ATHENA - The Weston-McEwen girls are gearing up for the state tournament. Again.
One year after falling to the Mountain View Conference's Riddle 52-41 in the opening round of the 2011 Oregon Class 2A state tournament, the fifth-seeded TigerScots face No. 4-seed Oakland tonight in Oakland.
Weston-McEwen (16-9, 9-5 Blue Mountain Conference) took the conference's third seed to state after a pair of victories in last weekend's district tournament in Pendleton. The TigerScots defeated Elgin 47-40 on Friday and Union 43-42 the next night to earn a return trip to the round of 16.
Should the TigerScots defeat Oakland, which has the benefit of playing on a home court more than seven hours away, in the 7 p.m. matchup, they will return to the cozy confines of the Pendleton Convention Center where the quarterfinals are scheduled to begin Wednesday.
W-M coach Amber Doremus didn't sound concerned about the seven-hour drive to Southwestern Oregon.
"I think traveling has an effect on anyone who has to do it," Doremus said. "We'll try to go down and deal with it. Its always different when you have to go down and you cant sleep in your own bed, but there's nothing that can be done about that now."
The TigerScots, who feature a balanced attack with nine players regularly contributing in the score column, are led by 5-foot-8 senior Morgan Entze, who is listed as a post but makes plays all over the court.
"Post, wing, point guard - I don't know that you can put her in a position. She just has to be versatile for us," Doremus said.
Her 11 points per game is tops for the TigerScots - and 7.2 rebounds per match aren't anything to sniff at, either - but 5-8 post Molly von Borstel leads W-M with 9.4 rpg and, with 9 ppg, is almost averaging a double-double as a sophomore.
Senior wing Marlene Bodmer brings 8.7 points on average, along with 5 rebounds and 2 steals.
The balance should help Weston-McEwen withstand the rigors of bracket play.
"They're (the TigerScots) pretty balanced that way, which is pretty good because we don't have to worry about one girl getting shut down or having a bad night," Doremus said.
Doremus said Oakland, which reminded her of Pilot Rock on film, will try to slow down the TigerScots and features a stingy zone defense.
"We're more of a pressure, up-and-down the floor type," Doremus said of W-M's offensive philosophy. "If you can get an easy basket, why not get one?"
Despite the pressure involved in postseason play, Doremus said the TigerScots are treating this game like any other.
"Pretty much every game is the same," Doremus said. "We'll go out and play the game we play and do what we can.
"Everybody needs to be at practice every day and everyone needs to work together for us to reach our goals."