Down 12-1 to start the ballgame Friday night at Cascade, the Philomath boys basketball team needed to find a way fast to stop the bleeding. The Warriors really needed the victory to remain near the top of the conference while maintaining a strong OSAA ranking.
Coach Blake Ecker made some adjustments in terms of personnel and the change led to an 11-1 run to give the Warriors life. Philomath went on to a 68-59 victory.
"Matt Hamilton came in and was a huge spark in the first half at the post level," Ecker said. "We needed that run to get back in the ballgame. Once again, it was another opportunity where other guys stepped up all the way around."
Despite the early troubles, Philomath led 15-14 by the time the first quarter buzzer sounded. The Cougars were able to grab a 31-28 lead by halftime.
"We were doing a good job and we came back on them and didn't get all riled up," Ecker said. "We just stayed the course and did a good job there."
Senior Nolan Jackson found his groove in the second half by scoring 19 of his 24 points, nine in the third and 10 in the fourth. The rest of the scoring was very spread out with six players scoring six to eight points.
"That's tough to stop when you have that many people scoring and doing a good job," Ecker said. "Late in the game, we kinda pulled it out a little bit. They were much bigger than us and we had a small lineup and we were able to get to the basket a little bit easier and it burned some time."
Senior Tyler Pfarrer had a key 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to put the Warriors up by five.
Philomath needed help to have a shot at winning a fifth straight league title, but both Newport and Stayton won Friday night to keep the Warriors in third. With one game remaining, Philomath can finish no lower than third.
Newport and Stayton will end the regular season Tuesday playing each other for the league title while Philomath hosts Yamhill-Carlton for senior night. If Newport and Philomath both win Tuesday, the Warriors would finish tied with Stayton for second, but would get the No. 2 seed out of the Oregon West based on RPI. But if Stayton beats the Cubs, the Warriors would end up third. Newport swept the season series over Philomath.
"I'd rather be in second than third and hopefully with where we're at right now RPI-wise, we're not going to move any to speak of," Ecker said. "So we should, if we can hold home court (Tuesday vs. Y-C), we should stay at about the No. 9 seed and get a home play-in game."
If that's scenario unfolds, Philomath would play either Friday night or sometime Saturday, depending on the opponent's travel time.
Philomath's game Tuesday against the Tigers is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start. Four seniors will be recognized at the game.
Philomath 68, Cascade 59
Friday at Cascade
PHILOMATH (13-8, 6-3) 15 13 15 25 — 68
CASCADE (12-10, 4-5) 14 17 12 12 — 59
Philomath: Nolan Jackson 8 7-9 24, Tyler Pfarrer 3 0-0 8, Marshall Brattain 4 0-0 8, Calvin Snuggerud 2 2-4 6, Michael Lundy 2 2-2 6, Toby Stueve 3 0-0 6, Matt Hamilton 3 0-2 6, Kenan Conner 1 2-3 4. Totals 26 13-20 68.
Cascade: Joseph Icovino 6 0-0 16, Damian Ball 5 6-8 16, Treyden Harris 4 3-3 12, Carson Molan 2 1-4 7, Jordan Sampson 1 2-3 4, Brandon Starnes 1 0-0 2, Michael Rosenau 1 0-2 2, Ryan LeDay 0 0-0 0, Christian Stehno 0 0-0 0, Nick Duncan 0 0-0 0, Emmett Banks 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 12-24 59.
Philomath 57, Cascade 56
Friday at Cascade
PHILOMATH 17 7 18 15 — 57
CASCADE 19 12 15 10 — 56
PHS scoring: Michael Lundy 30, Ben Reams 8, Brody Hiner 6, Devan Hunsaker 5, Dakota Kantor 4, Daniel Lundy 3, Dylan Bennett 1, Duane Hellesto 0.
Team notes: Philomath's JV record goes to 18-1. ... Freshman Michael Lundy scored 30 points on 12 field goals, including a 3-pointer, and 5 of 5 free throws. ... Lundy scored 13 points in the first quarter alone and the other 17 in the second half. ... In the pivotal fourth, Lundy had six and sophomore Devan Hunsaker five, including a key 3-pointer. Junior Dakota Kantor and sophomore Ben Reams also had points in the fourth. ... Philomath trailed 31-24 at halftime and 46-42 heading into the final period. ... The JV Warriors end the season Tuesday at home against Yamhill-Carlton.
Junior Varsity II
Cascade 50, Philomath 47 (OT)
Friday at Cascade
PHILOMATH 5 11 16 13 2 — 47
CASCADE 2 14 12 17 5 — 50
PHS scoring: Mason Howard 15, Jaden Williams 11, Dillon Olsen 8, Taylor Couture 4, Grant Hellesto 3, Levi Knutson 2, Hunter Kaumanns 2, JJ Rutledge 0, Chris Hamilton 0, Emitt Tutt-Lamberty 0.
Team notes: Philomath's JVII team goes to 11-10 on the season. ... The game was very close throughout with the score tied at halftime, 16-16, and at the end of regulation, 45-45. ... In the OT, Cascade scored all five of its points on free throws while Philomath's two points came on a Mason Howard hoop. ... Howard was the top scorer for the Warriors with 15 points on seven field goals and a free throw. ... Philomath had five 3-pointers in the game — two by Dillon Olsen, two by Howard and one by Grant Hellesto. ... Jaden Williams scored 11 points on five field goals and a free throw. ... Cascade had 27 chances from the free-throw line compared to just five attempts for Philomath. ... The JVII team ends the season Tuesday at home against Yamhill-Carlton.