Down by 15 points against Astoria with 6:40 remaining in Saturday afternoon’s Les Schwab South Coast Tournament championship game in Coos Bay, the Philomath High School girls basketball team needed to figure out how to turn the tables.
Astoria had shut out Philomath in the third quarter with a 13-0 run after leading by just two at halftime. With their backs to the wall, the Warriors ended regulation with a 17-2 run to force overtime. Astoria regrouped, however, and ended up with the victory, 51-43.
Said PHS coach Ben Silva, “We played a great fourth quarter and showed a lot of grit coming back.”
Warriors senior Abigail Brown broke the scoring drought in the fourth with a layup on a feed from freshman Emily Taunisila. Astoria responded on the other end with a basket from the top of the key for a 37-22 lead.
Philomath then put together a 17-0 run with Brown, Taunisila, Anneka Steen and Ahnika Tryon all contributing points. With under a minute to play and the Warriors trailing 37-36, Philomath forced a turnover and scored on the other end with Brown hitting a layup on a putback with 40 seconds left. She drew a foul on the play and sank the free throw to give Philomath a 39-37 lead.
Astoria intercepted a pass under Philomath’s basket with 11 seconds left and then went to the free-throw line with 9 seconds left after the Warriors were whistled for a foul. Astoria’s Malory Dundas missed the first free throw but officials waived it off with a lane violation called on Philomath. Dundas took advantage of the opportunity and sank the next two foul shots.
After a timeout, Philomath’s throw-in was intercepted by Astoria. The opponent had a chance at the hoop but missed, Brown rebounded and the fourth-quarter buzzer sounded.
Astoria opened the overtime with a 10-0 run and went on to post its fifth victory in six games this season. Shelby Bruney led Astoria with 17 points and Dundas had 14.
Brown had 17 points for the Warriors on seven field goals and 3 of 4 on free throws. Zoee Howard had eight points, including a 3-pointer. Taunisila added eight and had two 3-pointers, the second coming during the fourth-quarter rally.
Philomath (3-4) takes a break for Christmas before flying up to the Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic Dec. 28-30 in Ketchikan, Alaska.