PHS boys basketball team
PHS boys basketball team (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

In a key Oregon West Conference boys basketball showdown on Tuesday night, Cascade rallied in the second half on its home court to take a 42-36 victory over Philomath.

The two teams are tied atop the league standings in the loss column with one apiece — both to each other with Philomath taking the first meeting on Jan. 7 by a 51-48 score. Statewide, both teams are in the top five in the Oregon School Activities Association rankings.

PHS coach Blake Ecker said his team just made too many mistakes in this one and Cascade capitalized to pull out its sixth straight win. Junior Samuel Horne scored 15 and junior Ty Best had 14 for the Cougars, which improved to 13-3 overall.

In an interview for a story that appeared on OSAAtoday, Best said, “This is without a doubt our most important game in league. Just us a team, we had to get it together because in the first half we lost 11 offensive rebounds.”

Meanwhile, Philomath lost for the first time since Dec. 17 in a tournament game against 5A Redmond. The Warriors, 11-4 overall and 5-1 in the Oregon West, had won eight straight heading into the Cascade contest.

Cascade went on a 14-2 run to start the third quarter and the game was tied 31-31 going into the fourth before the Cougars’ stronger finish. Philomath had just five points over the final eight minutes.

Junior Cole Beardsley had a team-high 11 points for the Warriors — nine of those coming in the second half. Beardsley had four baskets with three of those from 3-point range. Junior Ty May finished with eight points with seven of those coming in the first quarter.

Philomath hadn’t played in a week with a Friday contest against Newport postponed until Feb. 10. The Warriors will next face Sweet Home on their home floor on Friday. The Huskies have struggled to a 2-17 record this season and lost to Philomath in the first meeting, 53-30. The tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Cascade 42, Philomath 36
Tuesday, Feb. 1, at Cascade HS, Turner

Cascade 66, Philomath 36
Tuesday, Feb. 1, at Cascade HS, Turner

Cascade 48, Philomath 39
Tuesday, Feb. 1, at Cascade HS, Turner