Keizertimes. (Salem, Or.) 1979-current, March 17, 2017, Page PAGE A10, Image 10

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3555 River Road N, Keizer
(503) 463 - 4853
From KYBA to state champs
Of the Keizertimes
With a roster of mostly
sophomores, Blanchet Catho-
lic wasn’t supposed to win a
state championship.
But its road to a title didn’t
begin two years ago.
It started when fi ve future
Lady Cavaliers—Ana Coro-
nado, Bailey Hittner, Hailey
Ostby, Lauren Elmore and
Trinity Phipps—came to-
gether as fi fth graders on the
same tournament team in the
Keizer Youth Basketball Asso-
That squad, which won a
state middle school champi-
onship as sixth graders, was
coached by Bailey’s father
Ron Hittner, who was an as-
sistant at Corban University
and is now the head coach at
“You could defi nitely tell
the potential at an early age,”
coach Hittner said. “They
loved the game and you knew
they were going to improve.”
Kalea Salang joined the
girls at KYBA in the eighth
“There seemed like there
was no weak link to the team,”
Salang said. “The whole team,
we were all strong players and
we went to the state tourna-
ment that year and placed
third. We already knew from
there that we had a gift and
we could go far places if we
stuck together.”
With all six girls on the
varsity team as freshmen,
Blanchet made the 3A state
tournament last season for the
fi rst time since 2012 but were
eliminated in the fi rst round.
With the goal of getting
back to the playoffs and this
time winning, the fi fth seed-
ed Cavs easily defeated Am-
ity 51-29 in the fi rst round
to advance to the state quar-
terfi nals at Marshfi eld High
School in Coos Bay. They
then edged No. 4 Portland
Adventist 46-44 to play Pac-
West Conference foe and
No. 1 Salem Academy in the
semifi nals.
Blanchet had defeated the
Crusaders by two points early
in the season but had since
lost twice by an average of
10.5 points.
The Cavs evened the score
in the semifi nals, winning
51-39 to advance to the state
championship game for the
Saluting the people that make
us proud of our community
fi rst time in school history.
“The kids did a great job
executing the game plan,”
coach Hittner said.
“We’re a strong defensive
team and when we play de-
fense, we can compete with
anybody. We also shot the ball
well. It was the most com-
plete game we had on offense
and defense.”
Up next was two-time
defending state champion
Dayton, who Blanchet had
narrowly lost to back in De-
“We knew us going to the
championship game that was
a big check but we weren’t
settled for that,” Coronado
said. “We thought we could
push even more and win a
championship and make even
more history.”
But the Cavs fell behind by
14 points early in the fourth
Needing a miraculous
comeback, the girls went to
a defensive drill they’ve prac-
ticed since the fi fth grade. The
objective is to play defense
for an entire minute without
making a mistake.
Blanchet did it for seven
minutes, holding Dayton
without a basket while scor-
ing 16 straight points.
Coronado capped off the
run by stealing the ball from
two-time 3A player of the
year Shawnie Spink and mak-
ing a layup on the other end
to give the Cavs a lead with
30 seconds remaining.
“I wasn’t expecting myself
to steal the ball but it was out
there so I took it,” said Coro-
nado, who led Blanchet with
13 points, nine rebounds and
four steals in the 36-34 state
championship victory on Sat-
urday, March 4.
Blanchet, which prides
itself on playing full court
pressure defense, simply wore
Dayton down.
“We still had another gear
in us, I guess,” Coronado said.
“They got tired at the end
and we kept going and kept
pushing. We’ve always played
that way, since fi fth grade. I
can’t even explain how big
defense is to us. It truly has
been our key.”
The Cavs also fed off the
“The atmosphere was
electric,” coach Hittner said.
“Our fans were great and
our kids really fed off their
Once the fi nal buzzer
sounded, the girls couldn’t
hold back the tears.
“We were all bawling our
eyes out in the locker room,”
Bailey Hittner said. “I re-
member turning to Trinity
and saying this is what ever
since fi fth grade has led up to.
It’s crazy to think that every
practice, every game in the
tournament has led to this
moment right here. It was just
so surreal.”
who2 came2 up2 through2 the2 KYBA,2 won2 the2 3A2 state2 championship2 for2 Blanchet2 Catholic2 on2
McNary lacrosse home opener Friday
Of the Keizertimes
Led by a strong junior class,
McNary lacrosse coach Ryan
Bowlby expects a solid season.
The Celtics opened the
2017 campaign on Monday,
March. 13 with a 12-8 win at
McNary’s fi rst home game
is Friday, March. 17 versus
Hermiston at 7 p.m.
“We have lots of experi-
ence on offense,” Bowlby said.
“Our defense is extremely
new but our goalie is a third-
year starter. We’ve got a good
Jonathan Williams, who
scored three goals and added
three assists against Newberg,
will lead the offense.
“Right now pretty much
everything is ran through
Jonathan Williams,” Bowlby
said. “He’s a super athlete. He’s
running track this year and
doing lacrosse.
“The other team ended
up blacking him out, so iso-
lating him and face guarding
him and taking him out of
the game entirely and he still
scored two more goals and got
an assist. He’s a supreme, su-
preme lacrosse player.”
Williams wasn’t happy with
how he started his junior sea-
“I started off terrible,” Wil-
liams said. “I turned the ball
over the fi rst two times down.
I settled myself down and got
the offense going and realized
I didn’t have to get the goal,
somebody else could get it.
The pressure isn’t all on me.
We have other guys who can
score the ball just as easily as
I can.”
One of those players is an-
other junior, Chad Pinney,
who has played midfi eld the
past two seasons but is tran-
sitioning to attack and scored
three goals at Newberg.
Marcus McCoy returns at
goalkeeper where he was an
all-league honorable men-
tion as a freshmen and Second
Team selection as a sopho-
more. As a junior, McCoy is
ready to take on a more lead-
ership role.
“Since freshmen year, our
coaches have always told us
our freshmen class once we
get up to junior and seniors,
that’s when our true leader-
ship was going to come up
and that’s when we’re going
to show our true power and
that’s when we’re going to
shine the most,” McCoy said.
“This year, I think we got it.
We’re coming out strong.
We’re ready to win.”
McNary2 junior2 Jonathan2 Williams,2 left,2 practicing2 against2 freshmen2 defender2 Cabe2 Nieth,2 will2