Polk County itemizer observer. (Dallas, Or) 1992-current, March 15, 2017, Page 13A, Image 13

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    Polk County Sports
Polk County Itemizer-Observer • March 15, 2017 13A
2016-17 ITEMIZER-OBSERVER ALL-REGION PREP BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM
GUARD
ALEC
BARBA
GUARD
PETER
MASON
GUARD
JASON
RICHEY
Central
Central
Dallas
The senior was a
critical part to Cen-
tral’s offense dur-
Barba
ing the 2016-17
season. He led the team in points per
game (13.5), shot 50 percent on two-
point field goals and 41 percent from
beyond the arc. Barba also led the
team in 3-pointers made (67). “Alec is
a great spot up shooter,” Central
coach Tim Kreta said. “When Alec is on
the court, he makes our team offense
run a lot better.” Barba also made
great strides on defense and was
more willing to crash the boards than
in years past, averaging 2.8 rebounds
per game. On offense, Barba became
more potent at driving to the hoop,
making him a difficult offensive threat
to stop. “Guards and wings have to
honor him, which allows our posts to
have better matchups,” Kreta said.
Barba earned first team all-Mid-
Willamette Conference honors.
The senior point
guard was tasked
often with stop-
Mason
ping the opposing
team’s biggest threat. Mason reveled
in that challenge. “Peter was the heart
of our defense this year,” Kreta said.
“Many times, we asked him to guard
our opponents’ best player. He was
the energy behind our defense.” On
offense, Mason averaged 8.8 points
per game, but his true impact came
in distributing and creating chances
for his teammates. “Peter was not a
shoot-first point guard,” Kreta said.
“He took pride in finding shooters
and making the extra pass to help
our offense run.
On more than one occasion, he led
the team in rebounds, assists and
steals.” Mason averaged five assists,
2.8 rebounds and two steals per
game and earned an all-league hon-
orable mention.
Richey formed the
heart and soul of
Dallas’ offense.
Richey
Richey was the
Dragons’ leading scorer, averaging
16.6 points per game — about a third
of the 49.8 points per game Dallas av-
eraged as a team. He also led the
team in rebounds (103) and steals (41)
and was second in assists (44), despite
defenses keying in on him. Although
the Dragons’ season didn’t go as
planned, Richey provided a bright
spot and earned second team all-
MWC honors.
GUARD
AARON WHITE
Dallas
The senior point guard brought a
steady hand to Dallas’ offense
throughout the
season. White led
the Dragons in as-
sists with 74 and
was second in
steals (31). And,
despite standing
at 5-foot-9, White
was also second
on the team in re-
White
bounds (61). White
earned all-league honorable mention
for his performance.
POST
Haylen
Janesofsky
Perrydale
The Casco League
Player of the Year
had another stel-
Janesofsky
lar season during
his senior campaign. Janesofsky was
the focal point of a Pirate offense
that averaged 59.4 points per game
— top in the Casco League. Janesof-
sky averaged 16.4 points, 8.0 re-
bounds and 3.1 blocks per game dur-
ing his final season with the Pirates.
COACH
BRIAN
DOMES
Perrydale
The 2016-17 sea-
son was a special
Domes
one for Domes. He
not only got to
coach his two sons, Daniel and
David, but helped lead the Pirates to
their first-ever trip to Baker City and
a third-place finish at the 1A state
championships. The finish was Perry-
dale’s best in boys basketball. The Pi-
rates reeled off 15-straight wins from
Jan. 18 to March 1 en route to a 25-4
record overall. Of the team’s four
losses, two came against Sherman,
the 1A state champions. Domes was
named the Casco League’s Coach of
the Year.
—
The 2016-17 Itemizer-Observer all-region
boys basketball team was selected by
Sports Editor Lukas Eggen, along with
heavy input from area coaches.
Barba: Senior led Central in scoring, 3-pointers
Continued from Page 12A
“In middle school and ele-
mentary school, it’s a lot dif-
ferent,” Barba said. “You
don’t really have to play de-
fense. In high school, it’s a
different ballgame. There are
a lot of good players who will
try and take your strength
away from you and exploit
your weaknesses.”
Barba played on junior
varsity his freshman year.
“I was kind of lost, just get-
ting to know things,” Barba
said. “I started to realize that
hey, I can shoot with the best
of them, but what else can I
do? I started to get better at
those other things.”
He added a new dimension
to his game on offense and
became a better defender.
“My sophomore year,
when people tried taking
away my shot, I started
pump faking and driving,”
Barba said. “On defense, I
started to anticipate better to
get a steal and get fast break
points. I saw that good things
happen when I scored.”
Barba also became craftier
with his jump shot. Under
the tutelage of his father and
Central High graduate Kaj
Bansen, Barba became dead-
lier from long range.
“My junior year, I started
getting fouled on my 3-
pointers more,” Barba said.
“Kaj helped me learn some
veteran tricks like how to
make my shot quicker so
some of those fouls turned
into four-point plays.”
But it wasn’t until his jun-
ior and senior seasons that
he started to break out.
“I always had the height to
rebound, but I never really
did it,” Barba said. “Last year
and this year, I would always
do it a lot more. On defense, I
kept my hands active and
starting using my length to
poke the ball away. I’ve also
gotten better at finishing
layups — getting used to
contact and finishing your
shot.”
All of a sudden, there was
much more to Barba’s game
than just the jump shot. The
attention he demanded from
opponents opened up op-
portunities for his team-
mates.
“When Alec is on the
court, he makes our team of-
fense a lot better,” coach Tim
Kreta said.
—
Barba plans to play at
Willamette University next
school year and, whenever
his playing career is over,
wants to become a coach —
something he’s already had
experience in with youth
camps and basketball
leagues.
