The Irrigon Knights’ winning reputation has extended far beyond the Blue Mountain Conference this season. The boys from Irrigon have been the talk of Class 2A basketball statewide, absolutely slicing through the competition on their way to a thus-far undefeated 22-0 record and No. 1 ranking per the OSAA.
Along the way, Irrigon has put up team total of 71 points per game to just 42 allowed. The Knights have beaten every opponent but two by double digits. But one of those teams, Pilot Rock, remains on the schedule for this weekend.
The Rockets and Knights played in a serious game-of-the-year candidate contest on Jan. 12 in Pendleton with Irrigon eking out the 68-64 victory in overtime. The squads go for Round 2 tonight in Irrigon at 7:30 p.m. with the Knights’ No. 1 seed to the district tournament and perfect record both on the line.
All five spots for the tournament are already spoken for with No. 5 team Stanfield plenty separated from the No. 6 headed into the final weekend of play. Of those squads, the BMC will send four to the state playoffs.
Here’s a brief look at how things could shake out in the Blue Mountain Conference as Class 2A boys’ basketball prepares for the postseason:
Record: 22-0, 14-0 BMC - 1st (OSAA No. 1)
Remaining Game(s): vs. Pilot Rock (Fri.); at Union (Sat.)
Postseason Possibilities: Irrigon needs to win one of its final two games to clinch the top spot in the Blue Mountain District Tournament, to be held next week in Pendleton.
Record: 20-3, 13-2 BMC - 2nd (OSAA No. 2)
Remaining Game(s) : at Irrigon (Fri.)
Postseason Possibilities: Pilot Rock can finish no lower than the second seed, where it is right now. With a win against Irrigon today — and an unlikely loss by the Knights at Union on Saturday, the Rockets could still feasibly be the No. 1 seed for the BMC district tournament, though.
Record: 11-8, 10-4 BMC - 3rd (OSAA No. 4)
Remaining Game(s): vs. Union (Fri.); at Enterprise (Sat.)
Postseason Possibilities: Grant Union has the inside edge on the third seed for the BMC district tournament with a 1.5 game edge already. A win in either one of the Prospectors’ two weekend games would clinch the No. 3 spot. With two straight losses, Weston-McEwen could jump the Pros, assuming the TigerScots can take out Stanfield on Saturday to fulfill the tie for third and force some ensuing tie-breakers.
Record: 14-9, 9-6 BMC - 4th (OSAA No. 9)
Remaining Game(s): vs. Stanfield (Sat.)
Postseason Possibilities: Weston-McEwen can finish anywhere between third and fifth. A loss to Stanfield on Saturday would swap the TigerScots’ and Tigers’ positions. A win could either secure the No. 4 spot or bump Weston-McEwen to third with two Grant Union losses. The teams split the season series 1-1, but Weston-McEwen would win the point differential tie-breaker.
Record: 15-6, 8-6 BMC - 5th (OSAA No. 6)
Remaining Game(s): vs. Elgin (Fri.); at Weston-McEwen (Sat.)
Postseason Possibilities: The Tigers have clinched at least the fifth seed in district action but could jump to No. 4 with a win at Weston-McEwen on Saturday.
All five Blue Mountain Conference district tournament spots are locked up on the girls’ side of the sport as well, but the final weekend promises plenty of ebbing and flowing among the top four squads.
Three teams are still alive for the No. 1 seed, though it’s Enterprise’s spot to lose. Both Heppner and Union could make the jump by winning out should Enterprise stumble and a bevy of other league games fall the right way.
The big matchup here will be Heppner at Enterprise tonight at 6 p.m. Should the Mustangs win, coupled with their earlier victory over the Outlaws this season, Heppner would then be in control of its destiny. Win out and it’s sweet No. 1. Lose a game, well, then it’s out of either teams’ hands and up to the rest of the league.
Here’s a brief look at how things could shake out in the Blue Mountain Conference as Class 2A girls’ basketball prepares for its postseason:
Record: 18-3, 12-2 BMC - 1st (OSAA No. 6)
Remaining Game(s): vs. Heppner (Fri.); vs. Grant Union (Sat.)
Postseason Possibilities: Enterprise can earn the No. 1 spot for the Blue Mountain Conference’s district tournament by closing out the season with two wins and could finish as low as third with two stumbles.
Record: 16-4, 11-3 BMC - 2nd (OSAA No. 3)
Remaining Game(s): at Enterprise (Fri); at Elgin (Sat.)
Postseason Possibilities: Heppner’s top-seed hopes for the district tournament are still alive, but the Mustangs almost certainly must win out, which would include beating current No. 1 Enterprise on the road tonight. The Mustangs and Outlaws would tie at 14-2 in league with Heppner winning the tie-breaker. The Mustangs can still finish anywhere between Nos. 1 and 4, though.
Record: 18-5, 11-4 BMC - 3rd (OSAA No. 10)
Remaining Game(s): at Irrigon (Fri.)
Postseason Possibilities: Pilot Rock can finish only as high as No. 2 for the district tournament by coming out on the wrong end of tie-breakers with Enterprise. With just one game left, the Rockets need to win and hope for help or they could wind up as low fourth.
Record: 15-6, 10-4 BMC - 4th (OSAA No. 5)
Remaining Game(s): at Grant Union (Fri.); vs. Irrigon (Sat.)
Postseason Possibilities: Union could shoot up to No. 1 with two wins and a ton of help, but will more likely finish somewhere between Nos. 2 and 4 even if the Bobcats win out.
Record: 14-9, 8-7 BMC - 5th (OSAA No. 12)
Remaining Game(s): vs. Stanfield (Sat.)
Postseason Possibilities: Weston-McEwen sits at No. 5 for district seeding and at No. 5 it’ll stay. The TigerScots final game can only help in RPI points at this point with no movement in the standings possible regardless of the outcome.
Contact AJ Mazzolini at email@example.com or 541-966-0839.