The Umpqua Valley Christian boys basketball team is familiar with Triad, its opponent in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs tonight at Douglas High School in Winston.
The Timberwolves (18-7) deprived the Monarchs (16-8) of a berth in the state tournament a year ago with a 76-38 rout in Klamath Falls in a second-round game. UVC is looking for payback at Douglas, where it played most of its home games this season.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
“They’re really small. Fast, up-tempo ... they’ll press from start to finish,” UVC coach Robert Wheeler said of the Timberwolves, who finished third in the Mountain Valley League during the regular season. “We need to feed Danny (Medak, the Monarchs’ 6-foot-7 senior post) inside and attack their press.”
Austin McGrew, a 5-10 junior, hurt the Monarchs in last year’s meeting with 23 points. Thomas Holland, a 5-foot-9 senior guard who Wheeler calls their best player, added 15 points.
Triad ranks third in 1A in scoring, averaging 67 points a game. It’s coming off a 56-51 loss to Rogue Valley Adventist last Thursday.
UVC, which tied for second in the Skyline League, is looking to rebound after a 58-40 defeat to Elkton Saturday in the championship game of the league tournament at Umpqua Community College. The Monarchs have won eight of their last 10 contests.
“I’m really happy with our progress,” said Wheeler, who has four seniors on his roster. “Elkton just outplayed us.”
Medak, who shared the Skyline player of the year honor with Elkton senior guard Brandon Bowen, averages around 24 points and 15 rebounds. He’ll be joined in the starting lineup by 6-2 senior Joel Graham, 5-6 junior Ian Graham, 6-1 junior Jordan Mesa and either 6-2 senior Bryant Perez or 6-1 junior Josh Howell.
Joel Graham made second-team all-league, while Ian Graham received honorable mention.
The winner of tonight’s game advances to a second-round game on Friday on the road against a league champion. Skyline champion Elkton (18-7) awaits an opponent. The state tournament is scheduled Feb. 27-March 2 at Baker High School.
On the girls’ side, Elkton (13-12) will host Trinity Lutheran (14-10) in a first-round 1A game at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Grimsrud Gym.
Trinity Lutheran, a second-year school in Bend, tied for third in the Mountain Valley. The Elks finished second in the Skyline and have won nine of their last 11.
“The girls are pretty excited. No one expected us to be here,” said Elkton coach Rob Parker, who lost six seniors off his 2012 state tournament club. “We had a tough preseason (schedule) and I think that helped us a lot.”
The Saints have only one senior in 6-2 post Abbey Carpenter. Parker calls Katie Murphy, a 5-9 sophomore guard, their best player.
“They’re young. They have a little bit of size,” Parker said of Trinity Lutheran. “One of the major keys for us is eliminating our turnovers. We had 30 (in a 45-27 loss to Yoncalla in the Skyline championship game Saturday). If we play good, solid defense, we’ll be OK.”
The Elks are led by Alauna O’Brien, a 5-5 senior point guard who averages 10 points a game. O’Brien was a first-team all-Skyline selection.
She’ll be joined in the starting five by 5-6 junior Amy Parker, 5-4 junior Kaila Trout, 5-11 sophomore Laura Holcomb and 5-4 junior Erika Wolfe. Amy Parker (8 points a game) made second-team all-league, while Holcomb (5 points, 6 rebounds) received honorable mention.
“We don’t have any superstars, just girls who know their roles and work hard,” coach Parker said.
The winner of the game will advance to a second-round contest on Saturday at a league champion. Skyline champ Yoncalla (22-3) faces an opponent to be determined.
In 2A, the third-ranked Oakland boys (20-5) will host No. 9 Gold Beach (16-9) on Friday and Days Creek (12-14) will travel to No. 5 Pilot Rock (21-5). On Saturday, three area Mountain View Conference girls teams are in action: Knappa (16-11) at No. 5 Oakland (20-4), North Douglas (21-6) at No. 9 Union (18-7) and Days Creek (16-9) at No. 1 Regis (22-3).
In 3A, the Glide girls (18-6) will host No. 4 Santiam Christian (24-3) on Saturday.
• You can reach Sports Editor Tom Eggers at 541-957-4220 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org