Although a loss, the Philomath High boys basketball team appeared to take a step forward Monday night against visiting Sisters.
The Warriors had to endure a 37-34 loss in overtime but the level of play seemed to be a notch higher than some other previous efforts. Head coach Blake Ecker certainly believes his team showed him something, even though coming up short is tough.
"It hurts a lot more this game than last game because we put out more, we played harder," Ecker said. "Personally, I can deal with it a lot better than I could Friday, Saturday and Sunday after losing to Newport because we didn't play hard. Here, the ball didn't go in the hole but I can mentally handle that because we put out a good effort."
Philomath clawed its way back into the game on more than one occasion to force the contest into overtime. Down 29-23 with 1:12 left in regulation, senior Ethan Manning drilled one of his four 3-pointers on the evening to cut Sisters' lead to three.
With 30 seconds left, Sisters missed on the front end of a 1-and-1 and secured the rebound but turned it over to Philomath on a traveling call. Sophomore Michael Lundy scored on the other end while drawing a foul and tied the score with a free throw that bounced around a bit before falling through.
Sisters' Brad Eagan got a look at a final shot but it bounced off the front of the rim and the two teams headed to OT.
Sisters never trailed but had to hang on for life with Philomath creating opportunities. Down 32-29, junior Dylan Bennett scored with an assist to senior Calvin Snuggerud to cut the deficit to one. Moments later, Manning came away with a steal but wasn't able to finish on the other end as Sisters dodged a bullet.
Free throws gave the Outlaws a 35-31 lead with 32 seconds left as Philomath tried to dig deep for more late magic. Manning provided some by calmly burying another 3-pointer with 15 seconds left to cut Sisters' lead to 35-34.
On the ensuing inbounds pass, junior Toby Stueve forced a turnover with intense defensive pressure. Philomath called timeout with 10 seconds remaining and down by one.
But a chance at a win slipped away when the ball got loose and Newport grabbed it for the turnover, drawing a foul in the process.
Ecker said that coming out of the timeout, the first option was to go to Manning on a back-door play.
"Ethan had just hit a 3 so I thought they would really overplay Ethan on the 3-point line," Ecker said. "They did a great job covering the back door, but then we were supposed to go for a secondary option, a down screen for Calvin who was inbounding the basketball as well. We got it to Ethan and they got their hands on it a little bit."
Sisters hit two free throws for a 37-34 lead but the Warriors only had 2 seconds and no timeouts. The ball ended up in the hands of Manning and he launched a shot from around half-court that bounced off the front of the rim.
"We had every opportunity on the offensive end and we just could not put it in for whatever reason tonight," Ecker said.
Philomath's defense didn't allow much over the 36 minutes of action. No single player had more than two baskets for the Outlaws and their top scorer finished with nine.
One difference in the game could be seen at the free-throw line. Sisters made 19 of 24 foul shots while Philomath just two on six trips to the line.
Manning finished with a game-high 12 points on his four 3-pointers.
Philomath (12-10 overall, 4-7 Oregon West) heads Tuesday to Woodburn to end the regular season. The Warriors are hoping to host a home play-in game on Friday or Saturday.
Sisters 37, Philomath 34 (OT)
Monday at Philomath
SISTERS (13-11, 6-6) 6 7 9 7 8 — 37
PHILOMATH (12-10, 4-7) 4 7 8 10 5 — 34
Sisters: Jack Berg 2 3-4 9, Zach Anderson 1 6-6 8, Noah Richards 2 4-4 8, Ryan Waddell 2 3-7 7, Brad Eagan 1 3-3 5, Jude Carhart 0 0-0 0. Totals 8 19-24 37.
Philomath: Ethan Manning 4 0-0 12, Marshall Brattain 3 1-2 7, Dylan Bennett 3 0-0 6, Michael Lundy 2 1-2 5, Calvin Snuggerud 1 0-0 2, Ben Reams 1 0-0 2, Toby Stueve 0 0-2 0, Carter O'Hare 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 2-6 34.
Philomath 46, Sisters 34
Monday at Philomath
SISTERS 12 6 5 11 — 34
PHILOMATH 8 13 11 14 — 46
PHS scoring: Cole Matthews 16, Dylan Edwards 10, Mark Grimmer 8, Jaden Williams 5, Colby Roe 4, Garrett Hibbs 3, Dillon Olsen 0, Mason Howard 0, Caleb Jensen 0, Logan Carter 0.
Team notes: The Warriors' junior varsity improves to 9-7. ... Philomath trailed 12-8 after the first but overtook the visitors in the second for a 21-18 lead at the break. ... In the third, Philomath created a cushion and took a 32-23 lead into the fourth. ... Cole Matthews scored 16 points on six field goals, one of those a 3-pointer, and 3 of 7 on free throws. ... Dylan Edwards hit double digits with 10 on three field goals, including a 3-pointer, and 3 of 4 free throws. ... Philomath's JV ends the season Tuesday at Woodburn.
Junior Varsity II
Philomath 62, Sisters 35
Monday at Philomath
SISTERS 11 8 7 9 — 35
PHILOMATH 18 12 14 18 — 62
PHS scoring: Carson Gerding 15, Dylan Bell 13, Logan Carter 7, Marcos Garcia 7, Cameron Ordway 4, Caleb Jensen 4, Noah Aynes 4, Micah Poole 3, Isaac Lattin 3, Alek Russell 2, Braeden Riley 0.
Team notes: Philomath's JVII team goes to 15-2 on the season. ... Carson Gerding's 15 points came on seven field goals, one of those a 3-pointer. ... Dylan Bell scored 13 on four 3-pointers and a free throw. ... Logan Carter hit a pair of 3-pointers and Micah Poole buried one as well. ... Philomath shot 42.9 percent from the free-throw line. ... Philomath's JVII season ends Tuesday at Woodburn.