In the minutes following Friday night's 65-60 victory over Philomath, the Newport boys basketball team could be heard hootin' and hollerin' in the visitor's locker room.
The animated and high-decibel celebration resembled something you might see and hear out of the winning team in a state playoff game. And Philomath's players had to listen to it all.
"When we get beat at home, that's exactly what it's like, the other team winning the state championship," PHS coach Blake Ecker said. "It's not a great feeling and it pipes in right through the vent. We can hear it really well, so it's not a lot of fun."
The Warriors have won the Oregon West Conference title for the past four years along with a couple of state championships and Newport wins over Philomath have been few and far between. This year, the Cubs swept the season series.
"Philomath has been the standard for so long. Blake does a great job but this whole school has a great tradition and so to come in here and win, it means a lot," third-year Newport coach, Doug Sain said. "It's special to us and we understand it's just one win but for these seniors and these kids, it probably means a little bit extra to be honest with you. And that's all due respect to Philomath."
Newport and Stayton are tied atop the Oregon West standings with 5-2 records with Philomath and Cascade tied for third at 4-3. Three games remain for each team, including a Newport-Stayton showdown Feb. 20. The Warriors play at North Marion Tuesday and at Cascade Friday before wrapping up the regular season Feb. 20 at home against Yamhill-Carlton.
"We've got three big games left and we've got to win," Ecker said. "Two of them are on the road and those games are tough, those aren't easy games. We've got to find a way to win."
Newport (13-8 overall) lit up the scoreboard in the first half with 10 3-pointers falling through the net, seven alone in the first quarter. The Cubs led 26-18 through those first eight minutes but saw their advantage trimmed to 37-35 by halftime.
"First half, we didn't get out on their shooters and there were some times where we left guys wide open," Ecker said. "We didn't know if we were in a man-to-man or zone. It was a lack of communication on our part."
Newport made just three more 3-pointers in the second half but the Cubs were able to score well enough from other areas on the court to hold off the charging Warriors.
"We don't set out in the game plan and say we're going to make 13 threes like we made tonight," Sain said. "We just want to take our shots and if that shot's a three, we're not going to turn it down ... we're shooters."
Philomath came out in the second half and took its first lead since the opening few minutes when Nolan Jackson scored for a 43-41 advantage with 5:04 left in the third. But then the Warriors went cold with Newport putting together a 10-0 run.
Newport got its lead up to 11 points with 3:58 remaining in the game before Philomath made one final push. Michael Lundy got it started by grabbing an offensive board and scoring at the 3:46 mark. Jackson followed with a pair of free throws at 3:12 to cut the team's deficit to seven.
Neither team did much over the next 90 seconds. Philomath finally broke through and scored on a Calvin Snuggerud drive with 1:28 left. Snuggerud scored again with 24 seconds remaining on a third-chance shot to cut Newport's lead down to 63-60.
After the Cubs missed on the front end of a 1-and-1 and the Warriors came down with the rebound, Philomath had an opportunity to tie the game.
Jackson took a 3-point attempt but it missed off the front of the rim. Toby Stueve came down with an offensive board and Philomath called timeout with 2.3 seconds left.
On the ensuing throw-in, Newport covered well and intercepted the ball to pretty much seal the deal for the visitors. Jack Fisher made two free throws with 2 seconds remaining to account for the final score.
"I give our guys credit ... we battled and played hard," Ecker said. "They're upset right now, they wanted to win that game. We're doing the best we can right there but I think if we would've matched up a little better and got out on their shooters, maybe it's a different ballgame."
Newport's long-range shooters were on fire with those 3-pointers. Senior Kye Blaser scored 25 points, a total that included a trio of treys. Sophomore Bryan Tapia buried five 3-pointers to account for his 15 points. Senior Jose Ponciano had three 3-pointers and 11 points and two other players also had treys.
"We'd love to get some layups and everything at the rim but we really don't have a traditional post player, so we like to spread the floor, run pick-and-roll and we just happened to get threes from that," Sain said.
Philomath did batten down the hatches over the third and fourth quarters.
"We did a much better job in the second half," Ecker said. "We spotted them 10 threes in the first half, seven in the first quarter. That's kinda tough ... they can shoot the ball well but we kept battling."
Snuggerud had one of his top games of the season offensively with 16 points on five baskets and 4 of 4 free throws. Jackson finished with 14 points and senior Kenan Conner had 10.
Newport 65, Philomath 60
Friday at Philomath
NEWPORT (13-8, 5-2) 26 11 20 8 — 65
PHILOMATH (11-8, 4-3) 18 17 13 12 — 60
Newport: Kye Blaser 9 4-5 25, Bryan Tapia 5 0-0 15, Jose Ponciano 4 0-0 11, Jack Fisher 1 4-5 7, Justin Plechaty 2 0-0 5, Carson Martinson 1 0-0 2, Drew Sain 0 0-0 0, Matt Beaudry 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 8-10 65.
Philomath: Calvin Snuggerud 5 4-4 16, Nolan Jackson 5 2-2 14, Kenan Conner 4 2-2 10, Marshall Brattain 4 0-0 8, Matt Hamilton 3 0-0 6, Michael Lundy 1 0-0 2, Toby Stueve 1 0-0 2, Tyler Pfarrer 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 8-8 60.
Philomath 67, Newport 43
Friday at Philomath
NEWPORT 18 21 3 1 — 43
PHILOMATH 16 19 15 17 — 67
PHS scoring: Ben Reams 18, Michael Lundy 17, Devan Hunsaker 7, Brody Hiner 7, Dylan Bennett 6, Dakota Kantor 6, Daniel Lundy 2, Dylan Edwards 2, Duane Hellesto 0, Brandn Vogler 0, Mason Howard 0, Jaden Williams 0.
Team notes: Philomath's JV improves to 16-1 on the season. ... Newport led 39-35 at halftime on the strength of eight 3-pointers. ... Newport's Matt Beaudry buried four 3-pointers in the first half but did not play in the second half to save quarters for the varsity game. ... Philomath held Newport to just four points in the second half with the Cubs hitting a 3-pointer in the third and a free throw in the fourth. ... Ben Reams scored 18 points on eight field goals, two of those 3-pointers. ... Michael Lundy's 17 came on eight baskets and 1 of 2 free throws. ... Reams had 10 in the second quarter and Lundy scored eight in the third. ... Brody Hiner hit a 3-pointer in the first quarter. ... Philomath plays Tuesday at North Marion.
Junior Varsity II
Philomath 62, Newport 39
Friday at Philomath
NEWPORT 3 14 7 15 — 39
PHILOMATH 15 18 17 12 — 62
PHS scoring: Dylan Edwards 19, Jaden Williams 12, Mason Howard 7, Chris Hamilton 6, Taylor Couture 6, Emmit Tutt-Lamberty 4, Grant Hellesto 2, Levi Knutson 2, Hunter Kaumanns 2, Pablo Gurturbay 2, JJ Rutledge 0.
Team notes: The JVII squad improves to 11-8 with the win. ... The Warriors outscored the visitors 15-3 in the first quarter with Dylan Edwards (nine points) and Jaden Williams (six) scoring all of Philomath's points. ... Edwards had 19 in all on seven field goals, including a 3-pointer, and 4 of 6 free throws. ... Williams finished with 12 on four field goals and 4 of 8 free throws. ... The PHS defense held Newport to no field goals in the first quarter. ... The Cubs had no two-point hoops in the first half scoring all 17 of their points on four 3-pointers and 5 of 7 free throws. .. The JVII team plays Tuesday at North Marion.