VALE – Diehard Vale girls’ basketball fans should read this article, grab a phone and make a call to the OSAA. For those looking for the Vikings to make a run during the upcoming state tournament, demand the governing body of Oregon high school sports make one little change immediately: for Vale and Vale only, the free throw line should be moved back to the three-point arc.
For long time diehards of the Viking girls, this idea is absurd. Just years ago, Coach Jason Johnson would be off the bench, waving his arms and pulling any player even thinking about a shot from beyond the arc. The halftime speech would involve yelling, crying and more yelling. The Vikings work the ball around the perimeter before going inside for the bucket. Points accrue on the board by two, not three.
This year, the same Johnson is urging players to “air it out”, take the shot and watches the ball whistle through the net.
This is the new Lady Vikings. In an era of the new NFL where passing is king and a run game is “old school”, Vale junior Matyson Siddoway is the Patrick Mahome of the basketball court. If Siddoway is cold (not likely), Emersyn Johnson bombs away the shots or Ashley Jacobs steps to the line and shoots away. Even Kailey McGourty, the one tasked with rebounding at 5 feet, 10 inches, steps out and sinks the long shot.
Consider Vale’s 54-27 victory over Umatilla on Saturday. The Vikings had nine 3-points baskets in the win. From the currently assigned free throw line, Vale was 4-for-19. Siddoway connected on four from beyond the 3-point line, but went 0-for-2 from the free throw line.
Photo Gallery – Umatilla v Vale – Girls Basketball – John Braese
The Lady Vikings are currently being penalized for not being able to make those “easy free throws” while still maintaining a perfect 8-0 league record.
The answer is simple. As Siddoway is hacked on the arm while driving the ball down the court, the whistle is blown and play ceases. Siddoway is lined up at the top of the 3-point arc for a 1-and-1. If this idea is approved, no more 4-for-19 free throw stats.