In a final nonconference outing before hitting the Oregon West, the Philomath High boys basketball team hit on all cylinders Friday night with its offense in a 72-41 win over Hidden Valley.
The Warriors, which entered this week at No. 3 in Class 4A’s OSAA rankings, have struggled at times on the offensive end but players felt they turned a corner against the Mustangs.
“We’ve been working hard in practice and we’re hitting a lot better; we’re taking a lot better shots,” PHS freshman Ty May said. “It’s all about shot selection with the offense we’re running. We’re putting in some new stuff and it’s been working well.”
In addition to Philomath’s transition game, which has been a primary component of its attack, the team showed flashes of potential inside.
Said May, Philomath’s 6-foot-6 post, who had 20 points: “Our guards are dishing well and finding the posts, feeding us down low.”
Junior Michael Lundy, who also threw in 20 points against the Mustangs, returned to form after working through an ankle injury. Lundy sparked the team early with nine of his points coming in the first 8 minutes.
“It’s more of trying to play our game than trying to get a feel for how they’re playing it,” Lundy said about the win. “When we’re running our offense and when we feel that we can get in transition and we’re doing that, then that’s when we start to get good looks. I feel like our offense has been struggling with that and tonight was a good jump start going into the (conference) season.”
Lundy had a hot hand from the very beginning as Philomath built a 19-10 lead by the end of the opening quarter.
“Mike Lundy had maybe nine in the first quarter — he hit two 3s right away and he was doing some good fast break stuff where he was being unselfish,” PHS coach Blake Ecker said. “In that situation, we actually thought Mike would shoot the ball but he made that extra pass and we were able to finish inside so it was some really good teamwork stuff out there.”
Senior Toby Stueve, who finished with 10 points, also had a strong presence in the first half as the team pulled away but May put on a display of things to come in the paint for the Warriors. With 7:16 left in the second quarter, May showed his athleticism by spinning underneath for a rebound and putting the ball right back in the hoop for a 23-10 lead.
“I thought Ty May played a really good first half — a lot of rebounds, a lot of shots right from the get-go,” Ecker said.
During an early Hidden Valley timeout, the head coach told his players that they need to get back on defense with Philomath doing major damage with the fast break.
“When we can get our bigs down low and get those boards and kicking it our to our guards, we’re pretty quick in transition,” Lundy said. “Pretty much with our whole starting lineup, we have guys that can get out in transition and run the floor.”
By halftime, the game was pretty much over with Philomath leading 42-23.
“It’s really good to put a lot of pressure on them early ... When we come out firing with a bunch of energy, it kinda leads us through the whole game,” May said. “We have a really good defense so it we can get hot in the beginning, it can carry us through.”
Hidden Valley (6-5) showed no quit early in the third quarter, so much so that Ecker called a timeout 86 seconds into the half.
“Give Hidden Valley some credit; they came out in the third quarter with a lot of energy and we sustained that little run,” Ecker said. “We were able to play our game, play good basketball.”
Philomath continued its attack into the fourth quarter but Ecker tried to get the team to slow it up a bit while getting some other players time on the floor.
“Later in the game, we could’ve been a little more patient at times,” Ecker said. “At the very end of the game, Ty tries to take a dunk. I’d rather he pull it out and not try to score. We don’t want anyone to get hurt — let’s spread it out, let’s run our offense and be patient.”
Hidden Valley junior Jeremiah Noga had a strong game for the visitors with 18 points.
Philomath (8-2) now gets ready for conference play with a Friday trip up to Stayton. The Eagles entered this week with an 8-3 record and No. 11 OSAA ranking.
Philomath 72, Hidden Valley 41
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Friday at Philomath
HIDDEN VALLEY (6-5) 10 13 9 9 — 41
PHILOMATH (8-2) 19 24 13 17 — 72
Hidden Valley: Jeremiah Noga 7 4-7 18, Lawrence Matusik 3 2-2 9, Gabe Burchfield 2 4-8 8, Jacob Tackett 1 0-2 3, Matthew Iwamizu 0 2-2 2, Jonathan Byrd 0 1-2 1, Cameron Decker 0 0-0 0, Morgan Stever 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 13-23 41.
Philomath: Michael Lundy 7 4-7 20, Ty May 8 4-5 20, Toby Stueve 4 2-3 10, Ben Reams 3 2-3 8, Dylan Edwards 2 0-1 4, Cole Matthews 1 0-0 3, Dillon Olsen 1 1-2 3, Dylan Bennett 1 0-2 2, Brody Hiner 1 0-0 2, Carson Gerding 0 0-0 0, Garrett Hibbs 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 13-23 72.
Philomath 70, Hidden Valley 17
Friday at Philomath
HIDDEN VALLEY 3 8 3 3 — 17
PHILOMATH 28 15 13 14 — 70
PHS scoring: Garrett Hibbs 21, Carson Gerding 15, Isaac Lattin 12, Brody Bushnell 11, Logan Carter 6, Mark Grimmer 5, Cameron Ordway 0.
Team notes: Philomath’s JV improves to 6-1 with the win. ... The Warriors overpowered Hidden Valley throughout with leads of 28-3 by the end of the first and 43-11 at halftime. ... The team had only seven players available. ... Garrett Hibbs scored 15 of his 21 points on five 3-pointers. ... As a team, the Warriors had eight 3-pointers. ... The team attempted only four free throws and made two — all in the first quarter. ... The JV team heads to Stayton Jan. 10.
Junior Varsity II
Philomath 43, Toledo 24
Friday at Philomath
TOLEDO 8 1 8 7 — 24
PHILOMATH 4 11 16 12 — 43
PHS scoring: Josh Peters 11, Dylan Bell 8, Chad Russell 8, Dawson Clendenin 6, Isaac Workman 4, Eliason Hinds-Cook 4, Aaron Sapp 2, Colton Hibbs 0.
Team notes: The JVII team goes to 6-0 for the season. ... With no JVII team for Hidden Valley, a game was arranged against Toledo. ... Philomath trailed 8-4 after the first quarter but took a 15-9 lead by halftime after allowing only a free throw in the second. ... PHS pulled away in the third with a 16-8 quarter. ... Dylan Bell scored all eight of his points in the second half and Chad Russell had six of his eight in the third quarter. ... Josh Peters scored six of his game-high 11 points in the fourth. ... The team’s next game is set for Jan. 10 at Stayton.