By John L. Braese
ADRIAN – Just three months ago, Jordan Valley’s Kirk Eiguren and Adrian’s Andy Walker stood side by side on a football field in Dufur, playing at teammates in the quarterfinals of the 1A football playoffs. They were part of the combined team of Adrian and Jordan Valley.
On Saturday, the two stood on opposite sides of a basketball court in Adrian, this time playing as foes in a battle for standings in the High Desert League.
“It was fun being in a game where you know the other team so well,” said Eiguren.
Eiguren and the Mustangs did have fun. Walker and the Antelopes, not so much.
Jordan Valley rolled into the Adrian gym and downed the Lopes 86-51 in league action.
The win eased the sting for the Mustangs as the team the night before fell for the first time in league play to Prairie City 57-46. The loss to the Panthers, combined with the win over the Antelopes, dropped the Mustangs one spot to sixth in state rankings.
“We have our nights where we just don’t play to our potential,” said Eiguren.
Before a packed crowed of Adrian fans and an equally large contingent of those driving up from Jordan Valley, the Mustangs took control of the game early, never letting up.
Each team scored on long jumpers to start the game and with two minutes off the clock, the score was tied at 3.
The Mustangs used sharp passing to find open players for easy baskets, leading 29-13 after the first quarter and 45-24 at half time.
Exploding in the third quarter for 34 points, the Mustangs put the game out of reach.
Zeke Quintero led Jordan Valley with 30 points. Chase Fillmore added 23 and Eiguren had 12.
Warren DeMark had 32 points, the lone Antelope in double figures.
In the loss to Prairie City, Quintero and Wade Stanford each ended with 14 points for Jordan Valley.
“We didn’t shoot well in Prairie City and the game just didn’t go our way,” said Coach Clint Fillmore.
With a lone league loss so far, Mustang players openly talk of this being their year.
“We were young for so long,” Fillmore said. “We are finally older and have put a lot of time on the court, even during the summer. We know this is a quality team and this is the team that can go far in state.”
The Mustangs feature four seniors, all with four years’ experience as varsity players.
Jordan Valley (16-3 overall, 7-1 league) travels to Huntington (8-6 overall, 4-3 league) on Friday with a game in Harper (5-8 overall, 1-5 league) on Saturday. Game time in Harper is 3:30 p.m.
Adrian (9-10 overall, 4-3 league) was scheduled to be on the road on Tuesday, traveling to Midvale to take to the court against Tri-Valley. On Friday, the Antelopes will look to get back to league winning, hosting Huntington with a 7:30 p.m. start time.