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Tipoff to the basketball season Friday, December 15, 2006

Jackie Nared (right) of Westview High School wins the tipoff from Grant's Josephine Young on Dec. 14, 2006. Westview defeated Grant 64-53 in the non-league match.

OK, so the basketball season actually started a couple of weeks ago. But yesterday's game between Westview and Grant's girl's teams was the first chance I had to shoot a game this season. I shot quite a bit of basketball last year, culminating with seven games in three days during the girl's state championships, but after a nine-month layoff I was a bit rusty: my timing was off, I was having trouble tracking plays, etc. By the end of the game I was starting to feel the groove again, though.

The Wildcats controlled this game from start to finish, cruising to a 64-53 win and improving their record to 5-1. Grant fell to 1-4.

This game was played while a fierce winter storm whipped through the region. In one Oregon coast town, the children were sent home from school early as administrators feared the wind could topple buses en route. Wind gusts of 97 mph were measured on the coast yesterday afternoon, and gusts of up to 53 mph were recorded in Portland. About 375,000 people lost power in the storm, some of whom might not have power restored until the weekend. Today, many schools in the Portland area are closed. Several highways are also closed because of trees down across the road. The storm also interrupted the search for three climbers missing on Mt. Hood.

Neither Grant High School nor my apartment lost power during the storm. There wasn't as much rain as I expected, and I didn't spot any particular problems on the route between the school and my place. It was pretty windy crossing the Fremont Bridge, but other than that I didn't really feel it.

Aubrey Ashenfelter (center) of Westview scrambles for a loose ball with Jacquie Shaw (left) and Patti Polk of Grant High School during Thursday night's game.