Hermiston herald. (Hermiston, Or.) 1994-current, February 08, 2017, Page A8, Image 8

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    A8 • HERMISTONHERALD.COM
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2017
Herald Sports
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@HHeraldSports
Dawgs dig deep for wins
Bulldog teams
lost to Pendleton
last week, will get
chance for revenge
on Thursday
STAFF PHOTO BY ERIC SINGER
Hermiston’s Vaemu Ena poses with his mother Katelina
and father Eti during a signing party Thursday at
Hermiston High School. Ena signed a national letter of
intent to play football at Western Oregon University.
Ena ready
to be a Wolf
Hermiston
senior signs with
Western Oregon
By ERIC SINGER
Staff Writer
HERMISTON — For
the past three years, Vae-
mu Ena has been a stud
in the Hermiston defen-
sive backfield.
And now for the next
four or five years Ena
will still roam the foot-
ball field, but first he
will trade in the Herm-
iston purple and black
for the red and black of
Western Oregon Univer-
sity. On Wednesday, Feb.
1, Ena joined 31 other
high school seniors and
signed a National Letter
of Intent to play football
for the Wolves, and cel-
ebrated the achievement
with his family, friends,
teachers, and coaches at
a small party at Herm-
iston High School on
Thursday.
Ena, who will major
in criminal justice or
computer science, said
that he chose Western
Oregon, a team that is
coming off of a 4-6 sea-
son, over an opportunity
to play at FCS Eastern
Washington because of a
better chance of playing
time with the Wolves on
top of a love for the small
campus in Monmouth.
“I feel like the envi-
ronment over there is
similar to here at home
(Hermiston),” Ena said
Thursday, “ The com-
munity is very similar
to here just with a uni-
versity instead of a high
school. And I feel really
good about the coaches
and facilities over there.
With what I’ve seen and
my experiences over
there, I’ve really enjoyed
it.”
In 24 career games for
the Bulldogs, Ena tallied
119 total tackles and 10
interceptions originating
from his safety position
atop the defensive sets.
His best season came in
2015 as a junior, when
Ena tallied 40 tackles
and snagged five inter-
ceptions to help boost
him to a Class 5A all-
state honorable mention
nod.
Western Oregon as-
sistant coach and 2011
Hermiston graduate Tim
Rude said that with the
statistics that Ena pro-
duced on top of what
the 6-foot-2, 180 pound
safety showed in his
game tape made him a
perfect fit for the Wolves
defense.
“He’s very smooth
and long with good ball
skills already,” Rude said
Thursday. “He’s not even
close to done growing, so
he has some huge phys-
ical upside. He moves
well enough that he is ca-
pable of playing all over
the defensive secondary.
“That’s what’s real-
ly exciting about him is
versatility.”
Before Ena smiled for
numerous photos and
laughed along with some
friends while chowing
down on cupcakes at the
party on Thursday, he did
admit that not too long
ago he doubted himself
on getting a chance to
play college football.
“Last year (2016)
during track season,
(Coach David) Faae-
teete told me that some
coaches wanted to talk
to me,” Ena said, “but
I never thought that I
would ever be able to
(play) and did not think
I was big enough to play,
so I never called them
back. But then after this
season just playing and
realizing when we went
to tournaments and stuff
I was just as big as oth-
er kids, I just had to put
on a little more muscle
I could play and that’s
when it broke through
my head and when I
wanted to play.”
IN BRIEF
Elk tag up for grabs at
hunter banquet
Senior golf association
gets set to tee-off
An all-state elk tag
is on the auction block
during the Oregon Hunt-
ers Association Banquet,
Raffle & Auction.
The Columbia Basin
Chapter event, which
also features a chance
to win a D&B Treasure
Chest and M2D Proper-
ties Youth Hunt, is Sat-
urday at 5 p.m. at the
Pendleton Convention
Center, 1601 Westgate. It
also features door prizes,
raffles, games, a silent
auction, live auction and
dinner.
To donate items or
ticket information, call
Rebecca at 541-379-
1074 or Terry at 541-
231-4348. For more
about the association,
visit www.ohacolumbia-
basin.webs.com.
UMATILLA — The
Columbia Basin Senior
Blues Golf Association
tees off monthly at courses
throughout the region.
Open to men 50-and-
older, the association will
play the second Monday of
each month, beginning April
10 at The Dalles. In addition,
there’s an opportunity for
two special play dates.
