Subscribe to get tough, fair journalism seven days a week.
Subscribe today

Day: February 1, 2019

Salem hosting Golden Gloves Tournament this weekend

By MATT RAWLINGS

Of the Keizertimes

The 2019 Oregon Golden Gloves Championship Tournament will take place at the Salem Armory this weekend and will feature the best amateur boxers the state has to offer.

The tournament starts Friday, Feb.1 with the elimination round taking place at 6:30 p.m.  The championship round will begin the following day at 3 p.m.

General admission tickets for Friday’s elimination round will be $15 ($5 for kids under the age of 12) and $20 on Saturday ($10 for kids under 12). 


Keizer’s Apolinar Lopez will be competing in the 132-pound division at the 2019 Oregon Golden Gloves Tournamentat the Salem Armory on Friday, Feb. 1 and Saturday, Feb. 2.

Ringside floor seating will be $35.

This is a non-profit event with the proceeds going towards travel expenses for the tournament winners that move on to the Regional Tournament in Las Vegas. 

Thirty-seven fighters are scheduled to be on the lineup card this weekend.

Keizer resident Dan Dunn, who has been the director of Oregon Golden Gloves since last year, believes that a lot of these athletes will be competing at the next level.

“These guys are the elite of the elite as far as Oregon amateurs are concerned,” Dunn said. 

“This is their last stop before turning pro. These guys are good.”

One of the main headliners for this tournament is Salem’s Omar Murrillo.

Murrillo, who is a 2020 Olympic hopeful, was the 2018 Oregon Golden Gloves Tournament winner in the 165-pound division and also received the Golden Warrior Award — which is given to the top overall athlete at the tournament. 

“Omar is one of those guys that you knew was going to be special,” Dunn said. “Everyone shows up expecting him to win. All the pros know he’s coming up.”

Apolinar Lopez, who is from Keizer, will also be one of the main contenders — he was the 132-pound winner in last year’s Golden Gloves tournament. 

“(Lopez) is pretty graceful when he moves around,” Dunn said. 

“He has great situational awareness in the ring.”

Salem resident Jon Pena (114 lbs) is the other local fighter that will be competing in this event. 

Along with spending the last four months organizing this event, Dunn also has been training Murrillo, Lopez and Pena. 

It may be a stressful task, but for Dunn, it really is all about the passion he has for the sport that he loves.

“What I love about amateur boxing is it’s like one big family,” Dunn said. “People are going to see excellent fighting, but you will also see excellent sportsmanship.” “

“These guys love each other….They also know how to compete at a high level. It’s going to be very exciting to watch.”

McNary upsets South Salem



McNary guard Nate Meithof goes up for a shot after driving into the lane in the Celtics 59-57 victory over South Salem on Thursday, Jan. 31. 

By MATT RAWLINGS

Of the Keizertimes

McNary boys basketball head coach Ryan Kirch has had a number of big victories throughout his eight years with the Celtics.

But the win he got on Thursday will stick in his mind for a long time.

Boston Smith led the Celtics with 19 points as McNary (12-5, 5-2 Mountain Valley Conference) went on the road and knocked second-ranked South Salem (13-4, 6-1), beating the Saxons 59-57 and keeping themselves in position for the MVC title.

“I’m just really proud of our guys. Each and every one of them gave of themselves for the betterment of the team,” Kirch said. “It’s one of the best wins I’ve ever had as a coach. To watch them be so happy and excited is a joy to watch.”

Nate Meithof was also in double-figures with 14 points and Alfredo Villareal added 13 pints in the victory.

“Honestly, for me, this is the best win I’ve ever had in my entire life,” Villareal said. “We all played so great together and I am just proud of this team.”

Villareal had been playing limited minutes coming into this game after suffering a foot injury in January. But in his first game back in the starting lineup, the senior point guard made his presence felt almost immediately.

After knocking down a mid-range jumper to start the game, Villareal hit an open 3-pointer right of the key on the next trip to give McNary the early momentum.

