It’s pretty much a given that Sage Kramer is going to get her points. In Philomath High’s 41-34 victory over Cascade on Friday night, the Warriors senior scored in every quarter and ended up with a game-high 17 points.
Those numbers don’t come as a surprise with Kramer’s exceptional abilities on a basketball court. The part of Philomath’s game that proved to be just as lethal against the Cougars, however, could be found underneath with 6-foot-3 Abigail Brown.
Brown scored 11 points, including six in the fourth quarter, to help the Warriors hold off Cascade in a showdown between two of the top teams in Class 4A.
“We know she’s able to do that … if she’s able to give us that every night, it drastically improves our offensive productivity,” PHS coach Ben Silva said. “Because Sage is going to get hers and teams are also going to run a lot at her like they did tonight. I mean, they just pound her all game long and make it challenging.”
Brown’s baskets in the fourth quarter pretty much put the game away. Junior Hailie Couture had assists on at least two of those hoops, the last one giving the Warriors a 41-31 lead with 59 seconds remaining.
“Hailie started looking inside more and she had some amazing passes to me,” Brown said, adding that she felt hustle and aggressiveness on defense were both factors in the second half. “I think we played four full quarters or close to it. In some games, we’ll play like three quarters or we’ll come out in the second half and we’ll play hard. I think tonight we put together a full game and it turned out really well.”
And then there were the blocked shots. Silva said the team didn’t track that particular statistic but Brown must’ve had at least seven or eight, including two straight blocks late in the fourth quarter.
Coming into the game, Philomath (7-2) was ranked No. 1 and Cascade (8-2) was right behind at No. 2 in the OSAAtoday coaches poll with their only losses coming against 5A opponents. The 4A heavyweights traded shots throughout the first half and the Cougars led 12-11 past the halfway point of the second quarter.
The Warriors finished the half strong though with a 7-1 run behind a Kramer scoring outburst. Kramer scored underneath amid a crazy scramble for the ball to give Philomath the lead with 3 minutes left. Later with 2:21 remaining, she pulled up for a jumper. And in the final seconds, Kramer came up with a rebound on defense, dribbled the length of the court and scored on a layup for an 18-13 Philomath lead at the break.
Through much of the first half, Philomath couldn’t seem to find a groove and had stretches of what could be characterized as sloppy play. The Warriors developed more of a rhythm after halftime.
“Yeah, we cleaned some things up,” Silva said. “A lot of that comes from what they do defensively. I mean, it gets sloppy when you have that much pressure and they’re all over you reaching.”
Philomath also needed to dig deep in the second half to avoid any possibility of fatigue. The team had battled through illness, canceled games and few practices leading up to this week. Cascade was the team’s third game in five days. In addition, junior starter Ingrid Hellesto wasn’t available for action.
“We knew coming into this week that we were going to be tired; I think we were all kind of anticipating it,” Brown said. “Monday night’s game (at Corvallis) was a rough game, that was a hard fight but then Wednesday (vs. Rainier), we were able to come in and clean things up. We were mentally prepared.”
Beyond the mental aspect of the game, Philomath also found success with its strategy. After Cascade had pulled to within 22-20 with just under 3 minutes left in the third quarter, Philomath put together an 8-2 run to carry momentum into the fourth.
Junior Mia Bennett scored on a fast break and then after Cascade hit for two, senior Reagan Larson and Kramer buried 3-pointers to end the third.
“I think finally in the second half we were able to settle in and see what was open and when they were running two girls at one, somebody’s going to be open,” Silva said. “We were able to find some of those looks that we couldn’t get in the first half.”
Cascade attempted to make a game of it early in the fourth and trailed only 32-28 with 6:11 remaining after Kenna Coleman drilled a 3-pointer. Kramer responded by dribbling around a Cascade defender and scoring on a layup.
Later when the Cougars cut their deficit to five with 5:02 left, the Warriors had answers with four of their next five points coming on those Couture-to-Brown baskets.
Kramer’s 17 points were scored on seven field goals, one of those the already-mentioned 3-pointer, and 2 of 4 on free throws. Brown had five field goals and was 1 of 3 on free throws for her 11. Larson had two 3-pointers.
“You always want to go out and win the first league game, especially against Cascade,” Silva said. “I mean, Mark’s (Stevens) done a fantastic job … they’re a leading program in the state and he does a great job and it’s always good to beat them.”
Senior Ariel Tobiasson scored 14 for the Cougars.
The two teams will meet again on Feb. 1 at Cascade. Meanwhile, Stayton and Woodburn appear to be capable of making a little noise.
Philomath’s next game is scheduled for Tuesday at Sweet Home — the first of three straight road games for the Warriors.
Philomath 41, Cascade 34
Friday, Jan. 7, at Philomath HS
TEAMS (RECORDS) 1 2 3 4 FINAL Cascade (8-2) 7 5 9 12 34 Philomath (7-2) 8 10 12 11 41 CASCADE FG FT-FTA PF TP 10 Meah Carley# 2 1-4 3 5 20 Ariel Tobiasson# 5 2-2 2 14 23 Kenna Coleman# 2 2-4 4 7 30 Natalee Federico# 1 0-0 1 2 34 Abby Jeppsen# 2 2-4 4 6 15 Emma Clinton 0 0-0 0 0 25 Cami Oliva 0 0-0 0 0 12 Anna Wilson 0 0-0 0 0 TOTALS 12 7-14 14 34 # Starter PHILOMATH FG FT-FTA PF TP 1 K Bacho# 0 0-0 3 0 15 Sage Kramer# 7 2-4 1 17 32 Abigail Brown# 5 1-3 4 11 33 Hailie Couture# 1 0-0 1 2 45 Reagan Larson# 2 0-0 1 6 3 Mia Bennett 1 0-0 1 2 23 Cassidy Lewis 1 1-2 1 3 TOTALS 17 4-9 12 41 # Starter 3-Point Goals: Cascade 3 (Tobiasson 2, Coleman), Philomath 3 (Larson 2, Kramer)
Fouled Out: None
Total Fouls: Cascade 14, Philomath 12
Philomath 29, Cascade 24
Friday, Jan. 7, at Philomath HS
TEAMS 1 2 3 4 FINAL Cascade 6 7 9 2 24 Philomath 6 12 4 7 29 JV GAME NOTES Philomath’s JV evens its record at 3-3 on the season. … Sophomore Elia Gibert Pla scored eight points to lead Philomath scorers. … Sophomore Ahnika Tryon finished with seven points, scoring in each quarter. … Freshman Anneka Steen added five points. … The JV team is scheduled to play at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Sweet Home.
JUNIOR VARSITY 2
Philomath 31, Cascade 28
Friday, Jan. 7, at Philomath HS
TEAMS 1 2 3 4 FINAL Cascade 2 8 9 9 28 Philomath 8 3 16 4 31 JV2 GAME NOTES Philomath’s JV2 team remains unbeaten on the season with a 5-0 record. … Philomath took control in the third quarter with more than half of its points coming during that eight-minute stretch. … Freshman Katie Choi scored seven points, which included a 3-pointer. … Freshman Zoee Howard had seven points — all in the second half. … Freshman Mica Boynton added five points. … The JV2 team is scheduled to play at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at Woodburn.