Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current, December 19, 2018, Page Section B, Image 11

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    Sports & recreation
Cottage Grove Sentinel
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
South Lane County Sports and Recreation
Elks crack
against
Cougars,
down Devils
Section B
Contact Sports, 942-3325 or e-mail zsilva@cgsentinel.com
Female wrestlers fi nd early-season success
Elkton girls
basketball have split
results at North
Douglas Winter
Invitational
By Zach Silva
zsilva@cgsentinel.com
Th e Elkton girls basketball
team is moving in the right
direction.
Th e team got a chance to
look at its progress on the
young season last week as it
faced Country Christian, the
defending state champs, for
the second Friday in a row.
In the fi rst matchup the Elks
lost 53-37 and at the North
Douglas Winter Invitation-
al last week they fell to the
Cougars 52-49.
“Country is a good team,
probably a top-10 team. And
so playing them on a neutral
court like this and having
a chance to be in it, I told
them, that shows us where
we are,” said Elkton head
coach Rob Parker. “We just
need to keep working at it,
getting better. Who knows
where we’ll be at the end of
the season if we keep work-
ing. So yeah, this was like a
test to see where we were.”
Holding Elkton to eight
points in the fi rst quarter,
the Cougars were in control
early. Th roughout the sec-
ond quarter the Elks seemed
poised to make a run but
were unable to string buck-
ets together until they came
alive for a 9-3 run that tied
the game going into the half.
When the Elks were at
their best on Friday night
it was when the off ense was
coming from across the
board. Four Elkton players
scored in double digits led
by Margaret Byle and Alexis
Halstead with 12 each. As-
pyn Luzier had 11, including
three three-pointers, and
Kieryn Carnes fi nished with
10.
In the third quarter, the
off ense came from across the
board as the teams traded
buckets and the Elks put an
emphasis on getting to the
rim.
“Th at was something that
we worked on all week be-
cause we hadn’t done that
yet. And we know this team,
they play mostly man and
when they close out, they
close out really fast,” said
Parker. “So we wanted to
fake and go while they were
closing so they were off bal-
anced and they weren’t ready
to cover us. And we got some
of that.”
Led by Byle with six points
in the quarter, Elkton had a
three point lead with under
two minutes to play. Th e Elks
then slowed down their of-
fense to try to drain the clock
which prompted the Cou-
gars to play an aggressive,
trapping defense that led to
a pair of Elkton turnovers in
the fi nal minute of the game
which resulted in fast break
buckets for the Cougars.
For Country Christian it
was Sarah Phillips coming
up big as she had all night
with a layup with 25 seconds
to play to give the team a
lead that they would not re-
linquish. Phillips ended the
game with 25 point includ-
ing nine in the fourth quar-
ter.
“We worked on (our
spread off ense) this week,
too so I’m thinking we’re not
ELKS
see B2
PHOTO C/O CHRISTINA KENT
The Cottage Grove girls wrestling team posing with their fi rst place trophy from the Coast Classic.
Cottage Grove has assembled
a successful girls wrestling
team aft er OSAA adds female
state championship
By Zach Silva
zsilva@cgsentinel.com
S
he was nervous. She was hyper-
ventilating. She thought she might
throw up.
Aft er looking across the gym full of
eager spectators and excited competi-
tors, Arleth Serratos Hernandez had to
remind herself to focus. She was there to
compete; she was there to do her best.
She was there to wrestle.
Hernandez, who is wrestling for the
fi rst time in her life, is one of eight girls
on the fi rst-ever Cottage Grove girls
wrestling team.
“I wanted to try something new and
sometimes new means stepping out of
your comfort zone. So I decided I wanted
to step out of my comfort zone and try
something kind of wild and crazy," said
Hernandez, a Cottage Grove senior. “And
for me that was wrestling.”
Historically, the Cottage Grove wres-
tling team has, like most wrestling teams
around the state, oft en had a handful of
girls involved in the program but this
year marks the fi rst year of girls wrestling
being recognized by the OSAA in the
state of Oregon.
While in the past girls would wrestle
against boys at a designated weight class,
this year girls have the option to compete
in a female-only wrestling at the state
tournament. Oregon is the eighth state to
off er high school wrestling for both boys
and girls.
“Prior to this change those were exhi-
bition matches and now they are recog-
nized as championship bouts. And state
championship teams. So that’s obviously
a huge change for these young ladies,”
said OSAA assistant executive Brad Gar-
rett in an interview with the National
Federation of High School Associations.
Logistically, nothing really changes for
the Cottage Grove team. Th e boys and
girls still practice together as they have
done in years past and attend most of the
same meets together. But coach Chris-
tina Kent sees that this designation as a
new way for the girls to stand out.