Dues are $85 for the
season, which includes
greens fees and the prize
fund for each course. Golfers
are responsible for their own
cart rentals and food.
The fee must be paid
by Friday, Feb. 17 at Big
River Golf Course, 709
Willamette St., Umatilla.
For more information,
contact Megan Olsen at
541-922-3006 or megan@
golfbigriver.com.
Hermiston Herald
HERMISTON — The
Bulldogs were dealt a
heavy blow Monday
morning with the death
of classmate and former
teammate Brok Palmer,
and were not very focused
on the night’s opponent in
its Columbia River Con-
ference boys’ basketball
game.
That didn’t stop them
from picking up the win,
though, and Hermiston
came on strong in the sec-
ond half to beat The Dalles
77-62 in boys basketball
at the Dawg House.
“It was a long day for
Hermiston School Dis-
trict,” said Bulldogs head
coach Casey Arstein. “It’s
nothing you can prepare
for as a coach, I would
have preferred not to have
a game. I was glad for the
team to be able to have
that opportunity to clear
their heads, but it was just
a long day. I’m proud of
all the kids.”
Hermiston (13-5, 3-1
CRC) pulled away in the
third quarter by slashing
to the rim against the man
defense of the Riverhawks
(3-12, 0-4).
Playing in his first game
back from injury, Chance
Flores scored 11 of his 17
points in the third quarter,
and Xavier Rambo added
eight of his team-high 22
in the frame.
“I went with five guards
in the third and we were
able to get to the rim,” Ar-
stein said. “I thought we
were settling for too many
outside shots against the
man instead of driving,
and in the third quarter we
started to figure it out.”
Jordan Ramirez also
did most of his damage
off the dribble and scored
nine of his 12 points in
the first half as Hermiston
staked a 35-34 lead at the
break. They had stretched
that to 58-48 by the end of
STAFF PHOTO BY KATHY ANEY
Andrew James (15), of Hermiston, goes to the basket Monday night against The Dalles at
the Dawg House.
the third quarter.
Kody Moss got the
start for Hermiston and
added nine points and six
rebounds in what Arstein
said was his best game of
the season.
Dakota Murr scored
a game-high 25 points to
lead The Dalles, and Eric
Flores added 17.
The Bulldogs played at
Hood River Tuesday, but
the score wasn’t available
by press time.
Hermiston’s next home
game is Thursday when
it hosts Pendleton at 5:45
p.m.
The Bulldogs will be
looking for a little revenge
against their cross-county
rivals after losing 64-43 in
Pendleton a week ago.
The Buckaroos (8-4,
3-0 CRC) put together a
very balanced and effi-
cient scoring effort in the
game as star senior Caden
Smith was held to single
digits (eight points) for the
first time all season.
After a fast-paced first
quarter that saw the Buck-
aroos holding an 18-12 ad-
vantage, the game swung
mightily into Pendleton’s
in the second quarter. The
Bucks outscored Hermis-
ton 15-1 in the second to
sprint to a 33-13 halftime
lead, as the Bulldogs went
an ice cold 0-10 from the
floor. Their lone point
came on a made free throw
by Thomas McCullough.
“Scoring one point in a
quarter isn’t going to win
you many games,” Herm-
iston coach Casey Arstein
said. “I thought we were
impatient there, jacking
up shots early when we
could’ve gotten to the
rim or a ball reversal ...
but scoring one point we
were going to have to
play extremely well in
the second half and we
played average at best so
we’ll have to make some
adjustments.”
As balanced as Pendle-
ton’s offense was, Herm-
iston’s was the opposite.
Senior guard Xavier
Rambo diced through and
around Pendleton’s de-
fense to score 20 points in
the second half — finish-
ing with a game-high 26
points, or 60 percent of
Hermiston’s total points.
Hermiston shot just 34
percent for the game, and
went zero for its first 13
from 3-point range before
Ryne Andreason nailed
on with 1:15 left to play.
See BULLDOGS, A9
Riverside just short in loss to Burns
Hermiston Herald
BOARDMAN — The Riverside
Pirates were just seconds away from
an upset over Burns, but late-game
magic and too many missed opportu-
nities led to a Riverside defeat 42-38
in overtime on Saturday night.