“I like to coach,” Barba
said. “I like helping them pre-
pare for high school. I have
two younger brothers. I make
new friends all the time, and
I teach them and give them
advice and tips. I think to
come back and watch them
playing for Central one day
and seeing some of the tips I
gave them in action will be
fun.”
As Barba prepares for the
next part of his basketball
adventure, he will have fond
memories of his time as a
Panther and how it shaped
him into the player he is
today.
“I’ll miss the home games
and the student body,” he
said. “It’s just so much fun.
You’re only in high school
once, and there may be frus-
trations and not so fun parts,
but it’s all worth it.”
ROBOTICS
Eighth-grader competes with high schoolers in robotics
Murdock headed to World Championships
By Lukas Eggen
The Itemizer-Observer
DALLAS — Kahl Murdock
loves sports. He loves play-
ing them, watching them,
competing and being part of
a team.
But when he injured his
ankle his sixth-grade year of
football, he needed some-
thing to do. That turned out
to be robotics.
“I’ve always loved build-
ing things,” Murdock said.
“I built things using K’Nex
and Erector Sets. I have all
these structures I built like
the Eifel Tower and heli-
copters.”
Kahl’s mom picked him
up a VEX IQ robot kit (which
uses plastic parts) and he
immediately got to work.
By his seventh-grade year,
Kahl won state and ad-
vanced to worlds, where he
finished 90th out of 400
competitors.
Now in eighth grade,
Kahl has made the change
to VEX EDR robotic kits
which uses metal parts and
has begun competing for
Dallas High School’s robot-
ics team.
“I thought I was going to
do terribly,” Kahl said.
Instead, he won multiple
tournaments where al-
liances try and outscore
their opponents by scoring
stars and cubes in zones on
the playing field.
“I spend about 20 hours a
week working on my robot,”
Kahl said. “It went through
multiple stages until I ar-
rived at this design, and this
is the third or fourth version
of that.”
Kahl competed at the
state championship on Fri-
day and Saturday at
Chemeketa Community
College, but failed to grab
one of the automatic berths
to the world champi-
onships.
He did, however, earn a
robotic skills berth on Mon-
day for the VRC World
Championships held in
Louisville, Ken.
It’s an opportunity Kahl is
grateful to get to experience,
especially after seeing what
the World Championships
can be like last year.
“Robotics doesn’t sound
like fun until you go to a
competition and you see the
crowds and how many hours
people spend working on it,”
Kahl said. “At Worlds, you
walk into the arena and
thousands of people are
chanting and cheering. It
was super cool.”
Now, he’ll get another
chance to compete against
robotics teams from around
the globe. Not bad for some-
thing he only discovered two
years ago.
“In football, if you play
against a better kid, you
learn and improve,” Mur-
dock said. “This is kind of
the same thing.”
LUKAS EGGEN/Itemizer-Observer
LaCreole Middle School student Kahl Murdock works on his robot on March 4.
Wakem: Wolves off to a Wolves: WOU hangs on
6-0 start in GNAC play
for victory over Adams
Continued from Page 12A
“I relax myself at the
plate,” he said. “I slow every-
thing down and relax my
eyes. It allows me to see
more opportunities at the
plate. … I want to reach base
every game. I have a mental-
ity that I’m never going to
get out. It gives me that con-
fidence and I can calm my-
self down.”
Wakem’s ascension has
coupled with a hot start for
the Wolves. WOU defeated
Concordia 6-3 on Saturday,
and 2-1 and 9-2 on Sunday
to improve to 6-0 in Great
Northwest Athletic Confer-
ence play — the league’s
lone undefeated squad in
conference play. From find-
ing success at the plate to
pitchers stepping up in key
moments, the Wolves are
getting contributions up
and down their lineup.
“Everyone is clicking,”
Wakem said. “We’re doing
the little things right and
everyone is doing their job.
We’re in a great spot and we
have a lot of momentum.”
Wakem’s emergence at
the plate bolsters a strong
lineup. With reigning GNAC
Pitcher of the Year Brady
M i l l e r
leading a
strong
pitching
staff, the
Wolves are
set to con-
tend for a
confer-
Wakem
ence title.
“I know it’s cliché, but
anything I can do to help us
win is all I care about,”
Wakem said. “If we get that
W, that’s all I want.”
With a strong start, the
Wolves have taken the first
steps toward a GNAC title.
As is always the case with
baseball, there will be chal-
lenges and stumbles ahead.
How WOU reacts and recov-
ers will determine how
good they can be.
“I’d say having energy,”
Sweep!
• Western Oregon’s
baseball team defeated
Concordia 6-3 on Saturday
and 2-1 and 9-2 on Sun-
day.
• Pitcher Craig Grubbe
threw six shutout innings
in the first game on Sun-
day with five strikeouts
and allowing only two hits.
• WOU improved to 6-0
in conference play.
Wakem said. “Last year,
sometimes with this weath-
er, it can affect you in a way
where it’s hard to come out
and play to the best of your
ability. We need to continue
feeding off each other’s en-
ergy and playing for the guy
next to you.”
Western Oregon hosts
Corban Wednesday (today)
at 2 p.m. before hosting
Central Washington for a
pair of doubleheaders at 1
p.m. Saturday and noon on
Sunday.
Continued from Page 12A
WOU also saw success in
individual events on Satur-
day. Ribich took third in the
men’s mile final, while Nad-
ing finished fourth.
Dempsey placed sixth in the
800 final. The women saw
Suzanne Van De Grift and
Olivia Woods take fifth and
sixth in the 800 finals. Each
athlete competing earned
Solution on Page 6A
All-American honors.
Western Oregon’s track
and field teams will kick off
its outdoor season at the
Lewis and Clark Spring
Break Open on Saturday.