PHS girls basketball: Emma Matthews

Philomath junior Emma Matthews shoots in the team's season finale, a 39-14 victory over Yamhill-Carlton Wednesday. The JV team finished with a 23-0 record.


It's not easy to go through a season unbeaten in any sport at any level.

Philomath High School's junior varsity girls basketball programs both accomplished that feat this season. The JV team defeated Yamhill-Carlton, 39-14, Wednesday night to finish the season with a 23-0 record. The JVII squad wrapped up its season Feb. 16 with 67-21 victory over Cascade to finish 12-0.

That's a combined 35-0.

"We were lucky that we had a seven (consistent lineup) that was really solid," said Shelly Brown, who coached the JV this season and continued those duties even after becoming the high school's interim head coach. "People say they've played together for a long time, but the truth of that is that in that seven, we had four juniors, a sophomore that moved back to Philomath from Utah this year and two freshmen."

Brown was referring to juniors Sara Bradley, Amie Russell, Sydney Bradley and Emma Matthews, sophomore Rivers Nuno, and freshmen Kamden Combs and Phaedra Hinds-Cook. The team also had JV2 players who dressed and played as well.

"They were a force to be reckoned with," Brown said. "They got along on the court and off the court, they all love the game of basketball and they all love to win."

Philomath's JV won its last two games of the 2016-17 season, so its winning streak overall will stand at 25 straight heading into 2018-19.

"It was a very unique year for me as a coach because it's just a special group of girls," Brown said.

DeSAULNIER'S POINTS: Philomath High graduate Ben DeSaulnier (Class of 2014) continued to pile up impressive scoring statistics at Southern Oregon. Through this past weekend, DeSaulnier's career point total was 2,019, second-most in school history.

Southern Oregon lost to College of Idaho, 67-50, in a Cascade Conference Tournament semifinal. The Raiders' record goes to 20-12, but are expected to be a long shot to receive an at-large bid to the NAIA National Tournament. The 32-team field will be announced Wednesday.

If SOU's season is over, DeSaulnier has played his final game with the program. During his career there, he accumulated 88 wins and helped the Raiders reach two national tournament appearances.

DeSaulnier has averaged 16.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game this season with a .510 shooting percentage, including .437 on 3-pointers.

LBCC HOOPS: The Linn-Benton Community College men's basketball team qualified for the Northwest Athletic Conference tournament for the first time in seven years Saturday with a 101-94 victory over Mt. Hood. Philomath High graduates Trey Ecker and Riley Davis play for the Roadrunners.

LBCC improved to 20-8 overall and 10-5 in the conference. It was the first time the Roadrunners have reached 20 wins in a season since 1979.

"So it was a historic night and a historic season," coach Everett Hartman said.

Ecker (Class of 2016) had six rebounds and five points and Davis (Class of 2017) had two rebounds and two assists. Earlier in the week in an 87-85 win at Chemeketa, Ecker had two points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal, and Davis had five points, one rebound, one assist and one steal.

The Roadrunners are in second place in the NWAC's South Division and have won four straight. They play at Southwest Oregon Community College Wednesday to wrap up the regular season. The first round of the tournament begins on March 10.

STUEVE UPDATE: Philomath High graduate Cal Stueve's Oregon Tech team is expected to qualify for the NAIA National Tournament, which runs March 7-13 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Pairings for the tournament were to be released Wednesday.

Steuve (Class of 2017) had a season-high six points and three rebounds in a 92-77 victory Feb. 16 at Eastern Oregon. For the season, he's averaging 1.2 points and 1.1 rebounds per game during his first year in the program.

Oregon Tech's record stands at 22-10 on the season. The team lost to Warner Pacific Saturday, 73-72, in the Cascade Conference Tournament semifinals.


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