The Philomath High School girls basketball team came out with a different look Friday night for an Oregon West Conference showdown against visiting Newport.
On offense, the Warriors were more aggressive taking shots. And on defense, Philomath threw a new strategy at Newport. But in the end, the Cubs were able to pull away for a 65-51 victory.
In the first half, Newport appeared to be a little frazzled with what the Warriors' defense was throwing at them.
"We put in a 1-3-1 this week and it seems to fit our personnel really well," PHS interim coach Shelly Brown said. "The girls are really enjoying it. I feel it makes us a lot more aggressive."
Philomath shot out to a 16-11 lead in the first quarter, the final three of those points coming on an Emma Pankalla 3-pointer from half court at the buzzer.
"I think we really caught them off guard," Brown said. "And I'm proud of these girls. We haven't won a league game yet but I feel like they come out every night believing we can win and putting in a solid effort the full game through."
In the second quarter, the Warriors went up by seven in the opening seconds on a put-back bucket by junior Lauren Berklund. Roughly one minute later, Berklund scored inside again for a 22-14 PHS lead, the Warriors' biggest advantage of the night.
"On offense, we have just worked hard all week," Brown said. "I think the 1-3-1 defense gives them permission to take chances and challenge themselves and I feel like they did that. It kinda transferred to offense. We shot a lot more than we've shot in any game."
The Cubs cut into Philomath's lead in quick fashion, however, with back-to-back 3-pointers. Newport got close but the Warriors were able to maintain their advantage into halftime, 31-29.
Philomath (9-11 overall, 0-7 Oregon West) worked its lead back up to five during the first minute of the third quarter with Berklund scoring and then with senior Reiley Reichhuber hitting a 3-pointer. After Newport was able to score inside, Philomath countered with a Berklund 3-pointer for a 39-33 lead with 5:23 left in the third.
The Warriors, however, couldn't keep up the pace and didn't score again until there was less than a minute remaining in the quarter. Meanwhile, Newport had gone on a 13-0 run to deflate the Warriors' hopes.
"I think a couple of big differences were just getting after the loose balls and rebounding in the second half," Brown said. "We didn't rebound as well in the second half as we did the first but we also are in shape to be running a 1-3-1, so that's obviously something we're going to be working on."
In the fourth, Philomath got back to within five points with 6:21 remaining when Haidyn Ecker scored on a put-back, drew a foul and hit the free throw for a traditional three-point play. The momentum was short-lived with the Cubs controlling the floor the rest of the way as Philomath was eventually forced to foul.
Newport came through at the foul line by making 9 of 11 free throws in the fourth.
Ecker had one of her better offensive performances of the season with a team-high 18 points despite a battle against illness. Berklund continued her recent scoring ways with 16 points.
Halle Hargett led Newport (14-6, 5-2) with 20 points. Madison Hargett and Megan Wagner added 16 points apiece.
Philomath will play Tuesday at North Marion.
Newport 65, Philomath 51
Friday at Philomath
NEWPORT (14-6, 5-2) 11 18 20 16 — 65
PHILOMATH (9-11, 0-7) 16 15 10 12 — 53
Newport: Halle Hargett 7 5-6 20, Madison Hargett 3 7-10 16, Megan Wagner 5 4-4 16, Lara Hunter 2 0-0 6, Kaitlyn Mitchell 2 2-3 6, Hannah Tromlitz 0 1-2 1, Grace Hargett 0 0-0 0, Sonya Cutler 0 0-0 0, Grace Paranto 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 12-15 65.
Philomath: Haidyn Ecker 7 4-5 18, Lauren Berklund 7 1-2 16, Reiley Reichhuber 4 0-0 9, Emma Pankalla 2 3-4 8, Riley Weaver 1 0-0 2, Hailey Matthews 0 0-0 0, Braedyn McNeely 0 0-0 0, Olivia Jahn-McLaren 0 0-0 0, Bree Couture 0 0-0 0, Mia Rust 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 8-11 53.
Philomath 50, Newport 23
Friday at Philomath
NEWPORT 8 4 3 8 — 23
PHILOMATH 16 17 13 4 — 50
PHS scoring: Emma Matthews 12, Kamden Combs 10, Sara Bradley 9, Amie Russell 5, Rivers Nuno 5, Syney Bradley 4, Phaedra Hinds-Cook 3, Kaili Saathoff 2, Madison Rogers 0.
Team notes: Philomath's JV continues its perfect run through the 2017-18 season with a 20-0 record. ... The Warriors led 33-12 at halftime and took a 46-15 lead into the fourth quarter. ... Emma Matthews hit double figures with 12 points on five field goals and 2 of 2 free throws. ... Kamden Combs had 10 on three field goals and 4 of 6 free throws. ... Sara Bradley scored seven of her nine points from the free-throw line. ... Rivers Nuno hit a 3-pointer in the first quarter. ... Philomath plays Tuesday at North Marion.
Junior Varsity II
Philomath 57, Newport 25
Team notes: The JVII team headed into this week with an 11-0 record. ... Coach Stacey Barnes said Philomath "started a new defense tonight and it worked well ... still have a few gaps to work on." ... Jordyn Foster had a team-high 16 points in the victory. ... Dani Beck also hit double figures with 10 points. ... Kaili Saathoff and Alexis Van Vlack each scored eight. ... Philomath was not scheduled to play Tuesday. ... The JVII Warriors will end the season Friday with a game at Cascade.