“For me, I think the most exciting part
is just to see girls being willing to put
themselves out there because it is not a
typical female sport. It is one of those
sports that really pushes your confi -
dence,” said Kent. “It’s not about appear-
ance or anything like that but about how
strong you are, how fast you are and how
confi dent you are and really pushing
yourself. And seeing the girls' program is
its own entity allows them to be recog-
nized as girls wrestlers and not under the
radar with the guys.”
About a month into the season the
girls have quickly put themselves on the
map. Competing at the Coast Classic at
North Bend, the team was able to beat
out schools of all sizes (including schools
from the 6A classifi cation) and walk away
with a fi rst-place team trophy. During
the tournament Raina Herzog took fi rst
in her weight class while Sabrina James
and Hannah Cook each took second.
“It’s absolutely validation. It shows that
we can do it and even with a small team
we can do it and the excitement was fun.
It’s not something we necessarily went
into thinking we’re going to take the
whole tournament,” said Kent. “It real-
ly has kind of set a precedent for us for
the whole season that we want to reach a
certain level and keep at a certain level. It
was exciting.”
Last weekend at Liberty, the team
placed sixth of the 32 teams compet-
ing. James added a second place fi nish
while Herzog and Adelle Kent took third.
Richelle Rolfe was fourth while Cook was
consolation runner-up.
Th e goal down the road is to grow into
a team of 15, 20 or maybe even 25 female
wrestlers. Kent, and the Cottage Grove
coaching staff , want to continue to build
their program to show that all girls are
welcome in the wrestling program.
“I want to show the other girls out
there that may be on the fence. Th ey have
thought about wrestling but haven’t done
it because of the stigmata or the singlets
or anything like that, I want them to see
that it’s possible,” said Kent.
“I want them to see that girls can do
this sport just as well if not a little bit bet-
ter than the boys in some cases because
our bodies are diff erent and we can do
things diff erently. And just really that
sense of accomplishment for these girls
that are opening that path for the girls
that are coming up.”
Lions outdone by Outlaws in double OT
Cottage Grove still searching
for fi rst win aft er Sisters secures
thrilling victory
By Zach Silva
zsilva@cgsentinel.com
PHOTO BY ANGELICA MANUNTAG/CGHS PHOTOGRAPHY
Cottage Grove’s Creed Lufkin battles for position against Sisters
last Tuesday.
Athlete of
the Week
Sisters may not be in the Sky-Em league any-
more, but they are still causing problems for Cot-
tage Grove on the basketball court.
On Tuesday the Lions (0-4) fell to their former
league foe in the Outlaws (4-1) 58-55 during a
heartbreaking double overtime loss at home.
Sisters, now members of the Oregon West Con-
ference, are ranked at number seven in the 4A
coaches' poll.
“You know, you kind of just relate it back to
life, sometimes that happens in life. Sometimes
the ball doesn’t fall your way or something goes
your way,” said Cottage Grove’s fi rst year head
coach Seth Hutchison. “So I’m challenging them,
there’s two ways you can go about it: let it defeat
you or you can let it challenge you to get better.”
Trailing by 10 points in the opening minutes
of the fourth quarter, the Lions began to craft a
comeback with just under fi ve minutes to play as
Th is week’s athlete of the week
is North Douglas’ Jake Gerrard.
During the North Douglas
Winter Invitational, Gerrard
fi nished with 12 points on Friday
and 28 on Saturday to help guide
the Warriors to a pair of wins. To
read more about the weekend of
games in Drain turn to B2 and
B3.
Dylan Graves and Erick Giff en hit a pair of three
pointers. Suddenly down four with under four
minutes to play, Cottage Grove did what they had
been doing all game: fi nding Creed Lufk in down
low. Lufk in fi nished with 18 points on the game
including 10 in the fourth quarter and overtime.
“Creed played one of his best games I’ve seen
all year. He was physical, he wasn’t throwing up
soft shots, he was going into the guys and fi nish-
ing. And you can see that tonight,” said Hutchi-
son. Th e Lions had dominant play from their bigs
all night as Jasper Ferguson added 10 points for
the team.
“Th eir bigs killed us. Th ey just pounded the
crap out of us,” said Sisters head coach Rand
Runco. “What a great lesson for us. I thought
we did a great job on the perimeter because we
couldn’t handle the bigs.”
A Lufk in bucket at the block cut the Sisters
lead to one before the Outlaws extended their
advantage to four aft er getting to the foul line
on back-to-back possessions. Included in those
fouls was a foul from Cottage Grove guard Erick
Giff en, the only returning player on the Cottage
Grove team with signifi cant varsity playing time,
LIONS see B4
North Doug-
las junior
Jake Gerrard
pulls up for
three against
Lowell last
Friday.
PHOTO BY BECKY
GERRARD