IMC playoff picture beginning to solidify

Depending on the outcome of Friday’s Pendleton/Hood River Valley showdown, the Eagles’ road to the playoffs could be cut and dry.

With their two remaining games against Crook County (1-3) and low-scoring Mountain View (2-2), the Eagles (3-1) could already be thinking about the Intermountain Conference’s No. 2 seed.

But if the preseason league-favorite Buckaroos (3-1) were able to scrap out a road win Friday night, and Mountain View held form to defeat last-place Summit (0-4), the entire playoff picture begins to get blurry.

“If Pendleton beats HRV and then loses to Hermiston in two weeks, we could be looking at a three-way tie for second place,” KIHR Sports Director Mark Bailey said before Friday’s game. “HRV would really help its cause with a win. But if they lose, it could come down to a coin toss.”

Hermiston is all but assured the IMC’s top playoff seed if they take care of business against Crook County (Friday), Summit and Pendleton.

Even if the Bulldogs were to stumble against the Buckaroos at home, they would still hold a tie-breaker over HRV because of their 50-49 head-to-head win on Sept. 27.

“The whole picture should come into focus after Friday’s games,” Bailey said, referring to the Oct. 18 slate. “For the most part, everything is going as expected in the preseason. But Mountain View appears to be a bit of a wild card.”

The Cougars, who boast the IMC’s No. 2-ranked defense, but are last in offense with 29 points scored in six games, played at Summit on Friday and then host Bend on Oct. 25 and travel to HRV on Nov. 1.

If Mountain View manages to stop Bend and/or HRV, they could sneak into the fourth playoff seed and leave one of the three playoff shoo-ins (HRV, Bend, Pendleton) on the outside looking in.

Because there are so many “what-ifs” — many of them related to Friday’s action — no one can be exactly sure how the final standings will unfold. The No. 1 seed (likely Hermiston) will host the Mt. Hood Conference’s No. 3 team, while the No. 2 (likely HRV or Pendleton) will host the Three Rivers Conference No. 3.

The No. 3 seed will travel to face the Portland Interscholastic League No. 1, and the No. 4 seed will square off with Valley No. 1 — a veritable date with death against defending state champion McNary.

“If Pendleton loses tonight (Friday), they’re staring right at it,” Bailey said of the Buckaroos, who still must face a tough Redmond squad at home and Hermiston on the road.

“If HRV loses, it definitely throws a wrench into things. But from what we’ve seen and heard, HRV and Hermiston are a step above the rest,” he said.

But that doesn’t mean the Eagles will have an easy road the final two games. Crook County has the IMC’s second-leading passer, Chad Swindle, while Mountain View has allowed the fewest points of any team in the IMC.

“We aren’t looking past anyone,” HRV coach Mitch Sanders said. “We’re just going one game at a time. Our goal is to win each week and to finish 8-1. If we get there, we may stop to enjoy it then.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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