PHS junior Ahnika Tryon moves the ball in a game earlier this season against Junction City. (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Freshman Emily Taunisila scored inside to give Philomath the lead, senior Abigail Brown hit key free throws late and the defense came up with big stops to help the Warriors to a 32-27 victory over Mazama Thursday night in the team’s first game at the Les Schwab South Coast Tournament in Coos Bay.

The Warriors (2-3) advance in the winner’s bracket to the semifinals where they will face Class 5A Redmond at 3:30 p.m. Friday. The Panthers advanced after getting by Junction City, 47-43, a team the Warriors dominated in their season opener.

In the win over Mazama (0-4), Philomath shot out to a 13-6 lead in the first quarter. Brown and junior Ahika Tryon led the early charge with six and four points, respectively, and sophomore Zoee Howard buried a 3-pointer.

But scoring was not easy in the second and third quarters with Philomath hitting for only two baskets and four free throws. Sophomore Aneeka Steen’s 3-pointer was the only other hoop for the Warriors in the first half. Philomath was clinging to a 17-15 lead at that point.

In the third, Taunisila scored the first of her three baskets in the game and along with Steen and Tryon free throws, Philomath was able to take a 22-19 lead into the fourth. Mazama took the lead but the Warriors finished with Taunisila and Brown accounting for a combined 10 points.

Brown had a game-high 11 points in the victory. Taunisila and Tryon each had seven.

Senior Ella Baley led the Panthers with 10 points.