Junior Chad Russell scores inside in Friday night’s 48-42 loss to Central. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

A mere 15 hours after dropping a 48-42 contest to Central in the home opener, the Philomath High School boys basketball team will try to turn around its fortunes against Tillamook in a Saturday appearance at the Moda Center.


The matchup against the Cheesemakers features a bit of mystery with the opponent appearing in only one game so far this season, a 71-56 loss to Newport back on Dec. 1. For the Warriors, the team will be more focused on its own play as they try to fix issues that were exposed in back-to-back close losses over the past six days.

“We are just not a team yet,” Ecker said. “We have a lot of guys that are not playing together and we need to figure that out.”

Ecker believes in the talent that the Warriors have up and down the lineup but finding the right formula on the floor hasn’t yet materialized. The challenge for Philomath’s coaching staff is to get players quality minutes with so many capable athletes on the roster.

“It has to fit in the situation in the role that they’re in and it’s just frustrating and the kids are getting frustrated,” Ecker said. “They know they’re better than what they’re playing.”

Senior Logan Carter pulls up for a 3-pointer. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Philomath opened the game with a 7-0 run on a pair of Ty May jumpers and a Cameron Ordway 3-pointer. But then the shots stopped dropping with only two more points over the final 5 minutes of the quarter — the only other hoop coming on a Chad Russell put-back.

Central chipped away at the deficit and took an 11-9 lead with 5:43 left in the first half. The two teams then battled back and forth with Philomath answering each basket. Logan Carter scored inside at 11-11, May followed with a basket at 13-13, Carter hit again at 15-15 and Preston Kramer sank a couple of free throws at 17-17.

Philomath took the lead with 1:01 left in the half on a put-back by Carter. But Central left the floor with momentum when Andrew Eames buried a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left — his only points of the game.

The Warriors had looks in the first half but the shots just weren’t falling with most attempts from long range.

“In the first half, we shot a million 3s and we couldn’t make them,” Ecker said. “ We did do a better job in the second half going inside but there’s that balance. I mean, you’ve got to be able to still shoot a 3 every now and then or go inside as well.”

Early in the third quarter, the Panthers went up by three only to see Philomath counter with a pair of Cole Matthews free throws and another May jump shot. Central came right back with back-to-back hoops for a four-point lead.

Philomath junior Ty May controls the opening tip-off. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The rest of the quarter unfolded in much of the same fashion. Each time Central tried to pull away, the Warriors had an answer.

Matthews buried two more free throws and Russell scored inside to cut a Panthers lead down to 29-27. Philomath then took the lead on a Carter 3-pointer. After Russell had a free throw to tie the game, 31-31, Central again went up by three on one of its six 3-pointers in the game. The Warriors came through under pressure, however, to tie it once again — this time on a 3-point goal by Carson Gerding at the buzzer.

In the fourth quarter, Central took the lead early on with a couple of free throws and would never trail the rest of the way. Philomath was down by six halfway through the fourth and cut it to one on a Russell basket inside and with a May 3-pointer. But the Panthers followed with a 7-0 run to take a 47-39 lead with 1:48 remaining.

Philomath had a brief moment of life when Cole Beardsley buried a 3-pointer with 1:25 left but Central held on the rest of the way to notch its first win of the season.

May had his third straight double-digit scoring performance with a team-high 13 points for the Warriors. Carter and Russell both came off the bench and scored seven. Philomath shot 83.3% from the foul line but only had six attempts.

The game was Philomath’s only scheduled home appearance in December. Following Saturday’s appearance at the Moda Center, the Warriors will play in a tournament at Coos Bay, hit the road for Hidden Valley and then head back to Portland for another tournament.

Senior Carson Gerding attempts a jump shot against Central. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Central 48, Philomath 42
Friday, Dec. 10, at Philomath HS

Central (1-3)614141448
Philomath (1-2)91015842
2 Aaron Cooper#10-013
4 Chase Nelson#72-2216
14 Gabe Cirino#11-214
20 Brayden Foreman#00-020
22 Adrien Barba#47-7218
5 Matt Quinn10-302
10 Dom Castanon10-322
23 Elijah Jones00-000
3 Andrew Eames10-003
# Starter
10 Cameron Ordway#10-023
11 Cole Matthews#14-436
13 Ty May#60-0413
30 Cole Beardsley#10-013
33 Isaac Lattin#00-010
4 Logan Carter30-017
22 Preston Kramer00-000
23 Carson Gerding10-023
25 Josh Peters00-000
53 Chad Russell31-247
# Starter
3-Point Goals: Central 6 (Barba 3, Cooper, Eames, Cirino), Philomath 5 (Ordway, Carter, Gerding, May, Beardsley)
Fouled Out: None
Total Fouls: Central 10, Philomath 19
Technicals: None

Central 41, Philomath 39
Friday, Dec. 10, at Philomath HS

The JV team dropped its first game of the season and is now 2-1. … The game remained close throughout with Central icing the win with a pair of free throws with 10.9 seconds left and then getting a steal on Philomath’s final possession. … Sophomore Owen Heiken scored 14 points for the Warriors on seven field goals. … Hudson Raab, freshman, added seven on two field goals and 3 of 4 free throws. … The JV team’s next game on the schedule is Dec. 21 at Hidden Valley.

Central 39, Philomath 19
Friday, Dec. 10, at Philomath HS

The JV2 squad falls to 1-2 on the season. … Central steadily pulled away with a point advantage in each quarter with a lead of 15-7 at halftime. … Freshman Brady Russell scored five points in the fourth quarter, one of those shots a 3-pointer, and ended up as the team’s top scorer. … Freshman Kayson Olson had four points on a field goal and 2 of 2 free throws. … The JV2 team’s next game is set for Dec. 16 at Taft.

Conference Standings
(As of Dec. 10)

Oregon West ConferenceConfAllPFPA
Sweet Home

Monday, Dec. 6
Stayton 57, Banks 39
Tuesday, Dec. 7
Sisters 41, Elmira 29
Cascade 77, Marist Catholic 67
North Marion 66, Woodburn 64
Molalla 50, Sweet Home 25
Harrisburg 51, Newport 50
Thursday, Dec. 9
Stayton 72, North Marion 32
Friday, Dec. 10
Marshfield 73, Cascade 68
Newport 73, Yamhill-Carlton 60
Central 48, Philomath 42
Junction City 57, Sweet Home 22
Saturday, Dec. 11
Philomath vs. Tillamook (at Portland), 12:30 p.m.
Woodburn at Madras, 5 p.m.
Sisters at La Pine, 6 p.m.
Sweet Home at Les Schwab Holiday Classic (Junction City)
Tuesday, Dec. 14
Sweet Home at Marist Catholic, 5:45 p.m.
Gladstone at Cascade, 7 p.m.
Sisters at Cottage Grove, 7:15 p.m.
Newport at Siuslaw, 7:15 p.m.

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