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The Sutherlin Bulldogs girls’ basketball team is looking to return to its championship ways after injuries have hurt the last two seasons.

4:56 AM · Dec 4, 2019

After winning four straight state titles from 2013-2017 and another in 2008 at the 4A level, the Bulldogs went 11-14 and 14-12 the last two seasons. They lost in the first round of the state playoffs last year to Mazama 56-36. “We would really like to get back to being one of the top teams in the state at our level.” Sutherlin coach Josh Grotting said. The Bulldogs who are at the 3A level now will get senior Kiersten Haines back from knee surgery after missing all of last season. Juniors Jadyn Vermillion and Paige bailey are returning starters as well as seniors Abby Masterfield and Carmen Ganger so the Bulldogs will rely on their experience. Junior post Amy Dickover transferred from Douglas to Sutherlin over the summer and is one of the top posts in the state according to Grotting. There are also two freshman Micah Wicks and Ava Gill who will contribute immediately. “If we stay healthy we should be able to compete with anybody,” Grotting said. “The past couple of weeks have been a great start to the season this team has a great work ethic and attention to detail.” Sutherlin opens the season at home against Lakeview on Friday at 6:45 p.m. in the Bill Spelgatti Invitational which they host. They will play another game on Saturday as well. Sutherlin will compete in the Far West League that has some unknowns with Douglas, Saint Mary’s and Cascade Christian because they all have new head coaches. But all of those teams return a number of girls from varsity squads last year. “South Umpqua will be talented once again and will be right in the mix at the top of the league, but I think the preseason favorite has to be Brookings-Harbor,” Grotting said. “They only graduated one girl off of a team that finished fourth place at the state tournament last year. I really think the league title will come down to the team that protects its home court and is able to pick up one or two crucial wins on the road and most importantly avoid prolonged or season ending injuries.”

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