger players to
fill some of those voids. Seniors
Grace Neer and Kinzy Bowen,
both of whom are signed to
play softball in college, will be
anchors to this year’s team as
the season gets underway this
“We have real strong bats,
and the girls hit the ball real
well,” head coach Cody Bowen
said. “We have good defense.
We have young players that are
very talented and very good.
It’s just a matter of putting it all
The Tigers made it to the
4A state showcase last season
before losing to Henley by a
score of 8-0 — this year’s group
will be looking to improve on
that mark as this year’s group
looks for similar success. Cody
Bowen is set to take over as
full-time head coach this season
after serving as an assistant
coach for six years.
Kinzy Bowen, who is set to
play for Oregon State next year,
is La Grande’s anchor in the
outfield. She posted a .536 bat-
ting average in 39 plate appear-
ances, with 14 RBIs, 16 runs
and four home runs last season.
Prior to joining the College
of Idaho next year, Neer will
be the Tigers’ ace in the circle
this year and play positionally
as well.
Last season, Neer posted a
0.90 ERA and struck out 40
Alex Wittwer/EO Media Group, File
Kinzy Bowen swings at a pitch during a game between Baker and La Grande on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Bowen, an
outfielder, is set to lead the Tigers into the 2022 season this spring.
batters over 23.1 innings —
she allowed just three runs on
the year. At the plate, Neer fin-
ished with 20 RBIs and scored
21 runs in 39 plate appearances,
posting a .543 batting average.
Neer will be a key compo-
nent in La Grande’s success,
Brielle Hood
Grace Neer
Rylie Huddleston
Joscelin Hafer
Belle Neer
Carlee Jensen
Kinzy Bowen
Keayra Krantz
Marti Anderson
Kylah Hatfield
Maya Wilson
Nessa Porras
Carlee Strand
Graci Jeffries
Paige Allen
Austyn Meuser
Ava Hedden
See, Tigers/Page A10
Union/Cove team aiming high in 2022
Combined softball
program looks to
build on last
season’s 14-4 mark
The Observer
UNION — Softball
season is fast approaching
and the Union/Cove team is
set to take the field.
The Union/Cove soft-
ball program is heading
into the 2022 season with
high expectations, coming
off a 14-4 season last year.
Under head coach Paul Phil-
lips, an experienced group
is looking to make a playoff
push by the end of the
“We’ll be competitive,
for sure. If we can stay
healthy, we’ll have a good
shot to make some noise at
the end of the season,” Phil-
lips said.
Union/Cove is led by the
senior trio of Callie Glenn,
Kaylin Nowak and Emma
Jazmyne Gonzales
Callie Glenn
Cabella Gregory
Emma Ricker
Megan Winterton
Kaylin Nowak
Tiffiney Conner
Josie Patton
Hannah Robbins
Aubrey Hall
Evangelyn Spence
Kali Coots
Keelie Jones
Maddy Sturm
Brea Rudd
Tasha Thiesfeld
Amanda Lawyer
Glenn is a four-year
starter in the circle who
will be the ace of the team’s
pitching staff. Freshmen
Amanda Lawyer and
Cabella Gregory are two
newcomers who will likely
compete for playing time
on the infield, while adding
pitching depth.
“This year we have eight
freshmen, who are a pretty
talented group,” Phillips
Nowak, a shortstop, will
look to be an anchor for
Union/Cove in the infield.
Ricker, a centerfielder, is the
team’s third captain, moni-
toring the outfield this year.
Juniors Megan Win-
terton, third base, and
Jasmyne Gonzalez, catcher,
are two solid returners that
the Union/Cove program
will lean on this year.
Union/Cove is coming
off a third-place finish in
the 2A/1A Special District
6. Grant Union/Prairie City
won the district, while Echo/
Stanfield placed second.
Union/Cove will host Echo/
Stanfield for a doubleheader
on Friday, April 15 and
travel to face Grant Union/
Prairie City for a double-
header on April 29.
The team opens up the
season with a road matchup
on March 18 at Toledo, who
went 14-3 last season.
“Those girls will be
ready to go by Friday
night,” Phillips said. “We’ll
be competitive, for sure. If
we can stay healthy, we’ll
have a good shot to make
some noise at the end of the
Alex Wittwer/EO Media Group, File
Union/Cove pitcher Callie Glenn (2) winds up during a game against
Pilot Rock/Nixyaawii on Friday, April 23, 2021, at the Union Athletic
Complex. Glenn is one of three senior team captains leading the
way for Union/Cove heading into the 2022 season.
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