Nyssa’s Nico Gomeza (No. 10) takes to the air as Umatilla’s Andrew Earl (No. 2) looks on during their Eastern Oregon League game Friday night. (The Enterprise/Joe Siess)

NYSSA – The Bulldogs claimed decisive wins over Irrigon in back-to-back league games at home last Saturday.

The Lady Bulldogs won 51-29, and the boys, 62-38. 

Jeremy Chamberlain, Nyssa girls head coach, said he expects his team to finish no worse than third in its league, the 2A-6 Eastern Oregon League. 

“The best we can do is second and the worst we can do is third,” Chamberlain said. 

The Bulldogs played Vale this Tuesday, past presstime, and will play Burns on Friday. 

Chamberlain expects both Vale and Burns to make it to the district playoffs, where the Lady Bulldogs will likely face both teams.

“Both teams beat us by double digits,” he said. “They are both top 10-type teams and present different challenges. I think we’d probably match up with Burns a little bit better.” 

Chamberlain said the Lady Bulldogs have improved from the start of the season despite being such a young team. The team’s strongest attribute, he said, is its ability to play strong defense. 

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The team also has improved on the foul line and in the turnover category, Chamberlain said.  

As for facing, and defeating, both Burns and Vale at the district event in La Grande, the coach is optimistic.

 “Is that doable? Absolutely,” Chamberlain said. “Just because we are sitting third doesn’t mean we are an easy game.” 

“I don’t think we are a pushover. If you don’t come to play every night, you’re going to get beat,” he added.  

The boys beat Umatilla 67-41 last Friday, while the girls lost 51-33. 

“Umatilla came and played really well that night,” Chamberlain said. 

The fact that Umatilla was shooting so well shows that any team in 2A-6 Eastern Oregon League can beat any other team in the league on any given night, he said. 

The Umatilla girls are currently No. 26 in the Oregon School Activities Association 3A ranking while the Lady Bulldogs are No. 16. Chamberlain said he expects two of the top teams from the 2A-6 Eastern Oregon League to make it to the state playoffs. 

“There will be two Eastern Oregon teams when it is all said and done,” Chamberlain said. 

But Chamberlain’s message is that although the season is winding down, the Lady Bulldogs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. 

“We are going to play basketball for another month,” Chamberlain assured. 

News tip? Contact reporter Joe Siess: news@malheurenterprise.com or 541-473-3377.

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