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6A Girls basketball: Jesuit 46, Redmond 37 Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Redmond's Briaunna King tries to break past Meaghan White's full-court press in the second quarter of the Panthers' playoff game Tuesday at Jesuit. The Crusaders won 46-37 to advance to the second round of the playoffs. Friday, they will host Clackamas, who beat Grant in round one.

Jesuit notched a solid 46-37 win over the visiting Redmond Panthers last night in one of a dozen games played in the opening round of the 6A high school basketball playoffs.

Jesuit, who claimed home court advantage by winning the Metro League title, went in as the favorite. But the Panthers, who qualified fourth in the Central Valley league, played tough. They kept the score close for most of the game, even taking a three-point lead in the third quarter.

It was the end of the third quarter, though, that sunk the Panthers. After Jesuit scored a basket to go up by two with about a minute left, Redmond couldn't get the ball into play. Twice in a row, the Crusaders intercepted the inbounds pass and scored a quick layup. The period ended with Jesuit up 30-24, and Redmond never recovered.

Redmond Head Coach Mike Osborne watches his team's chances slipping away late in the fourth quarter of their playoff game at Jesuit Tuesday.

The city of Redmond, Ore., is about 20 miles (30 km) north of Bend. I had never photographed their team before, but when I saw them sitting on the bench in the first quarter, I knew I had a photo of their coach in my archives. Between halves, I asked him if he'd coached somewhere else last year.

It turns out that he was at Mountain View High School (Bend) last year, as was junior Briaunna King. I saw them play
at Benson in the opening round of the playoffs last year. (They won that game before getting creamed by Central Catholic two days later.)

Mountain View and Redmond were both 4A schools last year. With this year's re-classification, Redmond became a 6A school while Mountain View is competing at the 5A level. Mountain View plays in the second round of their playoff bracket Saturday.

Ro Deezy Monday, February 26, 2007

Activist, author, performance poet, motivational speaker, underground superstar. All of these words—and more—have been used to describe Rochell D. "Ro Deezy" Hart.

I'll add a couple more, in case they haven't been said yet: intelligent, grounded, and passionate. She could have left Portland for a different life in a more cosmopolitan city, but chose to stay here to help keep the Rose City a little more colorful. I like that about her.

I had the chance to photograph Ro Deezy as she was being interviewed by Sarah Blount for the Portland Observer. You can read that report in the Feb. 21 edition of that paper, or online at (click on Features, and look for the headline "Redefining 'Black Woman'.")

For more about Ro Deezy and her work, check out

Life in the media room Friday, February 23, 2007

Craig Mitchelldyer (front, left) and Miles Vance compare notes in the media room between sessions at the State Wrestling Tournament in Salem on Feb. 17.

The general public often seems to be in awe of the "media pass," like it is some kind of master key that allows you access to anything, anytime, anywhere—backstage at concerts, across police lines at crime scenes, better-than-front-row seating at sporting events, etc. While there are often perks associated with having a media pass, the reality is far less glamorous.

As I mentioned before (here and here), I recently covered the State Wrestling Championships in Salem. As well as getting me into the event for free, my press pass got me premium parking, access to the stadium floor right next to the mats, and access to the media room. (It also got me $2 off a combo meal at Subway, but all the spectators got that, too.)

The media room at the Pavilion in Salem was friendly and practical, but as you can see in the picture, hardly luxurious. What you can't see in the picture is the sunny, 62°day outside. Neither could we. The room itself is underneath one of the sections in the Pavilion. If you're in there when people are wrestling, you hear it every time someone scores.

I don't know how many writers and photographers were there throughout the tournament, but it was a couple dozen at least. For our benefit, the OSAA had equipped the room with folding tables, chairs, and wireless internet access. Even five years ago, I imagine that competition among journalists was for phone lines to contact sources and transmit their stories back home. Now, the competition is for plugs—there are only so many outlets available in the room, and lots of laptops looking for juice. I was never hung out to dry, but a couple of times I had to stretch my power cord as far as it would go. Next year, I'm bringing some kind of a splitter.

What goes on in the media room? In the daytime, it's pretty quiet—a few people arrive, drop off their gear, say hi to friends, compare notes, look at each others websites, and check in with their editors back home. Every now and then the volunteers in the adjacent copy room come over to our side offering Xeroxed packages with the latest results. If there are wrestlers on the mats, most of the media are watching.

In the evening, as deadlines approach, the room starts getting busy. The chatter between colleagues is replaced by the clatter of keyboards and occasional cell phone calls to check facts. As the end of the night comes, attendance gradually declines with nothing more than a quick good night, as the remaining journalists are still concentrating on their stories and pictures. I don't know what happens when the last person leaves ... there was always somebody still there when I went home.