Meithof and Smith each added hoops to put the Celtics ahead 9-7 midway through the opening period, but a pair of offensive fouls by Smith sent the McNary big man to the bench.

However, Kirch entered Smith back into the contest later in the period and the senior post threw down a monster jam after the Celtics beat the overly-aggressive defensive press from the Saxons.

South Salem forced numerous McNary turnovers throughout the game with their aggressive double-teams on the ball and three-quarter-courts traps. However, the Celtics also got a large supply of easy hoops after taking advantage of the Saxons being a little too greedy defensively.

“We spent a lot of the last two days working on all the fundamentals of handling pressure,” Kirch said. “We don’t talk about it as a press-break, we refer to it as press-attack. I’m a big believer that, if you attack it, you got to make them pay. If they don’t pay, their just going to keep on doing it.”

“We did have some turnovers, but we got some easy buckets because of their pressure.”

Both teams went back and forth into the midway part of the second period. But with the Saxons up 23-22, South Salem was hit with their second technical foul of the game when Eric Lungu got in the face of a McNary player after the whistle.

After Meithof hit one of the two technical foul shots, McNary’s Devyn Schurr knocked down a straightaway triple to give the Celtics the lead back at 26-23. A lay-in from Noah Hudkins and a pair of free throws from Meithof helped the Celtics go on a 7-1 run to take a 30-24 lead late in the period.

“We knew it was going to be chippy. These two teams have been at the top of the league for the last five years,” Kirch said. “When (South Salem) started talking a little bit, our guys just maintained their composure throughout the entire thing.”

The Saxons cut the lead to three with under a minute remaining before halftime, but Villareal ended the second quarter with back-to-back buckets in a 20-second span, extending McNary’s advantage to 34-27 at the break.

“We had so much energy going into the locker room. I knew at that moment that we were going to win this game.”

A three-point play from Smith early in the third period gave McNary their largest lead of the game at 41-29. Smith picked up his third foul midway through the quarter, but that didn’t stop his aggressiveness on the offensive end.

Smith scored two more times before the end of the period, including a highlight-reel finish off a lob from Meithof.

“I just have to play my game,” Smith said. “I’m not going to change for the refs and I’m not going to change for the other team.”

“My teammates definitely got me open with being ultra-aggressive driving in from the three-point line.”

The Celtics entered the fourth quarter with a 49-41 advantage. Now, the only thing on their mind was to hang on.

One thing that allowed McNary to do that was their tenacious 2-1-2 zone, a defense that has become prominent for the Celtics over the last few weeks.

South Salem had to settle for long jumpers and were denied any second-chance opportunities thanks to the rebounding abilities of Hudkins and Smith.

McNary also held South Salem’s star guard Jaden Nielsen-Skinner in check all night as the Portland State commit made just two field goals for the game.

“It’s different than what a lot of people see, so it’s hard to prepare for a little bit,” Kirch said about the unique zone defense. “It certainly gave (South Salem) a lot of trouble tonight.”

What nearly killed McNary down the stretch was foul shooting. The Celtics held a 58-52 with 1:30 remaining in the contest and were looking to put the game on ice. However, they missed six out of seven free throws to close out the contest — including a pair of front end 1-and-1 misses.

After Nielsen-Skinner hit a couple of free throws to cut the Saxons deficit to 59-57 with 8.1 seconds left, Villareal was fouled on the inbounds and was sent to the line. But Villareal missed both shots, giving South Salem the opportunity to force overtime or win with a 3-pointer.

South Salem’s Trey Galbraith tried a step-back triple on the Saxons ensuing possession, but Meithof was able to extend every bit of his 6-foot-4 inch frame to partially block the shot.

Ryan Brown caught the carom for the Saxons and threw up a desperation shot in mid-air at the buzzer, but the ball spun around the rim and fell out of the cylinder.

Right as gravity brought the ball back down to the hardwood, the McNary student section rushed the floor, celebrating the monumental victory.

“The crowd definitely brought the energy for the whole game,” Smith said.

