PHS boys basketball: Ethan Manning

Ethan Manning makes a move toward the hoop during the OACA all-star basketball series.

I’m enjoying a nice morning and afternoon with my wife and toddler son on Father’s Day but I’ll admit, I’m dragging a little. I spent most of Saturday out of town covering a couple of all-star games.

The coverage started with the OACA All-Star Series up at Wilsonville High School where Philomath basketball standout Ethan Manning was playing. I thought he looked pretty good out there with his 28 points, scoring inside and outside and causing all kinds of problems for the opponent with his defense and rebounding.

Heck, he had five 3-pointers, a reverse lay-up or two and a slam dunk. He was even diving for balls in the final minute even though his team had already solidified the victory.

Manning scored 23 points in his team’s first game Friday at Eugene to finish with 51 for the series.

The all-star series dates back to 1968 with a State vs. Metro contest but was later expanded to include 2A through 6A schools. Players were selected by coaches based on how they performed during their prep careers.

After spending hours in a Wilsonville coffee shop getting some writing done and grabbing a bite to eat, I headed down to North Marion High School to catch PHS baseball players Mike Slater and Brooks Stearns in the 4A All-Star Series.

The all-star baseball event had a bit more pageantry than the basketball series (although I was there for the third-place game; perhaps things amped up for the championship games). It’s the first time I’ve covered the all-star baseball series because up until this year; it had always been played clear down in Roseburg. But I tell you, the organizers couldn’t go wrong with moving it to North Marion.

The school’s Bob Brack Stadium is one of the nicer facilities in the Willamette Valley — not just on the field for the athletes but for the fans watching from the stands. The individual seats, the scoreboard, concessions, it all looked like a pretty good venue to catch a ballgame.

As for the all-star series itself, Saturday night’s game featured an Oregon National Guard regiment out of Woodburn presenting the colors for the national anthem, a good public address announcer, door prizes and even a seventh-inning stretch that featured the singing talents of a young lady from North Marion High.

It was good to see Manning, Stearns and Slater in Philomath High uniforms one last time. Best of luck to Ethan on his mission, Brooks down at Umpqua Community College and Mike over at Linn-Benton.

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