Riverside (6-13, 2-7 EOL) led 38-
35 with just seconds left in regulation
when Burns attempted a 3-point-
er. The shot missed, but bounced to
Burns’ Kai Dahl who stepped behind
the 3-point line and put up a shot, one
that banked into the basket just as the
buzzer sounded, sending it to over-
time.
“The kids played really, real-
ly hard and I’m happy for how well
they played,” Riverside coach Clair
Costello said. “We just can’t score
right now and had some bad breaks.”
Eon Castillo led Riverside with 12
points and five rebounds, while Ri-
cardo Rosales had nine points. Zane
Taylor led Burns with 10.
Riverside plays its season finale at
Umatilla on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
HEPPNER 73, WESTON-MCE-
WEN 53 — Heppner shot 48 per-
cent from the field with four players
reaching double digits to put away
Weston-McEwen in Columbia Basin
Conference boys basketball Monday.
Logan Grieb finished with 22
points, 12 rebounds and six assists to
lead Heppner (11-5, 3-3 CBC), and
Kevin Smith was 5 for 5 from the field
to add 10 points. Jake Lindsay added
14 points, four assists and three steals,
and Caden Hedman had 12 points.
Ethan Reger scored 22 points to go
with seven rebounds to lead Weston-McE-
wen (11-8, 3-3), and Brett Speed added 16
points and nine rebounds.
Heppner led 41-19 at halftime.
Both teams play Friday night
with Heppner at Pilot Rock and
Weston-McEwen at Stanfield.
IRRIGON 58, RIVERSIDE 28
— A one-point loss to Umatilla on
Tuesday exposed a weakness on the
defensive glass for the Irrigon boys
basketball team that coach Davy Salas
was not going to let become a recur-
ring theme as the Knights try to finish
out the season strong.
“We were harping on them all week
after that,” Salas said. “Those offensive
rebounds lead to second-chance points
and that killed us against Umatilla.”
The Knights responded how Salas
had hoped, and limited Riverside to
one look at the basket most of its trips
down the court on Friday night for
a 58-28 win in their Eastern Oregon
League tilt.
“Today we did a good job boxing
out,” Salas said. “They have some re-
ally active kids and we did a good job
of getting in position and squeezing
the basketball.”
Rebounding totals weren’t avail-
able, but Irrigon (12-7, 5-3 EOL) was
led on offense by Hayden White with
15 points and Johnny Philips with 14.
The Knights were up 27-11 at half-
time and outscored the Pirates 19-8 in
the third quarter.
Riverside (6-12, 2-6) was led by
Ricardo Rosales with seven points.
Irrigon’s next game is Friday when
it hosts Nyssa at 7:30 p.m.
NIXYAAWII 65, ECHO 58 (OT)
— With time running out, the Echo
Cougars grabbed a rebound and hus-
tled up the court to sink a game-tying
layup at the buzzer on Thursday night
against Nixyaawii.
Down four on its final possession
in overtime, there would be no hero-
ics this time.
Shayden Hoisington snagged a
steal going the other way and the
Golden Eagles hit a three-pointer at
the buzzer to give them a final tally
of 65-58 in their 10th straight win that
kept them undefeated in Old Oregon
League play.
Mick Schimmel carried the game
for Nixyaawii (13-4, 10-0 OOL) with
27 points, and Joseph St. Pierre and
Noah Enright each added 10.
Schimmel sank the two-pointer
that made it 62-58 late in overtime.
Morgan Marcum scored 19 points
to lead Echo (6-14, 5-6), Klay Jenson
added 14 and Devan Craig chipped in
10.
Echo lost to Powder Valley 77-43
on Saturday, and will wrap up the reg-
ular season at home Friday against
Wallowa at 7:30 p.m. and on the road
at Cove Saturday at 7 p.m.
GIRLS BASKETBALL
BURNS 46, RIVERSIDE 41 —
At Boardman, the Riverside Pirates
led for a portion of the fourth quarter,
but did not have enough to hang on
against the solid Burns Hilanders with
a loss on Saturday.
“We played so poor (Friday)
against Irrigon and then we played
so well tonight and we should’ve had
them (Burns) beat,” Riverside coach
Clair Costello said, “We just turned
it over too much and didn’t make
enough baskets when we needed it.”
Lacey Mashos led Riverside with
14 points and Alondra Caldera had
10 points. Skylar Wightman had six
points and four assists.
See ROUNDUP, A9