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When Philomath's Sage Kramer drives to the hoop, she expects to muscle her way inside in an effort to put two points up on the scoreboard.

That's the clear mindset in club basketball. In her first high school game Friday night at Junction City, Kramer heard a lot of whistles.

"I noticed in high school, they have so many more foul calls," the PHS freshman said following Philomath's 65-52 victory. "Every 2 seconds, they're blowing the whistle and it's a foul and someone's going to the free-throw line. I'm used to driving and you get hacked and there's no call."

Kramer's assessment is on the mark with the two teams combining for 61 free throws on the evening, a higher-than-usual number. Despite those stoppages, Kramer still found a rhythm to score 27 points, especially in the first half when she had 24.

"Sage had a really good first half, especially," PHS coach Ben Silva said after notching his first victory as a varsity head coach. "In the second half, we did an amazing job on the boards. We had double-digit offensive boards, easily, I would say."

Philomath got off to a slow start and trailed 15-10 through the first quarter. In the second quarter, Junction City had a couple of free throws for a 28-24 lead with 2:41 left in the half.

It's the last points the team would score until midway through the third quarter. Philomath finished the first half with a 12-0 run to take a 36-28 lead at halftime.

"We were just nervous getting into it," Kramer said about the start. "As we got into it, we played better and in the second half, we came out hard. We were getting those pregame jitters out."

Silva had the same sort of reaction to the early going.

"They had already played Wednesday, so they had some of those first-game jitters to get out of the way," Silva said. "That's going to come with the territory the first time out. Just executing in the half court, that'll come eventually but we'll have to be able to do that."

Kramer was unstoppable in the second quarter when she scored 18 points on eight field goals, one of those a 3-pointer, and a free throw.

"We're strong at all our positions," Silva said. "We're not that tall overall but everybody's interchangeable and can get in there and crash the boards and do a good job there."

Junction City failed to make a basket for a stretch of 8 minutes, 41 seconds of clock time from midway through the second quarter and well into the third. Meanwhile, the Warriors built a 16-point lead.

Silva was pleased with what the Warriors were showing on defense.

"We definitely showed some glimpses of what we're capable of, especially on the defensive end," he said. "We had a stretch there in the third quarter where we were really frustrating them with our defense. We were flying around, getting tip balls, getting some steals, got a 10-second call in the backcourt.

"That type of energy is once we get more comfortable flying around and anticipating in our defense, that's what we'll bring all the time," he added.

After Philomath's 19-0 run that started in the second and carried over into the third, the Tigers couldn't climb back into it. The Warriors had their biggest lead at 52-32 after sophomore Braedyn McNeely scored back-to-back baskets with a jumpshot followed by a steal and a hoop. Senior Lauren Berklund then hit a field goal and free throw for the 20-point lead.

Along with Kramer's 27, Berklund finished in double figures with 10 points. Nine different players scored for the Warriors and 12 saw playing time.

Senior Fallon Hanson had 19 points for Junction City (1-1).

Philomath plays Wednesday at Banks.


Philomath 65, Junction City 52


Friday at Junction City

PHILOMATH (1-0)          10   26   16   13 — 65

JUNCTION CITY (1-1)     15   13     9   15 — 52

Philomath: Sage Kramer 12 2-4 27, Lauren Berklund 4 2-6 10, Mia Rust 3 3-12 9, Emma Pankalla 2 1-2 6, Braedyn McNeely 3 0-0 6, Riley Weaver 0 2-2 2, Lara Hunter 1 0-0 2, Rivers Nuno 1 0-0 2, Sydney Bradley 0 1-2 1, Amie Russell 0 0-0 0, Olivia Jahn-McLaren 0 0-0 0, Sara Bradley 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 11-28 65.

Junction City: Fallon Hanson 5 6-9 19, Mariah Ohman 2 6-9 12, Claragh Thompson 3 0-2 7, Allison Bedacht 1 3-4 5, Molly Nelson 0 4-4 4, Cienna Hartle 2 0-0 4, Adiana Taylor 0 1-5 1, Nakiya Mayhugh 0 0-0 0, Jada Fuller 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 20-33 52.


Junior Varsity


Philomath 29, Junction City 13

Friday at Junction City

PHILOMATH          3   9   8   9 — 29

JUNCTION CITY     4   2   5   2 — 13

PHS scoring: Kamden Combs 12, Kaili Saathoff 6, Phaedra Hinds-Cook 4, Reagan Larson 3, Alexis Van Vlack 2, K Bacho 2, Kiya Smith 0, Lara Hunter 0, Braedyn McNeely 0.

Team notes: The JV team wins its opener for a 1-0 start. ... Sophomore Kamden Combs scored 12 points of five field goals and 2 of 4 free throws. ... Philomath's only points in the first quarter came on a 3-pointer by freshman Reagan Larson. ... The Warriors went on a 9-2 run in the second quarter for a 12-6 lead at the half. ... Philomath plays Wednesday at Banks.

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