The Philomath High School girls basketball team will try to play its way into the Class 4A state playoffs on Friday night with a home game against St. Helens.
The Oregon School Activities Association released its list of automatic qualifiers along with matchups for eight play-in games. The No. 10 Warriors will bring an overall record of 15-7 into the contest while No. 23 St. Helens, the fourth-place team in the Cowapa League, comes in at 7-17.
Philomath, the defending state champions, and St. Helens played five common opponents during the regular season. The Warriors were 3-3 against Gladstone, Marist Catholic, Astoria, Estacada and Stayton while the Lions went 2-5 against those same schools.
It appears that the two schools have not met in girls basketball since Dec. 21, 1999. The Warriors won that game, 60-26, in a victory that included 13 points each by Dani Garvin and Katie Finn.
The Warriors lost to Cascade on Monday night to miss out on an opportunity for an automatic berth. The Cougars are headed directly to the playoffs as the No. 8 seed. The top four seeds are Baker, Gladstone, Astoria and Marshfield. Henley, La Grande and Marist Catholic also earned berths.
Besides the Philomath-St. Helens game, two other teams out of the Oregon West qualified for the play-in round. Stayton will host Klamath Union and Newport will play at Scappoose.