Lake Oswego 72, Oregon City 55 Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Landon Ainge flies towards the basket over Matt Hollands of Oregon City during the Lakers' 72-55 win over the Pioneers on Tuesday. With the win, their 11th in as many league games, Lake Oswego clinched first place in the Three Rivers League. They will have a bye in the first round of the playoffs, which begin next week.

This was to be the game of the week in Oregon
boys basketball. It was the last regular season home game for Lake Oswego and their star senior, Kevin Love, and their opponents for the game, the Pioneers, are the only team that could really challenge the Lakers. And the fans came out—I estimated more than 500 in the stands, including a sizable contingent rooting for Oregon City.

I haven't seen the stats on this game yet, but Landon Ainge was the player of the game for me. Yeah, Kevin Love was there and scored a bunch of points even though he was double-teamed for the whole game. But Ainge seemed to be making plays every time I looked at him, especially in the first half.

For those of you who are out of the loop, Kevin Love is a two-time Oregon player of the year and All American, one of the hottest basketball prospects in the country. The 6-10 post has committed to playing for UCLA next year.

I don't want to suggest that Love was bad—he scored a bunch of points, made almost all of his free throws, and collected a bunch of rebounds. But he definitely seemed uninterested tonight.

Of course, Lake Oswego was never in any danger of losing the game. They started with a 9-0 run, and were up by 14 at the end of the first quarter. From there on, they coasted with a 12+ point lead for the rest of the game.

Unfortunately, Ainge suffered some kind of foot- or leg injury as time expired, and had to be carried off the court. It didn't seem to be life-threatening, but that's as much as I could tell.

(Incidentally, if Landon's name sounds familiar, it's because he's the nephew of Boston Celtics' legend Danny Ainge. Kevin Love's basketball lineage is almost as impressive—his dad, Stan, also played in the NBA. And then there's his Uncle Mike, who used to sing with some California surf band. Honest.)

Basketball playoffs begin next week, culminating with the championship tournaments March 7-10.

State Swim Meet Sunday, February 18, 2007

(left) Crescent Valley High School swimmers celebrate after winning the boys 200 yard freestyle relay at the state swim meet in Gresham on Sunday.

(below) Amber Arne of West Albany High School is consoled after finishing 6th in the Girls 100 yard backstroke at the state swim meet in Gresham on Sunday.

Nic Morrell, a freshman at Summit High School, celebrates after winning the boys 100 yard backstroke at the state swim meet in Gresham on Sunday. Morrell finished in a time of 54.82 seconds, more than two seconds faster than West Albany's Ben Nierman, who finished second.

The Oregon State Swim Meet was held at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham this weekend. As teams, Crescent Valley High School (Corvallis) and Summit HS (Bend) finished 1-2 in both the boys and girls 5A competitions. Full results are available on the OSAA page here.

OSAA State Wrestling Championships

Tyrel Albert of Crook County High School celebrates after winning the class 5A, 285-pound championship at the state wrestling tournament in Salem on Saturday. The junior beat Demerti Enesi of The Dalles-Wahtonka 5-4 to take the title.

As many of you know, I photographed the State Wrestling Championships in Salem for Trillium this weekend. I'll blog more on that experience later, but you can see a couple of my photos online (probably just today) at the East Oregonian's website, here and here.

They used several of my images over the weekend, but unfortunately you have to be a subscriber to read the stories.

In addition to Pendleton High School, the East Oregonian (Pendleton's daily) covers Hermiston HS, Riverside HS, and Irrigon HS, all of whom had wrestlers in the championship bouts at different classes. Hermiston, a perennial wrestling powerhouse, had five finalists. All told, I shot nine bouts in 14 rounds on Saturday night. (Fortunately for me, none of the finals conflicted with each other, so I was able to shoot them all.)

As I was downloading my images from the last match, I could see that the 285-pound title bout was coming down to the wire, so I grabbed my camera and waited for time to run out, hoping for a shot like this.

I know that the editors at the paper were expecting a Hermiston image like the above for the front page. However, it just didn't happen. It's not that I missed the opportunity. It's not that they all lost—three of the five finalists won—they just didn't visibly celebrate. (I did get a shot of one of their opponents celebrating a victory, but that wasn't the right story.) Maybe it's because they were favored. Maybe they just expected to win—the winners all had decisive victories. Or maybe they're all really humble, or perhaps more relieved than joyous. On the mats all around me (it seemed) wrestlers were pumping their fists, yelling skyward, or running around in circles while their opponents wept on the mat. But it wasn't to be.

In the end, it seems they went with the team trophy shot, which arguably tells the story even better, if not as dramatically. Most of their top wrestlers are in the shot, the trophy is there, and they're clearly happy about it.

Now, off to swimming ...

