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- Written by DRH
- Published on December 16, 2012
- Hits: 19745
Churchill rolls, Thurston impresses, and the non-league portion of the schedules rages on for most league schools.
North Eugene 0-0
South Eugene 0-1
Not much to go off of yet, naturally. Only one school has played more than one league game.
Thurston (3-1) had an outstanding week. The Colts followed up their impressive 59-48 win over Roseburg (4-1) with a pair of MWL wins, bouncing rival Springfield out of the gym by 30 with a 73-43 win on Tuesday, followed by a big 6A/Special District 1 win at home against South Eugene, 60-58.
But that’s just spitting out the details. The Colts have looked good. Senior guard Caleb Wilson, a 2nd Team Special District 1 selection last year, scored 26 and 24, respectively, in Thurston’s first two games, but the younger Colts have begun spreading out the scoring load. Junior Brendin Quinn led the Colts in scoring against Springfield, and junior Carson Cook led the team against South. Wilson is still scoring buckets, but a more well rounded offensive approach has led to more wins.
Churchill (4-0) hasn’t played a MWL game yet, but they did blow out the two-time defending 5A state champions, so we’re going to consider that a pretty outstanding week, too. The Lancers actually began the week by beating West Albany (4-1), a team quickly establishing itself as a force in 5A. West Albany already has wins over three 6A schools, and their lone loss has been to Churchill, so there’s really no shame there. The Lancers then hosted Corvallis, the aforementioned two-time defending 5A state champion, and took them behind the shed, winning 81-50.
So far, C-Hill has been everything I thought they would be. They’re talented, they’re smart, they’re deep, they can beat you on the perimeter, they can beat you inside. Churchill’s 2009 team, led by MWL POTY Jordan Myers, was very good, but I think this is unquestionably Churchill’s best squad since at least 2002, the year after the Lancer’s won their second 4A state championship. That team ended up losing out on the MWL crown to Thurston, but they did return some key ingredients from their title run the year before and did spend some time at #1 in the state rankings.
That West Albany win is looking more underrated by the day. WA just might be the team to beat in the MWC.
South Eugene (3-2) had a rough week, losing a pair of Special District 1 games, both on the road. On Tuesday they tripped to Grant and drove back down I-5 hurting from a 63-51 loss, and on Friday they opened up MWL play with a 60-58 loss at Thurston. Eli Linninger, sophomore extraordinaire, had 19 against the Colts and missed a three-point attempt at the buzzer that could have won it.
South has dug itself a little Special District 1 hole, already falling to 0-2. That could be a tough road to come back from, in a league where teams only play 8 league games.
Sheldon (2-1) beat a traveling team from Australia on Tuesday, then got knocked around by Roseburg on Friday. I suppose that would equal out to a wash, but I’m not entirely sure what that Australian game was all about and one would think the Irish would rather have beaten a Roseburg team that league rival Thurston handled rather easily a week prior. But Sheldon is a work in progress, as I mentioned last week. Let’s see how they integrate all those football players in before coming to too many conclusions.
Springfield (4-2) got walloped by archrival Thurston on Friday, getting down by double digits very early in the first quarter and never recovering. They did rebound by beating Woodburn 57-55 on the road Friday, but that Thurston game has to smart. They allowed the Colts to shoot over 60% from the floor, and were hardly competitive in a game they thought they could win prior to tip-off.
Marist (1-2) finally notched a win, following Josh Harper’s lead to an easy victory over Marshfield. That dropped Marshfield, who is starting two freshmen and a sophomore, to 0-6 overall and 0-1 in the MWL… Willamette (2-1) only played once this week, beating Woodburn 61-56 behind 19 from Chaney Wyatt and 18 from Jake Brands… North Eugene (0-5) dropped a pair of games this week to MWC schools, losing badly at Corvallis on Tuesday, and dropping an ugly 36-34 game at home against Dallas Friday.
You Want ‘Em, You Got ‘Em… Power Rankings!
Two weeks in, how do we look so far?
1. Churchill (4-0). “Rich, Cool, and 4-0”… lucky for the Lancers, this blog doesn’t carry the same cover jinx as Sports Illustrated (is a 2003 magazine cover joke a little too dated?).
2. Thurston (3-1). Several nice wins against good 6A competition. I thought THS would round into form, I just didn’t think it would be this quick.
3. South Eugene (3-2). How SE bounces back from a rough week will say a lot about their young talent.
4. Sheldon (2-1). Does that win over that Australian team even count? Eh, I’m counting it.
5. Marist (1-2). The football players are already helping. The Kamerun Smith-Josh Harper connection works on the hardwood, too.
6. Springfield (4-2). Was Thurston that good, or was Springfield that bad? They’re piling up wins against the MWC, but not a good omen going forward for the MWL hopes.
7. Willamette (2-1). They can score, no denying that.
8. North Eugene (0-5). Ruh-roh Shaggy.
9. Marshfield (0-6). The Pirates are young and are moving down a classification. Keep those chins up.
Not a big week for MWL hoops coming up. Thurston takes their show on the road for the first time this season, tripping to Sheldon on Tuesday for another big MWL/SD-1 showdown. They also host Lincoln on Friday. The Cardinals should be a great barometer to see where the Colts are at. South Eugene hosts Springfield on Tuesday in what could be an interesting game. Churchill likely won’t be challenged in games with Willamette and @ Marshfield.
South Eugene 1397
North Eugene 1003
The 5A/6A cut off, in theory, is 1479. A couple quick things stand out:
All three 6A MWL schools are well, well under that mark. It didn’t seem to hurt Sheldon winning state last week, or Thurston winning a state championship in girls soccer at the end of November. But these numbers are exactly why I refuse to recognize the 5A ‘hybrid’. Aside from Marshfield, all these schools are too close to be separated by classifications in the non-football sports. Marist, as a private institution, obviously has several built-in advantages that inflate that enrollment number.
Willamette – wow.
It’s clear why Marshfield was dropped down. This was a school that, at its height, had well over 2000 students. It maintained at 1200 just a few year ago. At the turn of century, Marshfield was riding a 55 game MWL win streak in football that stretched from 1994-2000. The last two years, Marshfield has won one game total. What a contrast.
The Fine Print
Just to reiterate a point I glossed over above and explained more in-depth last week, I could care less about hybrid leagues. These schools have played each other for decades, and an OSAA reclassification measure a few years ago doesn't need to change the way these schools compete with one another. My standings reflect the MWL standings as I think they should look, without breaking things into 6A or 5A-only wins and losses. It will look a little funky as time goes on -- Marshfield won't be playing the three 6A schools, example, so not all the school will be playing an equal amount of games -- but oh well.