In a basketball game featuring two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum, the score will often take care of itself to allow coaches an opportunity to work on the little things that can pay dividends down the road.
Philomath High’s 58-16 victory over Sweet Home Friday evening fit that approach as the Warriors improved to 10-5 overall and 3-0 in the Oregon West and the Huskies dropped to 4-12 and 0-3.
A collection of photos from Philomath High’s 58-16 girls basketball win over Sweet Home on Friday.
Head coach Ben Silva seemed to be pleased with how his players performed from effective ball movement to being able to finish in transition.
“I thought the rotation flowed a little bit better and hopefully we’ll keep building on that,” Silva said following the 42-point win. “We have a busy week next week with two tough opponents Tuesday and Thursday and so we can use this to kinda propel us into those next two games.”
The Warriors will face the other top two teams in the conference beginning with Stayton on Tuesday and followed by Cascade on Thursday. Philomath and Cascade are currently tied atop the league standings at 3-0 with the Eagles right behind at 2-1. Cascade beat Stayton, 57-50, earlier this week.
The victory over Sweet Home extended Philomath’s winning streak to five and the Warriors are now No. 5 in the OSAA rankings. All five of the team’s wins over that stretch have been by double digits.
Philomath has defeated Sweet Home eight straight times since the Huskies were put in the Oregon West prior to the 2018-19 season. This latest matchup was over early with the Warriors vaulting out to a 13-0 lead before Sweet Home could find the net.
“We shared the ball — particularly well in the first half,” Silva said. “We got out in transition, got the ball to people, turned the ball over a lot less.”
Those comments could easily be seen during the early run. Four different players scored the team’s first four baskets — senior Abigail Brown on an offensive put-back, junior Ahnika Tryon inside, freshman Emily Taunisila with a 3-pointer and senior Hailie Couture following a steal underneath.
The flurry of points set the tone for the rest of the evening. Sweet Home found some success shooting outside with four of the team’s six field goals on the evening coming from three-point range. Senior Brooke Burke had three and scored 11 of her team’s 16 points.
“We were pretty solid on the defensive end,” Silva said. “They hit some 3s on us but they were pretty deep.”
The Warriors led 28-9 at halftime and 50-16 heading into the fourth quarter. Silva cleared the bench and Sweet Home failed to score in the final period.
For the second straight game, sophomore Mica Boynton came off the bench and performed well in the fourth. Earlier in the week against North Marion, she scored 10 and on Friday in the Sweet Home game, she netted six.
“She’s been giving us good minutes when she comes into the varsity game,” Silva said. “She was in that third post role to start but we didn’t feel like she was getting the minutes she deserved and needed just because she has two very tough posts ahead of her with Gail (Brown) and Tryon.”
Couture, who has been an outside shooting specialist of sorts for the Warriors, appears to be getting into midseason form with significant minutes against the Huskies. Coming off an injury that sidelined her for eight games, Couture hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored nine.
“She shot the ball well and made some great passes and saw the court well,” Silva said.
Brown finished with 18 points on seven field goals and 4 of 4 on free throws to lead all scorers. Taunisila also hit double figures with 11.
Tuesday’s game at Stayton is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start.