OSAA State Wrestling Tournament Saturday, February 17, 2007

With this year's realignment of the school divisions, more High School wrestlers are competing in the state meet in Salem this weekend. More than 1,100 students are here to represent their school.

With so many wrestlers on hand for the three-day event, organizers split the competition between two locations. The 6A, 5A, and 4A schools are competing in the traditional venue, the Pavilion at the State Fairgrounds, and the smaller schools are in the nearby Armory.

(left) Chase Winters of Hermiston throws Spenser Doran of Eagle Point to the mat during their second-round bout at the State Wrestling Tournament in Salem on Friday. Winters advanced to the 112-pound semifinal with a 3-1 win in overtime. He lost that match to Alex Panyasiri, 4-0.

(left) Dylan Fauver of Grants Pass High School listens to words of consolation from his coach after losing his 112-pound semifinal match by technical fall to Mitchell Lofstedt of Roseburg. Fauver is still in the running for third place in the 6A tournament.

(right) Cameron Rosenfeld of Madras has made a life-long commitment to Oregon Wrestling.

Portland LumberJax Thursday, February 15, 2007

Colorado defenseman John Gallant takes a shot on Portland backup goalie Dwight Maetche during Thursday night's game at the Rose Garden.

Maetche entered the game early in the first quarter when starter Dallas Eliuk took a shot in the mask that wedged in his mask and hurt his eye. (Eliuk is expected to be fine.)

The LumberJax came back from two-goal deficits several times in the game, but came up on the short end of a 10-8 final. The defending champion Mammoth improved their league-leading record to 7-1. Portland, who started the season with two wins, fell to 2-5.

Emergency landing in Fairview Monday, February 12, 2007

An RV4 experimental airplane sits on NE Alton Street in Fairview after pilot Rick Gray made an emergency landing on Jan. 31. The small two-seat airplane lost power shortly after takeoff from a private airstrip in Sandy. Gray had just purchased the plane from the man who built it. He had planned to fly it back to his home in Ohio.

A couple of weeks ago I promised some photos of the plane crash I covered for the Gresham Outlook. You can read the in-depth story and see another of my photos on their sister paper's website, the Sandy Post.

[The Outlook put that photo on the website right away. When it came time to publish the story in the next issue of the newspaper (Saturday), they decided to go with a different photo because the Oregonian (a daily) had published a similar photo. I thought they would use the one above, but instead they used the shot at right that shows the track the plane took down the street to its final resting place. Considering that the pilot could not have had much control over the airplane once it touched down, it is amazing that he didn't hit any parked cars, trees, or power lines. And, apart from some minor back pain, he walked away unscathed.]

Kayaking the White Salmon Sunday, February 11, 2007

(left) Kayakers dress and undress in a roadside parking lot near the White Salmon River in Husum, Wash. The site is a popular put-in and take-out spot for paddlers in the Columbia River Gorge.

(right) Diana Sizemore "seal launches" her kayak off a ten-foot drop. Other paddlers choose less-extreme launches in the same location.

(left) John Fowlkes prepares to go over Husum Falls at the end of the middle White Salmon run.

(right) Water drains off kayaker Diana Sizemore after she rolled going through Rattlesnake rapids on the White Salmon River near Husum, Wash.

Portland vs. Chemeketa CC Thursday, February 08, 2007

(right) Tyler King drives to the basket as Portland Community College hosted Chemeketa on Wednesday night. PCC's men's team came out on top of a back-and-forth game, 81-79.

(left) Krystal Saling goes in for a layup in the women's game against Chemeketa. The Panthers lost that match, 79-68.

Burning down the church Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Fire inspectors from Portland Fire and Rescue and the Bureau of Police monitor the demolition of the Morning Star Baptist Church building in NE Portland on Feb. 7, 2007. An explosion just before midnight on Feb. 5 set the whole building alight. Federal and state agencies also sent investigation teams to the site. The walls were too unstable for inspectors to venture inside the remains of the building yesterday.

The building, which originally housed a Lutheran Church, was 88 years old.

Mt. Tabor Park Monday, February 05, 2007

With a peak elevation of about 640 feet, Mt. Tabor rises some 400 feet above the surrounding terrain in SE Portland. The 196-acre spread was established as a park in 1909. Its miles of trails and paved roads, which lead right to the top, make it a popular destination for cyclists, joggers, and dog walkers. From the top, the mountain offers fantastic views of downtown Portland to the west, and Mt. Hood to the east.

The mountain is actually an extinct cinder cone, making Portland one of two cities in the continental U.S. known to have a volcano within their boundaries. (The other i
s Bend, Ore.) Geologists say that Mt. Tabor has been inactive for several hundred thousand years.