McGee memorial slated Saturday

A memorial for Jerry McGee, a longtime volunteer, former city councilor and man of many hats, will take place at the Keizer Civic Center Saturday, Feb. 2. 

McGee passed Jan. 11, at age 85, after a battle with cancer. The memorial is open to the public from 1 to 5 p.m. Programming will begin at 2 p.m. and last about an hour. 

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations in McGee’s name to the Keizer Fire Foundation, P.O. Box 20183, Keizer, OR 97307.

The memorial will include bagpipe performances by Jennifer Campbell and remembrances by son Marty McGee, Bill Quinn, Cathy Monroe, Hank Tarter, grandson Ian Hunt, Marc Adams, grandson Wes Jordan, daughter Cathy Jordan, former Keizer mayor Lore Christopher and current Keizer Mayor Cathy Clark. 

Light refreshments will be provided by K’s Catering. 

Additionally, McGee is survived by son Marty McGee, daughters Tammy McGee, Cathy Jordan and  Wendy Hunt; grandchildren Wes Jordan, Brianna Hunt and Ian Hunt; longtime friend Diane Monroe; brother Dennis McGee; and sisters Doris Clark and Norma Benson. 

Big first half propels Celts to victory

By MATT RAWLINGS

Of the Keizertimes

McNary’s Boston Smith wasn’t sure if he was going to go in this one.

The senior post banged up his knee in the Celtics 73-63 overtime loss to Sprague on Thursday, Jan. 24 and was deemed a game-time decision for Saturday’s contest against Mountain View.

Despite not being at 100 percent, Smith decided that he needed to come through for his team.

“I knew that me playing would be a huge impact,” Smith said. 

Smith led the way with a game-high 23 points — 15 of which came in the second half — and propelled the McNary boys hoops team to a 74-60 victory over Mountain View.

“(Mountain View) was keying on me in the first half, but I was able to stay calm and let things come to me,” Smith said. 

Griffin Oliveira had 12 points for the Celtics and knocked down four shots from behind the arc. Noah Hudkins also scored 12 for McNary.

Hudkins was the one that got it going to start the game. After getting an easy hoop thanks to a beautifully set up pick-and-roll, Hudkins buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key to put McNary on top 12-6.

Hudkins and Smith would each convert lay-ups moments later to extend McNary’s advantage to 16-6.

“It felt good to go out there and just run and get it going,” Hudkins said. “I think I just came out with a different mindset and I played with an aggressive attitude.”

The Celtics kept their lead at 10 to end the quarter after Nate Meithof concluded the period with a left-handed flush off a steal.

A bucket in the paint from Junior Walling, plus a baseline triple from Oliveira gave McNary the 29-15 lead early in the second quarter. Mountain View came back with an 8-2 run to get the deficit down to single-digits, but the Celtics would respond with a run of their own.

Riley Flores, Alfredo Villareal and Oliveira all knocked treys during McNary’s 11-0 scurry, which extended the McNary lead to 42-23.

Whether it was hitting open shots from the perimeter or getting easy buckets down low, the McNary offense seemed to be firing on all cylinders in the first 16 minutes of the contest.

“We have a lot of guys that can make plays,” McNary head coach Ryan Kirch said. “We want to play an inside-out game and we trust our big guys to move the basketball around when they are doubled-teamed.”

The Celtics went into the break up 46-27, but late in the period, Smith had to be attended to on the sideline after appearing to re-aggravate the injury on his right knee. 

Smith came out to start the third quarter with a knee brace, but the pain he was in didn’t seem to effect his production as he scored three buckets in the paint and ended the period with nine points. 

“(Smith) was dominant inside,” Kirch said. “He is a really mature kid and his leadership has been great.”

The Celtics did a poor job of taking care of the basketball in the final period, which allowed Mountain View to make the score a little more respectable. 

Kirch hopes that his team will clean up on the turnovers as the Celtics head into the second half of their Greater Valley Conference schedule, but he was ultimately pleased with how his team performed overall. 

“Obviously, we need to get a little bit better closing out games, but I’m proud of the way they played,” Kirch said.

McNary hosts Summit at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.