Ben Silva
Ben Silva (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

The Philomath High School girls basketball team strengthened its hold on first place in the Oregon West Conference on Tuesday night with a 54-35 victory at Cascade.

Based on the Oregon School Activities Association rankings, the game was a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown. But the top-ranked Warriors led by nine points by the end of the first quarter and had a double-digit advantage at 26-13 at halftime to establish control from the beginning and avoid any drama.

Philomath is now 6-0 in league play while both the Cougars and Stayton are sitting at 4-2.

Senior Sage Kramer scored 24 points to lead Philomath’s offense. Kramer had nine field goals — three of those 3-pointers — and sank 3 of 4 free throws. Junior Hailie Couture continued her effectiveness from the outside with 11 points on three 3-pointers and a pair of free throws.

“We moved the ball extremely well and found the open person and they knocked down their shots,” PHS coach Ben Silva said. “Sage hit some deep 3s and had some great finishes. Hailie shot the ball well.”

On the defensive end, Philomath held an opponent to 36 or fewer points for the seventh straight game. The most points a team has scored on the Warriors’ defense in conference play was Stayton’s 36 on Jan. 25.

“K (Bacho) and Ingrid (Hellesto) did a great job providing pressure on the defensive end,” Silva said.

Silva was able to get all of his players into the game.

“Cassidy (Lewis) gave us big minutes and had some nice finishes,” Silva said about Lewis, a four-quarter contributor who scored four points in the fourth.

The Warriors are scheduled to play at home on Friday against Sweet Home, the tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. The Huskies will bring an overall record of 7-11 and league record of 3-4 into the contest. Philomath beat Sweet Home 49-31 on Jan. 11.

Philomath 54, Cascade 35
Tuesday, Feb. 1, at Cascade HS, Turner

Cascade 35, Philomath 26
Tuesday, Feb. 1, at Cascade HS, Turner

Cascade 35, Philomath 34 (OT)
Tuesday, Feb. 1, at Cascade HS, Turner