The west side of Mt. Tabor includes a major water reservoir for the city of Portland. Since the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the ease of access to the water has caused concern that it could be contaminated by terrorists. Apart from fencing, security cameras and perhaps patrols, though, access remains unencumbered. Nevertheless, there have not been any problems to date.

Reser's Tournament of Champions Sunday, February 04, 2007

Brent Parks of Hermiston High School inverts Redmond's Austin Enoch in the 140-pound championship match at the Reser's Tournament of Champions in Hillsboro on Saturday. Enoch, the top seed in the weight class, took the title with a 10-8 decision.

The Reser's Tournament
of Champions is an annual two-day invitational wrestling meet for twenty of the top high school teams in Oregon. Unlike the state championship tournaments, where schools are sorted into six classes based on size, the TOC pits schools of all levels against each other. Titleists at the Tournament of Champions are unquestionably the top wrestlers in the state.

While Hermiston didn't have any individual champions, it ran away with the team title. Teams score points for every win their wrestlers record, with extra points given for pins and technical falls. Hermiston, a perennial wrestling powerhouse, racked up 186.5 points. Roseburg finished second with 121.5 points, with West Linn just behind at 120.5.

On Jan. 27 I covered the Reser's Tournament of Champions for Trillium Media Services. It was a pretty successful weekend for us—we licensed images to the (Pendleton) East Oregonian, Hermiston Herald, Redmond Spokesman, and Beaverton Valley Times, and had interest from a number of other papers across the state.

R.J. Pena (top) of Sprague High School puts the hurt on Culver's Miguel Baltazar in the 125-pound championship match at the Reser's Tournament of Champions in Hillsboro on Jan. 27, 2007. Pena, who some polls rank as the top 125-pound wrestler in the country, pinned Baltazar at 2:32 to win the title. Pena pinned all five of his opponents in the tournament.

Hermiston's Josh Barraza falls under the control of Scott Shugert from Oregon City in their 285-pound semifinal match. Shugert, the number one seed in that bracket, defeated fifth-seeded Barraza 3-1 to advance to the final, where he beat Newberg's Judd Brown to capture the title.

(For another photo from the event, see this earlier post.)

Portland Crossword Puzzle Contest Saturday, February 03, 2007

As other competitors work diligently to complete their puzzles, Tom Gazzola (center), who finished early, passes the time by—how else?—doing a crossword puzzle.

A gathering of crossword puzzle afficionados could hardly be described as "typical Portland occurrence (8)," but more than two dozen met at the central library on Saturday morning to "get into the game, perhaps (4)."

he third annual Portland Crossword Puzzle Contest challenged all comers to test their wits with these and other clues in the quest for the top prize—a dictionary.

Organizer Caleb Burns, who describes the competition as "harmless," says he started the contest three years ago because there wasn't anything similar in the area. "It beats shooting smack, and you hardly ever get arrested for doing puzzles," he jokes.

The competitors, who sorted themselves into "elite" or "open" classes, had up to 15 minutes to solve each puzzle. To win, they simply had to supply the most correct answers. The faster solver was favored in the event of a tie.

The answers for each class were the same, but the clues were more difficult for elite class participants. Where elite-level contestants had to deal with "Show delight (4)" and "R. Sativus (6)," open participants were given "Ray of sunshine" and "Salad vegetable." The answers? Beam and radish, of course.
After three rounds of puzzles, the top three contestants in each class advanced to the "puzzle-off" round, solving large puzzles on easels.

Puzzler Bob Thiman, right, who has competed in all of the Portland contests, says that he doesn't do any special preparation for the contest. He just does the New York Times puzzle every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. "They get tougher through the week," he notes.

Syndicated crossword writer Matt Jones, who won the competition in its first year, created the puzzles for the final two rounds of this year's competition.

If crossword competitions aren't a typical Portland occurrence, what is? A "rainy day," of course. And how does one "get into the game?" Ante.

(right) Judges Jane Burns, Matt Jones, and Corinne Spiegel score the competitors between rounds.

PIL District Swim Meet Friday, February 02, 2007

Grant High School's Andrew Chung checks his time after finishing his preliminary heat in the 200-yard IM at the PIL District Meet in Portland on Feb. 2, 2007. Chung beat his seed time, finishing third in the heat.

The Portland Interscholastic League is holding its district swim meet at Dishman Pool this weekend. Preliminary heats were raced today. The finals will be held Saturday starting at 1 p.m. The top swimmers from the district meet advance to the state championships held in Gresham, Feb. 16-18.

This year, three different state titles will be awarded in each event: 6A (biggest schools), 5A (large schools), and all other schools will compete independently. Last year, the schools competed in two different classes.

Alison Gilliland of Wilson High School competes in a preliminary heat of the 200-yard IM at the PIL district meet in Portland on Feb. 2, 2007.