Pamplin Media Group – Crook County Youth Basketball Teams Win Big at State Tournaments

Seventh grade girls from Crook County Middle School headline a successful season for youth basketball in Prineville.

Five Crook County youth basketball programs have qualified to compete in recent state tournaments.

The most successful of these teams was Crook County Middle School’s seventh-grade girls’ team, which went 4–0 in their state tournament to win the state silver bracket.

“This is a very smart and hardworking group of girls,” coaches Gabe and Cherina Bales said in a written statement. “It was our best record of the season since they were in 4th grade. I love coaching this group.”

Team members included Hudson Kudlac, Greyson Kline, Ellie Klann, June Conner, Audrey Allen, Taytum Bundy, Valerie Ruiz, Lanie Bruce, Anna Bales, Addy Davis, Hayden Decker and Serenity Walker.

Although the seventh grade girls’ team had the most success at the state level, they were far from the only team to have success at the state level.

The seventh- and eighth-grade boys’ teams went 3-1 in their respective state tournaments.

The seventh grade boys team consisting of Andrew Barker, Wyatt King, Riley Kurtz, Carter McAda, Mason McKenzie, Brodie Nash, Ethan Vaughan, Kannon Whiting, Carson Wilkins and Uriah Yustat was coached by Tory Kurtz. Their only state loss was a two-point loss to Tualatin.

The eighth-grade boys’ team, coached by Jeff Lowenbach, also finished 3-1 in their state tournament, winning their pool before falling to St. Mary’s, which finished second overall . The team finished the year with an overall record of 30-6. Team members included Graeme O’Gorman, Gabriel Lopez, Malachi Walker, Josiah Swick, Caleb Decker, Ryan Quinn, Brit Iverson, Bryce Lowenbach, Hoyt Kudlac, Isaac Ritter, Donny Kerr, Todd Teskey, Kenan Twigg, Weston Gray and Jace Jonas.

The eighth-grade girls’ team, which was coached by Jeremy McLean, also had a successful tournament, finishing with a 2-2 record at state. The team lost to Wilsonville in the first round of the tournament, then beat Cleveland and Newport before falling to Sunset.

Team members included Harper Smith, Jolene Bartolotti, Austin Fildes, Macee McLean, Cloee Kirby, Tatum Holliday, Kelcie Kensinger, Jazmin Ortiz and Kacy Weiderhold.

“This group of girls have a great work ethic and they were willing to do whatever it took to become good basketball players,” McLean said. “I’m so excited to see them all play at the high school level and to help the Crook County Cowgirls continue to build on the success they’ve had this year to get to the state.”

A fifth-grade girls team also competed in the state, but no information on that team was available at press time.

(Editor’s note: This online story has been updated to include additional information about the eighth-grade women’s basketball team and quotes from coach Jeremy McLean.)

You rely on us to stay informed and we rely on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.