Janie King

Varsity Extra athlete of the week: Feb. 6-11

BY RACHEL ROBERTS
rroberts@idahostatesman.com

Janie King, Eagle: The Mustangs won their first 5A District Three Tournament championship since the 1997-98 season with a 65-52 victory over Centennial last Friday. King, a 6-foot junior guard/forward, led Eagle in scoring with 20 points. King was 7-for-12 (58 percent) from the field, 4-for-6 (66 percent) from 3-point range with four rebounds, one steal and one assist.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/sports/high-school/varsity-extra-blog/article132485929.html#storylink=cpy

Abby Magnum

Eagle’s Mangum overcomes 2nd ACL tear in 3 seasons to lead Mustangs

By BRANDON WALTON bwalton@idahopress.com Feb 7, 2017
The bulky knee brace on the right leg of Eagle High School’s Abby Mangum serves as a reminder.

Not of pain or heartbreak, although with two ACL tears in the same right knee, Mangum certainly has had her share of both the past few seasons.

No, it serves as a reminder that nothing keeps the senior down for long. Almost a year to the day after tearing the ACL in her right knee for the second time, Mangum is back and has the Eagle girls basketball team (22-1) on the cusp of its best season ever.

“It’s an incredible feeling getting to be a part of something so epic and historic,” Mangum said. “Especially after having this adversity, it just makes it that much sweeter.”

The injury problems started for Mangum on a fateful night on Jan. 10, 2014.

Going up for the ball, she landed awkwardly on her right knee. The result was a torn ACL —the anterior cruciate ligament behind her kneecap — costing Mangum not only the rest of her freshman season, but her entire sophomore volleyball season as well.

“It’s heartbreaking because it runs in my family actually,” Mangum said. “My sister has torn hers three times, and my brother tore his once.”

After a grueling nine month rehabilitation at Boise State University, Mangum fought her way back and was ready to go for the start of her sophomore season. She led Eagle High to a consolation championship as a sophomore and earned 5A Southern Idaho second-team honors last season.

However, in the first quarter of last season’s state semifinal game against Mountain View High School on Feb. 19, 2016, the unthinkable happened.

Off of a defensive press, Mangum received the inbound pass and ran the length of the court to score on a layup. But as she was coming down from the shot, Mangum got pushed and once again landed awkwardly on her right knee.

“I knew as soon as it happened I had done it again,” Mangum said. “I heard the pop and it was exactly like the one my freshman year. I kept thinking, ‘I can’t believe I did this again.’”

The second ACL tear hit Mangum a lot harder, especially mentally. So much so, that for a moment, Mangum contemplated giving up the sport she had played since the second grade.

“I didn’t know if I could do this all over again,” Mangum said. “That first week all I kept thinking was, ‘Is this worth going through again?’

“But after thinking long and hard about it, I realized coming back for my senior season was something I needed to do. But it took a lot of faith on my part.”

Mangum once again rehabbed through Boise State. This time working with Korene Mayo and Chris Petersen, who she said both became second parents during her rehab. During rehab, Mangum did a lot of drills to strengthen her quads and hamstrings, as well as working on her hip realignment. Mangum also worked with the swim team in the fall.

“I’ve only had to deal with very minor injuries, so I can’t imagine going through what she’s gone through,” senior Cassidy Tiegs said. “Major props to her, and I’m glad she is back.”

After missing the first seven games of this season, Mangum made her return to the court on Dec. 8 against Rocky Mountain High School. And in her second game back, two days later, Mangum dropped a team-high 13 points to lead the Mustangs in a win over Columbia High.

About a month later on Jan. 7, Mangum returned to the starting lineup, a place she hasn’t left since.

Since coming back, the Brigham Young University signee and sister of BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum has become a key piece in Eagle’s terrific season. She’s averaging 8.5 points, three rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game and has the Mustangs on a 14-game winning streak and ranked No. 1 in the state at the 5A level.

“Coming back from a second major injury the way she has shows just how hard of a worker she really is,” Eagle coach Cody Pickett said. “She has such a tremendous work ethic and is one of the most talented players in the state. I couldn’t ask for a better kid to coach.”

Mangum looks to now help Eagle win its first district championship in 20 years. The top seeded Mustangs face Centennial High at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mountain View High School in the 5A District III Championship game.

Eagle will also play in next week’s state tournament starting Feb. 16 at the Idaho Center against a to-be-determined opponent.

Mangum can think of no better way to conclude her up-and-down basketball career than to help deliver the program’s first ever state championship.

“It would honestly be the perfect fairy tale ending to my four years of high school and to my knee recoveries if we won it all,” Mangum said. “All those months of PTs (physical therapy), doctor’s appointments, surgery, pain and hard work will finally have paid off.”

EAGLE HIGH GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM ENDS DISTRICT TITLE DROUGHT

 Eagle celebrates their 65-52 win over Centennial in the 5A District Three Girls Basketball Championship game at Mountain View in Meridian on Friday, February 10, 2017. Eagle won 65-52.

On Friday, Pickett and the Mustangs put an end to the 19-year drought.

