Warrior roundup: Lebanon girls right in middle of hoops race

With league competition in full bore in most sports, Lebanon teams are in the midst of their winter schedules.

Girls Basketball

Lebanon spent Dec. 27-29 in Gillette, Wyo. At the Energy Classic Tournament, which featured teams from all over the West. The Warriors lost 73-26 to St. Joseph Notre Dame of Alameda, Calif., one of the top teams in the West, and then 55-39 to Lynwood of southern California. They beat Thunder Ridge of Idaho 54-46.

Lebanon had won two straight league games, against No. 3 Silverton and South Albany, going into their Jan. 11 match-up with Central.

“That makes up for the buzzer-beater loss to Corvallis (on Dec. 11),” Athletic Director Kraig Hoene said.

Lebanon was fourth in the league at 3-1, behind Corvallis (4-1) and Silverton (4-1).

“Our league is tough,” Hoene said. “West Albany is not playing very good right now, but they’re very talented. They’re going to start playing better and people are going to wonder where they came from.”

The Mid-Willamette Conference has five teams ranked in the top 12 in the state, almost neck and nexk with the Midwestern League.

“For our girls, that’s important,” Hoene said, adding that the highest fifth-place team in the 5A Division will get a playoff berth.

“It’s going to be a dogfight on the girls side all the way.”

Boys Basketball

It’s a rebuilding year for the Warriors, who were 0-4 in league, 3-7 overall going into their Jan. 11 game at Central after playing three of their first four conference games on the road.

“The boys are playing some competitive stretches, but they’re just learning,” Hoene said, noting that the Warriors were down 12-9 midway through the first quarter at and trailed 25-9 a few minutes later.

“They’re continuing to play hard. There’ll be a couple more here along the way.”


With the Mid-Willamette district meet coming up Feb. 8-9, Lebanon’s wrestlers are starting to show their true colors.

Four of them placed at the highly competitive Reno Tournament of Champions Dec. 20-23, which draws some of the best wrestlers in the West.

Sophomore 195-pounder Keith Brown was third; senior 152-pounder Chase Miller was fifth; senior

182-pound Joseph Blisseck and 138-pounder Austin Dalton was sixth.

The Warriors also had three individual champions as they placed second at the Papé Linn County Championships Jan. 4 at Harrisburg.

Titlists were Rian Howard at 113 pounds; Miller at 160 and Blisseck at 220. Second-place winners were Brayden Burton at 120; Wyatt Richardson at 132 and Jacob Jimenez at 195; while consolation champs were Tanner Wallace at 106; Dalton at 138; Timothy Tuomi at 182; and Malachi Lee at 285.

Hoene said Coach Michael Cox’s wrestlers tend to taper well.

“Michael’s kids typically are going to perform well at the end of the year,” he said. “He does a good job of getting teams ready.”


Lebanon hosted six teams in its annual invitational tournament Jan. 4, placing third in the boys team competition behind 4A power Newport and North Bend, which is new to 5A.

Senior Nico Barbafiera was the Warriors’ top finisher, taking first in the 200 Freestyle (1:54.28) and second in the 100. Other top-three finishers for the boys were  their 200 Medley Relay team of Charley Drew, Tyler Simpson, Jonathan Yordy and Dane Torgerson, who placed third; Yordy’s third in the 200 Individual Medley; Drew’s second in the 100 Butterfly; and the 400 Freestyle Relay team of Simpson, Drew, Yordy and Barbafiera, which took second behind Newport.

For the girls, Elizabeth Beck was second in the 500 Freestyle and third in the 200 Freestyle.

The Warriors beat Central in a dual meet Jan. 8, the boys winning 124-38 and the girls 105-54.


The Lebanon varsity cheerleaders drew 764 paid spectators to their first cheerleading competition.

The event, held Jan. 5, had 30 different performances at four different levels, including youth, junior high, junior varsity and varsity.

“Things went great,” said Coach Jenny Pickles. “It was successful. It was more of a success than we had anticipated.”

The varsity performed its routine as an exhibition and did not compete.

The junior high team, with 15 girls, placed first, its second win of the cheer season. The youth team, with seven members, placed third.

The junior varsity has 18 members, and the varsity has 15 members, including 13 girls and two boys.

The varsity squad opened its competition season in Sweet Home on Dec. 15, defeating one other team to win the 5A competition there.

The team is scheduled to compete at South Albany Saturday, Jan. 12 and then at Newberg Jan. 19.

It moves on to the Oregon Elite Classic at the state fairgrounds in Salem on Feb. 2 and the state competition on Feb. 9.

The youth through junior varsity will complete their seasons at the Oregon Cheerleading Coaches Association at the state fairgrounds in Salem on Feb. 17.

The varsity team has qualified and will compete in a national competition in Anaheim, Calif., Feb. 22-23.

“Varsity has been doing great,” Pickles said. “They’re a very young team this year. They have a lot of raw talent and potential.”

Members of the team are freshmen Calista Hysell and Karista Untiet; sophomores Emilee Schuld, Jada Riehl, Taylor Bidwell and Skyler Stuckey; juniors Dominic Dysinger, Kara Budd, Jasmine Decker, Parker Solberg, Taylor Reid and Katerina Slingluff; and seniors Chanel Clay, Erica McCoy and Rebeca Fallon. The Warriors will compete in the coming weeks, with state scheduled for Feb. 9.


The Warriors are in the “slower” portion of their competition season, but will ramp it up in late January and February as the state championships approach on March 15.