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Girls basketball playoffs Saturday, February 28, 2009

Brooke Davis of Hermiston dribbles around Cleveland's Joanie Pioli in the second quarter of the Bulldogs' 72-31 win over the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs Feb. 25 in Portland. Hermiston plays Willamette (23-0) Saturday in Eugene.

We're just getting into one of the two best times of year for sports fans. Some might prefer October when baseball playoffs coincide with the beginning of the basketball and hockey seasons and the heart of football season, but I'm partial to the spring, when pro hockey and basketball are heading into the playoffs and baseball is beginning again, not to mention the NCAA's March Madness. Add to that high school playoffs for wrestling and basketball (and swimming) and you have a steady stream of high-intensity sporting action (balanced by the laid-back atmosphere of baseball's spring training). And for those living in Canada, there are major curling bonspiels as well.

I've been busy shooting high school sports this week, including the first playoff game for the Hermiston girls basketball team in the post-Schimmel era. (Shoni Schimmel, the sophomore who led the Lady Bulldogs to the state final last year, transfered to Franklin in the off-season along with her sister Jude.)

The Bulldogs (10-14) easily beat Cleveland, 72-31, but they face a much tougher opponent today when they travel to Eugene to play Willamette. The Wolverines have not lost any of their 23 games this year and are ranked no. 1 in the 5A polls. The results will be posted here.