Elkton hosts Tip-Off Classic

Elkton junior Kieryn Carnes.

Four teams come to Elkton to start basketball season

Last weekend’s Elkton Classic followed a simple script: Monroe beat everyone while Elkton and North Douglas beat Willamette Valley Christian.

The four-school event took place last Friday and Saturday and saw the boys’ and girls’ teams of each school play a pair of games. There was plenty of action and plenty of games. Here is a closer look at how North Douglas and Elkton performed at the annual event.

North Douglas Girls

Game 1: Monroe 49, NDHS 24

Game 2: NDHS 46, Willamette Valley Christian 33

On Friday night, a talented 2A Monroe side was ready to play.

“They hit us with a little barrage and we just didn’t respond,” said North Douglas head coach Jeff Davis.

The Dragons were overpowering and they turned 31 North Douglas turnovers into 27 points as they stormed away with the win. Senior Kyndal Martin led the way with 21 points and seven rebounds.

Sophomore Natalie Thompson led North Douglas in scoring with 12 points while Sam MacDowell, Abby Whipple and Riley Black each added four points for the team.

“The conversation last night was about the number of turnovers we had and what kind they were. They were about our body language, our competitiveness. Our approach to the game,” said Davis.

On Saturday, the Warriors had new life as they paired a strong fourth quarter performance with an all-around complete game from Whipple that lifted the team to their first win of the season. When the North Douglas offense half-court would stagnate, it was Whipple there time and time again to lift the team up. She finished with 21 points go with 10 rebounds, six steals, three assists and two blocks.

“Abby was more assertive… on both ends of the floor. She picked up two quick fouls last night so we had to take her out,” said Davis. “And we’ve got to have her available, we choose when she comes out. Not the officials.”

Tied at the half at 19, the WVC defense started to more closely hone in on Whipple which opened up scoring chances for Thompson. Thompson finished the game with 16 points.

“You know, the Thompson kid is tough as nails. Not a lot of high school experience but you watch her over the course of the season and she’s just going to get better. She’s tough,” said Davis.

A two-point game heading into the final quarter of play ballooned into an easy North Douglas victory as the team picked apart WVC with their half-court offense, press break and the same out of bounds play that twice resulted in a wide open layup; the combination of all three turned into a 17-point quarter.

“It’s good that we, as a group, responded because there was a place now to build from,” said Davis. Warriors are now hoping that Nicki Derrick and Rilie-Jo Olds, a pair of key players from a season ago, work their way back from injury and into the rotation.

“You think once we get those two kids back and league gets here, we’ll round into something that’s competitive,” said Davis.

Elkton Girls

Game One: Elkton 42, WVC 38

Game Two: Monroe 46, Elkton 42

After a mid-week loss last Wednesday against Perrydale to start the season, the Elks started to find their footing on Friday with a close win over WVC. Aspyn Luzier’s 10 points and 15 rebounds paired with 11-points from Kieryn Carnes were enough to secure a four-point victory.

But as the weekend went on, the team kept getting better.

“So if you saw us Wednesday and then saw us last night, even though we won yesterday we still didn’t play very well, but this was a totally different team,” Parker said of his squad that played Monroe to a close game.

After seeing the Dragons beat North Douglas the night before, Parker was hoping to slow the game down and keep it under 30 if his team was going to have a chance. The game went off script as a frenetic pace paired with threes from Luzier saw the Elks with a four-point lead in the second quarter. At halftime it was Monroe, taking advantage of Elkton foul trouble, with a 27-21 advantage.

After Elkton cut their deficit to two, the Dragons opened up the scoring as they finished off the quarter with a 16-4 run to put the game out of reach. After changing their defense and reinserting Alexis Halstead into the defense despite four fouls, the Elks began to make a run of their own.

Despite missed from the free throw lines, the Elks scored nine straight points in the quarter before a Monroe’s first field goal of the quarter came with 1:11 left in the game. Despite late game makes, a made Monroe free throw put the game away for the Dragons.

“You don’t ever like to lose, but if we had to lose, that was okay. Preseason, that’s a good team,” said Parker. “They’ve got good size. We do some different things and I thought we reacted well, I thought we played really good defense. For the most part we’re still learning.”

North Douglas Boys

Game 1: Monroe 69, NDHS 66

Game 2: NDHS 68, WVC 38

While it was a losing effort on night one against Monroe, head coach Tyler Vancil didn’t quite see it that way.

“It wasn’t one where you lose and it’s like, ‘Ugh, that really sucks.’ But it was ‘Hey, we lost, but it didn’t really feel like a loss because we took so many positives away.’ So that was nice,” said Vancil.

In an up and down game that saw North Douglas twice rally back from double-digit deficits the Dragons came out ahead as Zach Young finished off the night with 38 points. For North Douglas, Vancil saw it as a game of learning experiences and learning from their errors. Cal Parks had 27 points for the Warriors while Jake Gerrard had 13 and Koldan Freize added 11.

On Saturday the Warriors rolled through WVC for a 30-point victory. And this time their scoring started down low with Tanner Parks. The 5’11 forward played down low scoring 10 of the team’s 22 points in the first quarter. He finished the game with 15 points.

“I said, keep going to him. They can’t guard him down there. He’s doing a great job so we just kept doing that,” said Vancil. “He was kind of a role player last year and he put in a lot of work over the offseason… He plays bigger than 5’11. He’s really strong in the post and just goes hard. It’s nice to be able to have a guy like that.”

Frieze added 12 points on the game.

While the Warriors got a big win, now they look to clean up the mistakes.

“We’ve got to take care of the ball. Even tonight, yeah we won big but we had too many turnovers. Just mental mistakes,” said Vancil.

Elkton Boys:

Game 1: Elkton 36, WVC 29

Game 2: Monroe 67, Elkton 46

The constant refrain with Elkton is improvement.

“Just keep improving. We’ve got some habits that we need to break and how we respond to things we just got to keep battling and keep improving. I think we’re seeing that in every game,” said head coach Gary Trout.

On Friday, they started the weekend not just with improvement but with a win as they took down WVC with a strong fourth-quarter performance.

But on Saturday the fast-paced Dragons proved to be too much to handle as they opened the lead early and never backed off. Zach Young had 22 points for Monroe while Mason Cox led the Elks with 14 points. Austin Luzier added 13 for Elkton.

“It’s about what I expected as far as where we’re at. I’m really pleased with how they’re responding,” said Trout. “We’re making progress and we’re correcting things. It’s just a matter of how quickly we can improve and how much we can improve.”

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