By John L. Braese
VALE – At the beginning of the basketball season, Vale Coach Jason Johnson and Nyssa Coach Jeremy Chamberlain told their respective teams there was one important factor to get to a league championship – win your home games and steal one or two on the road.
Good advice from two smart coaches as to date, no Eastern Oregon League girls team has a road win after two weeks of play.
The home court advantage continued on Saturday as the visiting Bulldogs fell to Vale 39-29.
The win came for the Vikings after they fell Friday night to Burns 43-39 on the road.
“Our outside shots were not falling and Vale is a good team,” said Chamberlain. “The girls are really disappointed.”
The Bulldogs took the loss without two starters. Senior Mickena Ausman is out for the season with an injury and junior Madisyn Hartley was out injured as well. She is to be reevaluated in 10 days.
“After the loss to Burns, it was nice to get this win,” the coach said. “I thought we had good energy and Dallie (Johnson) has started driving to the rim.”
Both teams started slow with Nyssa leading 7-6 at the end of the first 8 minutes. The overflow of fans from both teams saw good scoring in the second as the Vikings put up 16 points and the Bulldogs 12.
The offense died for Nyssa in the third quarter with only 4 points on the board while Vale put in 12 points to take a lead the Dawgs couldn’t overcome.
One bright spot for the Bulldogs was the inside play of Kierra Hernandez. Putting in 20 points, Hernandez was the lead scorer of the game and the only Bulldog player in double figures.
Johnson had 16 points for Vale and like Hernandez, was the lone player in double figures for her team.
No Viking hit double scoring in the loss to the Hilanders on Friday with Tessa McFetridge leading the team with 9 points.
Vale will attempt to break the league road curse on Friday in Riverside (11-4 overall, 0-2 league) and in Umatilla (3-13 overall, 0-2 league) on Saturday. On Tuesday, Vale will travel to Nyssa for the third road game in the week.
Nyssa (7-7 overall, 1-1 league) will also be taking a run at the league road curse with a visit to Umatilla on Friday and a road game against Irrigon (13-2 overall, 2-1 league) on Saturday. The Bulldogs are then hoping the road curse returns as they host