Eagle toppled Centennial 65-52 in the 5A District Three Tournament championship game at Mountain View, marking its 15th consecutive win and 20th of the season by double digits.

It is the program’s first district title since 1998.

“For me personally, I’ve played in a lot of big-time atmospheres, but the high school experience is awesome,” said Pickett, a former Washington Huskies and San Francisco 49ers quarterback.

“I just wanted them to enjoy tonight. I told them, ‘No pressure. The pressure’s trying to get here, and now that we’re here, let’s just play and have fun.’ They did that.”

The Mustangs pushed the pace early, taking advantage of a deep bench that allows them to keep fresh legs on the court at all times. The result was a 7-0 lead two minutes into the first quarter.

“We definitely have more stamina than the other teams we play,” junior post/forward Katelyn Murray said. “We can always just push the pace all the time and never have to worry about fatigue.”

Reserves McKenna Emerson and Jaimee McKinnie each had moments in the second quarter that contributed to Eagle’s double-digit lead at the half.

Emerson scored five points in a one-minute span, and McKinnie beat the halftime buzzer with a running 3-pointer. McKinnie was fouled on the shot and made the ensuing free throw to complete the four-point play.

“Jaimee and McKenna, those girls are really, truly starters, but we have the benefit of having them come off our bench,” Pickett said. “It’s just a blessing, and I am glad they’ve bought into that role.”

Junior guard/forward Janie King led the Mustangs with 20 points, including a 4-for-6 performance from 3-point range. Senior guard Cassidy Tiegs, Eagle’s career scoring leader, added 14 points.

Eagle improved to 23-1 — one victory shy of tying the program’s single-season wins record — and earns the league’s No. 1 seed at the state tournament Feb. 16-18 at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa. The Mustangs open the tournament against Highland (13-9) at 3 p.m. Thursday.

“We’re not satisfied with this win. It is awesome we’re district champs, but obviously our main goal is to win state,” senior Abby Mangum said. “… In the locker room, we were like, ‘This is just the appetizer.’ We’re ready to go to state and win it all.”

Eagle’s best finish at state was a second-place trophy in 1998.

Despite losing to the Mustangs for the third time this season, the Patriots (20-4) enter state with their eye on revenge. They end up on the opposite side of the bracket from Eagle and draw the winner of Saturday’s play-in game between Lake City (18-5) and Borah (18-6).

“In the locker room, we said we’ve got a lot of stuff to fix, and we’ve got about a week to do it,” Centennial coach Candace Thornton said. “They outrebounded us. We had too many turnovers, so there’s a lot of stuff in our control that we can fix.”

Top-ranked Eagle High Girls Basketball Team Eyes End to Championship Drought

Ron FOrtner

Coach Fortner inducted into Hall of Fame

Valdosta State put together quite the class for the its 20th Athletic Hall of Fame induction on Saturday at the Student Union Ballroom.

The Blazers welcomed the inductions of the 2011 national championship tennis team, along with key members Daniel Dueren and Phillip Pakebusch, Alyssa Shirey, Ron Fortner, Pam Hand Smith, Frank Gonzalez and Marty McGhin into the Hall of Fame with brunch in the ballroom on the third floor of the Student Union.

Led by Dueren, an All-American three consecutive years from 2009-11, and Pakebusch, an two-time All-American in 2010-11, Valdosta State tennis broke through to win the program’s second NCAA Division II national championship 5-2 against Barry University in 2011.

John Hansen, the head coach of both VSU’s men and women’s tennis teams for the past 43 years, accepted a plaque on behalf of Pakebusch, who couldn’t make the trip from his home in Germany, and after the ceremony, he spoke about what made the 2011 team so special.

“They were special from the first day they got on campus,” Hansen said of the 2011 team that finished 17-1, including 5-0 in the Gulf South Conference. “A lot of them knew each other before they got here, so they were bonding already. The encouragement that they gave each other was just unbelievable.”

Just a year before the tennis national championship, Shirey capped off her two-year softball career as a Blazer by being named the 2010 Gulf South Conference East Player of the Year, ranking fourth in the nation with 20 home runs, a .416 batting average and an .809 slugging percentage.

In her speech, Shirey said she felt her career hadn’t flourished until she arrived at Valdosta State, despite winning a national championship in junior college. Shirley endured the frustrating process of completely rebuilding her swing with head coach Thomas Macera during a redshirt season before breaking onto the scene as a catcher and right fielder in 2009.

Ron FOrtner
Eagle Lady Hoops Assistant Coach, Ron Fortner was inducted into the Valdosta Hall of Fame.

In 2010, Shirey was a key component in a team that went 51-9 and made it to the national championship game before falling just short of a title. In her two seasons at Valdosta State, Shirey went 45-7 in GSC play and 108-17 overall with 154 hits, 23 doubles, 37 home runs, 84 runs and 125 RBIs.

An interesting contrast to the student-athletes that made hay less than a decade ago, Fortner attended Valdosta State a long way from his home in Indiana from 1964-68, committing to the school after taking a 25-hour bus ride to a recruiting trip in which then-head basketball coach Gary Colson picked up Fortner from the Greyhound station and took him to the gym where he’d stay the night in a bunk bed with who would later become his best friend.

