In the end, the No. 1-ranked Philomath High girls looked like a basketball team that hadn’t played or even practiced much over the past two weeks. The Warriors provided a challenge in the first half but the home-court Corvallis squad hit its shots and pulled away Monday night for a 46-38 victory.
Philomath (5-2) just couldn’t keep pace with the hot-shooting Spartans, who buried seven 3-pointers in the contest, including three straight in a span of 78 seconds by sophomore Taylor Brasfield that sparked the home team’s offense in the second quarter.
“We left some buckets at the hoop we normally make and they hit some big shots through that stretch,” Silva said. “We gave up seven 3s and I think five of them were in transition, which we just can’t do. We’ve got to do a better job of matching up the transition. We know they’re shooters and they’ve got the green light … they’re gonna shoot it well at all levels in their program.”
It was the first game for Philomath since winning the South Coast Les Schwab Tournament back on Dec. 18. Players then battled through illness and a tournament scheduled for Astoria was canceled.
On Monday night in the CHS gym, neither team did much offensively in the first quarter with the Warriors holding a 6-4 lead. Senior Reagan Larson scored on a put-back, senior Sage Kramer buried a jumper and junior Hailie Couture hit a pair of free throws for Philomath’s points over the first eight minutes.
But in the second quarter after Kramer drove to the hoop to give Philomath an 8-4 lead, things heated up a bit with Brasfield’s 3-pointers. Silva called a timeout after the third one to put an end to the momentum and chat with his players.
“We just didn’t do a good enough job defending the three-point line,” Silva said. “Other than that, we did a fantastic job.”
Philomath came out of the timeout and Kramer scored back-to-back baskets with a shot off the glass and then on a steal and layup. Larson scored after an effective pass from junior Ingrid Hellesto with 40 seconds left and the Spartans were clinging to a 16-14 lead at halftime.
“Offensively, we struggled a bit early on — they applied a lot of pressure and we knew that was going to happen,” Silva said. “I thought in the second half, we settled in and did a better job executing in our offense and got some good looks but missed some shots that we’re gonna make down the road. Legs looked a little tired.”
The game went back and forth through the first half of the third quarter. The Spartans went up 18-14 but Philomath came back and tied it on a couple of Kramer baskets. Then after another one of those 3-pointers, the Warriors took the lead when junior Abigail Brown scored twice, the latter hoop following a Couture steal.
But the Spartans ended the third with a 12-2 run to build a cushion going into the final eight minutes. Sophomore Holland Jensen hit three times from beyond the 3-point line to boost the home team’s offense.
The Spartans led by as many as 14 early in the fourth before Philomath scored six straight on a pair of Larson free throws and two fast-break hoops from Kramer to give the Warriors hope for a comeback. Corvallis had answers, though, down the stretch and ended up with the eight-point win.
Silva always likes it when his teams play tough opponents and Corvallis, a team ranked No. 3 in the Class 5A OSAAtoday coaches poll that had been released earlier in the day.
“I think that it shows us what we need to work on, right? Things that we can improve on if we want to be that elite team and be around the middle of March, which is our goal,” he said. “So that gives us some things we can work on.”
Kramer scored a game-high 22 points for the Warriors with 14 of those coming in the second half.
Jensen ended up with 13 and Brasfield had 12 for the Spartans (7-2).
The Warriors will play two home games this week with 3A Rainier visiting on Wednesday and then Cascade coming over on Friday to open Oregon West Conference play.
“It’s shaping up to be maybe the best conference in the state,” Silva said. “I think at this point in time, there might be three or four top 10 teams and so it should be fun.”
Cascade had been No. 1 in the OSAAtoday coaches poll until just this week following a 56-35 loss on Dec. 29 to Silverton, a team that also beat Philomath. The Warriors vs. Cougars matchup could go a long way in determining the league champion.
Said Silva, “Cascade’s tough, they’re going to be disciplined, give us different looks and wacky defenses and it’ll be good, it’ll be fun.”
Both Wednesday’s game vs. Rainier (5-2) and Friday’s game vs. Cascade (7-1) will have 5:30 p.m. starts.
Corvallis 46, Philomath 38
Monday, Jan. 3, at Corvallis HS
TEAMS (RECORDS) 1 2 3 4 FINAL Philomath (5-2) 6 8 10 14 38 Corvallis (7-2) 4 12 17 13 46 PHILOMATH FG FT-FTA PF TP 13 Ingrid Hellesto# 0 0-2 0 0 15 Sage Kramer# 11 0-0 3 22 32 Abigail Brown# 3 0-0 2 6 33 Hailie Couture# 0 2-2 1 2 45 Reagan Larson# 2 2-2 2 6 3 Mia Bennett 0 0-0 2 0 1 K Bacho 1 0-0 1 2 23 Cassidy Lewis 0 0-0 2 0 TOTALS 17 4-6 13 38 # Starter CORVALLIS FG FT-FTA PF TP 2 Elka Prechel# 1 2-4 3 5 3 Taylor Brasfield# 4 0-0 2 12 5 Marlee Hammer# 2 0-0 0 4 10 Sevennah Van De Riet# 3 3-4 2 9 24 Kylie Sullivan# 0 0-2 1 0 4 Holland Jensen 4 2-3 0 13 15 Nalia Wagar 0 0-0 0 0 21 Olivia Mackey 1 0-0 0 2 22 Olivia Banister 0 0-0 0 0 32 Layne Griffin 0 1-1 0 1 TOTALS 15 8-14 8 46 # Starter 3-Point Goals: Philomath 0, Corvallis 7 (Brasfield 4, Jensen 3)
Fouled Out: None
Total Fouls: Philomath 13, Corvallis 8
Corvallis 37, Philomath 27
Monday, Jan. 3, at Corvallis HS
TEAMS 1 2 3 4 FINAL Philomath 6 2 8 11 27 Corvallis 10 19 6 2 37 JV GAME NOTES The Philomath JV team’s record goes to 1-3 with the loss. … The Warriors fell into a 29-8 hole by halftime. … Freshman Anneka Stearn scored a team-high seven points on three baskets, one of those a 3-pointer in the third quarter. … Sophomore Elia Gibert Pla had six points on two hoops and two free throws. … The JV team is scheduled to play at 7 p.m. Wednesday at home vs. Rainier.
JUNIOR VARSITY 2
Philomath 22, Corvallis 19
Monday, Jan. 3, at Corvallis HS
TEAMS 1 2 3 4 FINAL Philomath 0 6 10 6 22 Corvallis 6 3 2 8 19 JV2 GAME NOTES The JV2 team remains unbeaten with a 3-0 record. … The Warriors pulled out the win despite not scoring any points in the first quarter. … After trailing 9-6 at halftime, Philomath outscored Corvallis 10-2 in the third quarter with points from five different players … Freshman Isabel Morales-Marquez scored four of the team’s six points in the second quarter. … The JV2 team is scheduled to play next on Friday at 7 p.m. at home vs. Cascade.
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