Hailie Couture
PHS junior Hailie Couture eyes a 3-pointer during a 55-36 victory over Stayton on Tuesday. Couture buried four 3-pointers and the Warriors had 12 as a team. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Philomath and Stayton entered this week’s Oregon West Conference girls basketball matchup with combined records of 19-4. The two schools have obviously seen a lot of success so far this season to make one believe that a competitive showdown would materialize on the PHS gym floor on Tuesday evening.

That turned out to not be the case.


Philomath shot out to a 15-0 lead before the Eagles could manage a bucket and the Warriors never allowed the visitors an opportunity to get back in the game in a 55-36 final.

“We had a lot of energy to start the game, shot the ball very well, especially in the first half,” PHS coach Ben Silva said. “I think the defensive pressure caused a lot of turnovers and our length and quickness gave them some problems.”

Sage Kramer
PHS senior Sage Kramer scored 29 points against the Eagles. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

The first three baskets of the game set the tone. Stayton opened the game by controlling the tip-off but PHS senior Sage Kramer immediately stole the ball and went in for a quick two points. Moments later, Kramer came up with another steal and got the ball to junior Hailie Couture who hit a 3-pointer. Kramer followed with a 3-pointer of her own on an evening when she made a habit of hitting long-range field goal attempts.

Couture said the team was excited heading into this one.

“Coach got us new jerseys to play in and we were pretty hyped about that,” Couture said. “I think we all just came out pretty strong and we all played really good together.”

The Warriors (11-2 overall, 5-0 Oregon West) buried a dozen 3-pointers in the 19-point victory with Kramer, Couture and junior Reagan Larson all contributing to the long-range success. Philomath made four 3-pointers in the first quarter alone — three of those by Kramer.

“I think we made that extra pass tonight to find that open person and feet set and we shoot the ball really well when we do that,” Silva said.

Couture broke out of a recent shooting slump — a two-game stretch that included no points in PHS wins over Woodburn and Sisters. Against the Eagles on the home floor, she found her rhythm and scored 16 points with four of her six field goals being 3-pointers.

“I just get in the zone, it’s like a mental thing,” Couture said. “Once I hit one, I can just keep going so it’s always nice to hit the 3-point shots … everybody gets all hyped up when you hit those.”

Ingrid Hellesto
PHS junior Ingrid Hellesto secures a rebound. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

The Warriors, No. 1 in both the OSAAtoday coaches poll and OSAA rankings, led 34-14 at halftime and the lead for the rest of the night hovered around that 20-point margin. Philomath’s defense, which has played a major role in the team’s success in recent years, held an opponent to less than 40 points for the sixth straight game.

In the team’s two losses this season — both to 5A opponents — Philomath gave up 53 and 46 points.

“If you can hold them below 40 we can find some way to get 40 points on the board,” Silva said. “That’s our typical goal.”

Kramer had 29 points in the victory over Stayton on 11 field goals — six of those 3-pointers. Larson had two 3-pointers.

Senior Karlee Tyler had a consistent game scoring for Stayton (9-3 overall, 3-2 Oregon West) and finished with 15 points. Senior Miley Mitchell added eight.

Tuesday’s action began a stretch of six of seven games to be played on the home floor. The Warriors were coming off three straight on the road.

“Feels like we’ve spent a lot of time on the bus,” Silva said. “It’s tiring, it definitely is … like last week, we had late practice as well so it does get a little bit tiring. It will be nice to have a couple games at home. We’ve finished all of our long away games in the first half of league, so that’ll be nice.”

Philomath will take a six-game winning streak into Friday night’s home game against Newport. The tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Reagan Larson
PHS senior Reagan Larson looks to pass while Stayton’s Karlee Tyler defends.(Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Philomath 55, Stayton 36
Tuesday, Jan. 25, at Philomath HS

Stayton (9-3, 3-2)7713936
Philomath (11-2, 5-0)201413855
0 Kaylee Tyler#20-004
1 Haili Nyquist#00-000
3 Miley Mitchell#30-008
13 Tori Nyquist#00-220
23 Karlee Tyler#55-7315
5 Maddy Mitzel00-000
21 Lydia Bielenberg20-005
44 Kenzi Hollenbeck20-334
# Starter
13 Ingrid Hellesto#00-000
15 Sage Kramer#111-4429
32 Abigail Brown#12-444
33 Hailie Couture#60-0316
45 Reagan Larson#20-016
1 K Bacho00-000
3 Mia Bennett00-000
23 Cassidy Lewis00-010
10 Ahnika Tryon00-030
# Starter
3-Point Goals: Stayton 3 (Mitchell 2, Bielenberg), Philomath 12 (Kramer 6, Couture 4, Larson 2)
Fouled Out: None
Total Fouls: Stayton 8, Philomath 16
Technicals: None

Philomath 26, Stayton 11
Tuesday, Jan. 25, at Philomath HS

The Philomath JV team’s record goes to 7-3 with the win. … The Warriors held the visitors to only four baskets in the game and no points in the third quarter. … Freshman Anneka Steen scored nine points on three field goals, one of those a 3-pointer, and 2 of 2 on free throws. … Sophomore Elia Gibert Pla had six points on three field goals. … The JV team is scheduled to next play on Friday at home against Newport with a 4 p.m. tip-off.

Philomath 19, Stayton 18 (OT)
Tuesday, Jan. 25, at Philomath HS

The JV2 team remains unbeaten this season with a 7-0 record. … Philomath freshman Katie Choi had the game-winning basket in overtime. … The Warriors rallied from four points down — not an easy task in such a low-scoring game — in the fourth quarter to force the extra period. … Freshman Hannah Bennett had a team-high six points. … Freshman Ariana Boutilier added four. … The JV2 team’s next game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 1 at Cascade.