Fortner was treated to pizza and a western at the ‘Dosta Theater, but it was Colson and head baseball coach Billy Grant’s confidence to offer Fortner a full scholarship — half basketball, half baseball — without as much as seeing him throw a pitch or shoot a jump shot that secured the Hall of Fame inductee’s commitment.

Fortner rewarded the two coaches’ faith with three All-GIAC selections in four years (1964-68) as a starting pitcher for the baseball team and four seasons with the Valdosta State College Rebels basketball team, including the 1967-68 season that saw him named Team MVP for his contributions as the starting point guard on the team finish 24-10 and score its second ever victory in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Tournament before falling against eventual tournament champions Central State (Ohio).

Apparently Fortner decided to give Valdosta State a discount on his scholarship and add a pro bono cross country conference championship to his illustrious resume.

In an emotional speech, the 2016 inductee told the story of how his sophomore year he and one of the team managers rounded up some of his fellow basketball players and managers to run in the cross county conference championship on a month and a half of practice.

Both ran cross country in high school, but at the time Valdosta State didn’t have a cross country team, much less a coach. The rag-tag band still managed to win the GIAC conference championship.

“In the yearbook they had a picture of us,” Fortner said. “‘Valdosta State cross country champions,’ and we all had white basketball sweatshirts on.”

Hand Smith knows plenty about basketball herself, the sport she began playing as a 6-year-old and remains her passion even today.

After winning back-to-back state championships in high school, Hand Smith looked for a college that could act as a home away from home, and she found it at Valdosta State, where she averaged 14.3 points per game over 105 games from 1984-88.

Hand Smith finished her career ranked ninth all-time in scoring in Valdosta State history with 1,501 career points.

“I think this validates to my husband all the story I told him of how great I was,” Hand Smith said during a speech, inciting a roar of laughter.

Gonzalez shouldn’t have any trouble getting anyone to believe his Hall of Fame credentials as Saturday marked the second time he’s been enshrined as a Blazer.

Starting second baseman on Valdosta State’s 1979 national championship team, Gonzalez, and the rest of the team, were honored as a part of the 2005 Hall of Fame class.

But Gonzalez was plenty deserving of individual recognition as well with a career .301 average, 116 hits, 99 runs, 84 RBIs, 22 doubles and 19 home runs.

“I was surprised, obviously, to hear about it,” Gonzalez said. “I knew that they had a Hall of Fame here, but I really wasn’t expecting to be inducted individually.

“I came in in 2005 with the 1979 national championship baseball team, and I thought that was it, so Whit Chappell called me and it’s an awesome surprise to be here.”

McGhin was the only Hall of Fame inductee without a single point or run to his name, but the long-time Valdosta State contributor has been just important to the history of the program.

A VSU alum, McGhin has been a key supporter of the school’s athletic department for more than a decade, and he currently serves as a volunteer with the football team and as the team chaplain for the Blazer basketball team.

Despite McGhin joking that he was entering the Hall of Fame as an, “athletic supporter, or a jock strap,” Valdosta State athletic director Herb Reinhardt reaffirmed his importance to the program.

“There’s not many people as instrumental to the success of, not only the athletic department, but Valdosta State University, as Marty McGin, and Leslie, his wife, also, Reinhardt said. “Marty has been a financial supporter, no doubt, but perhaps Marty’s bigger role is the impact that he has had on student-athletes and students.

“Marty is the driving force behind why VSU has one of the very first FCA chapters in a Division II institution any where in the country.”

Derrick Davis is the sports editor at the Valdosta Daily Times.

RON FORTNER STILL COACHING AFTER FOUR DECADES

January 13, 2016, Ron Fortner, assistant girls basketball coach at Eagle High School, has coached programs at Pepperdine University, the University of Denver and other collegiate schools as well as the boys basketball program at Caldwell High 1995-2002.

Darin Oswald doswald@idahostatesman.com Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/sports/high-school/girls-prep-basketball/article54610500.html#storylink=cpy

YEA Jamboree November 11, 2015

Eagle High School, Kuna High School, and New Plymouth High School

Cost:

$6 adults
$4 students/seniors/elementary

This is not a regular season game so no passes work for Jamborees. This is sanctioned by the YEA and all proceeds go to them.

Locker rooms:
​Assignments are as follows:
​​Eagle—Northeast
​​Kuna—Southeast
​​New Plymouth—Southwest

Uniforms:
​Eagle—Grey
​​Kuna—White
​​New Plymouth—Blue

Schedule:
​6:00pm Kuna vs. New Plymouth
​6:30pm​ Eagle vs. New Plymouth
​7:00pm Eagle vs. Kuna

Benches:
​First team listed will sit on west bench (closest to the parking lot). Second team listed will sit on east bench.

Format:
​Each session will consist of two 8 minute quarters with a minute break in between. At the end of each session, there will be a five minute break before the next session begins.

Good luck to all teams and thank you for coming!