By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– How they ended the regular season wasn’t how the Stayton High School Lady Eagles wanted to end it on their home court with their loss to Newport on Tuesday.
Fast forward 48 hours and they aren’t forgetting that game as they host Hidden Valley of Grants Pass Saturday evening in Stayton.
From their head coach down to the players, they didn’t want to go out like that.
“It would’ve been rough to end the season after that one,” said Head Coach Darren Shryock on the Newport game. “We didn’t play well at all…But it’s very nice to have another opportunity to go play, that would’ve been a bitter taste to go through the off-season playing like that. So I expect a much better effort Saturday night, the girls are ready.”
“It definitely made us more focused because we know that we need to get this game or else we’ll be done,” adds Alyssa Lindemann. “But that game definitely showed us that we can’t have any off-days from now on.”
Shryock said that hosting a play-in game was their goal this season as this program has progressed from losing a play-in games in 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 before beating Elmira last year to break into the Field of 16 for the first-time in a few years before falling to Banks on the road.
Now, after a few years of traveling to a location for their play-in game, Stayton finally get to host a play-in game with the Mustangs; something that’s pretty
“It feels good, I’ve always wanted to host one,” smiled and laughed Tess Hendricks. “It feels good to be able to play on our court one more time and go out on this court at least with a win.”
But it won’t be easy as Hidden Valley finished third in a tough competitive Skyline Conference that has two teams that are in the Top 10 in the conference in Mazama (4th in 4A) and Henley (9th in 4A).
Similar to the Oregon West with Cascade (1st) and North Marion (7th), but you could tell that the Lady Eagles are ready to go and make a deep run in the postseason in 2017.
“We didn’t end league how we wanted to versus Newport but I really think we’re going to bounce back and play really well on Saturday,” said Hendricks.
“We just have to put all of our effort into it,” said Lindamenn. “We know it’s our last year, it’s our last chance to get anywhere. So we just have to know that we have to give it our all and not stop.”
The tip off for the game is at 6pm at Stayton High School.