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January 30, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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January 30, 2014

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Athlete of the Week State rank excites SHS senior By EMILY HANSON emily@masoncounty.com Drake Meacham received news he wasn't expecting to hear recently: He's ranked seventh in the state for wrestling at 220 pounds by washing- tonwrestlingreport.com. "That's kind of a shocker because l never considered myself to be one of the bettor wrestlers," the Shelton senior said. "It's very surprising to me that I'm good enough to be ranked." The surprise comes from the fact that Meacham knows he wasn't a very committed wrestler in the past. "When l started out, I was not the most dedicated to my workout," Meacham said. "I'd go sit in the locker room and not do anything. I didn't have a very good record." As a junior last year, Meacham said he began to pull himself together. "This year, I'm working to be as good as I can be," he added. "I'm pushing my- self even harder, hoping I rub off on the younger wrestlers." This is Meacham's third year wrestling for the Highclimbers. He took his sopho- more year off to explore other sports. "I came back because I decided this was the sport I wanted to stick with," Meacham said. He attributed a lot of the skills he has *o 2013 graduate Ben Anderson, who wrestled at 285 pounds for Shelton. "I practiced a lot with Ben Anderson last year and he knocked a lot qf what I have in me," Meacham said. I don't think I beat him once." Meacham is taking it easy on the mats right now. He tore a couple of muscles in his neck recently and is still onthe mend. "After I get back from my neck inju- ry, I'm looking to get to state," Meacham said. "I want to at least make it to my Meacham ranking." He said he should be back to practicing regularly next week. The sub-regional, the first step in the postseason, begins Feb. 7. Times and dates are to be announced. Meacham has also extended his ded- ication to school this year. "I've finally got the clouds out of my eyes and decided I need to pull it to- gether," he said. "Basically, all I have time to do is wrestle, go to school and do my homework and I'm fine with that. If you want to be good at something, you have to be dedicated." Although he's busy with school and wrestling, Meacham takes part in Youth in Action when he can. "I do it to give the younger genera- tion a voice and a way to project what we need and want," he said. 'le young adults of America have a bad reputa- tion sometimes with older generations. We're trying to change that and show we can make a difference if given a chance." He said he plans to attend Olympic College Shelton in the fall to get a de- gree in welding. "I'd like to get a job with Taylor Shellfish as an aluminum boat welder," Meacham said. "It's a job that won't go away. It's productive and it's things people need. I want to make an impres- sion." Drake Meacham School: Shelton High School Winter sport: Wrestling Favorite restaurant: The Ritz Drive-In Favorite activity: Walking in the woods Favorite hobbies: Drawing and reading Role model: "My stepdad, Jay, had a bad life and he took him- self out of that situation. He's changed himself, is a hard-work- ing man and always does the best he can. He was basically the only discipline I had growing up and the person look up to." MMK girls beat Three Rivers Christian By EMILY HANSON emily@masoncounty.com A fast start in the first half won the game for the Mary M. Knight girls' basketball team last week. On Jan. 23, the Lady Owls defeated Three Rivers Christian 46-23, scoring 34 points in the first half. "The girls came out really aggressive," head coach Lance Val- ley said. Sophomore Jaycee Valley, the team's leading scorer, netted 13 of her 15 points in the first half. The team's second lead- ing scorer, senior Ashley Kiliz, scored 10 of her 12 points in the half. But Mary M. Knight slowed down in the second half, allowing Three Rivers Christian to outscore them in the third and fourth quar- ters 14-12. "We came out a little flat in the second half," Valley said. "I don't know what it is. We still need to work on that." He said the Lady Owls' pressure was where the team need- ed it to be in the first half. "We need to contin- ue that for four quar- ters," Valley added. Another aspect of the game the team is still working on is re- bounding. Valley said that although the Three Rivers Chris- tian girls are not much taller than the Lady Owls, they still out-i rebounded Mary M. Knight. Three Rivers Chris- tian grabbed 20 offen- sive rebounds, while Mary M. Knight had 11. "Offensive re- bounds are really kill- ing us," Valley said. "We do a good job of boxing out, but we're not reacting and being aggressive." He said the team has been working on rebounding and is get- ting better. "We have six more games before the post- season starts to im- prove on rebounding," Valley said. Junior Lauren Dier- kop scored eight points with six rebounds, while senior Carlie Ad- sere had five points, 12 rebounds and five steals. Junior Melodic Sny- der contributed four points. Coming off the bench, senior Ai- mee Bearden had two points, four rebounds and one steal. The Lady Owls (9- 3) play next at 6 p.m. tomorrow at home against Lake Quinault. The team also plays at 6 p.m. Saturday at Wishkah. Journal photo by Emily Hanson North Mason freshman Jadin Left, No. 30, and junior Quincy Satran, No. 32, crowd a Bremerton player Jan. 21 during the Lady Bulldogs' home game. NMHS girls struggle with hustle and drive Lady Bulldogs earn first season victory By EMILY HANSON emily@masoncounty.com A pattern has emerged for the North Mason girls' basketball team this season. "In the second half, much like in other games, we slowly fell apart," senior Ruby Nel- son said Jan. 21 after the Lady Bulldogs' 61- 45 home loss to Bremer- ton. The loss came after North Mason went into halftime down 29-25. "In the first half, we came out ready to get a (win)," Nelson said. She added that after the game, one comment she heard stood out: 'You can't teach hustle and desire." "There are a lot of things (contributing to the team's losing record), but i think heart over- comes bad passes and missed shots," Nelson said. 'Zou don't have to be a great shot to make a rebound." The loss to Bremerton was the Lady Bulldogs' 14th in a row this sea- son and Nelson said she thinks the team's record has affected the girls. "It's easier to start on a good note than dig yourself out of a deep, deep hole," Nelson said. "Not to say we've given up." Down 16-10 in the first quarter, North Ma- son came back to out- score Bremerton 15-13 in the second quarter. A large part of the team's effort came from junior Mikaela Shu- maker, who led the Lady Bulldogs with 20 points. Shumaker made a 3-pointer to tie the game at 20 points with 4 min- utes, 10 seconds left in the first half. Then she hit another 3-pointer to take a 23-22 lead with 3:13 remaining. North Mason head coach Dave Hawkins said the Lady Bulldogs were efficient in the first half against Bremerton's 3-2 and 1-2-2 zones. "We were able to run some plays and get good looks," he said. One challenge for North Mason was guard- ing Bremerton senior Sawyer Kluge, he added. "Our focus was to try to keep her in check," Hawkins said. Kluge scored 24 points on the Lady Bulldogs. 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