The Philomath High School girls basketball team remained unbeaten in Oregon West Conference play on Tuesday night with a 38-30 road victory over Stayton.
The victory set up a showdown this week between the league’s top two teams. Both Philomath (11-5 overall) and Cascade (8-6) are sitting at 4-0 and will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the Cougars’ home court. Cascade beat Newport on Tuesday, 54-31.
Freshman Emily Taunisila scored 12 points to lead the Philomath offense in the win over the Eagles. Sophomore Anneka Steen also played a key role to help the Warriors click.
“Emily did a good job attacking … she had quite a few assists with her points,” Warriors coach Ben Silva said. “Steen did a good job providing some offense and a bunch of boards.”
Those players’ contributions proved to be pivotal with senior Abigail Brown stuck on the bench for much of the game in foul trouble. Silva lauded his team’s defensive effort, holding Stayton to 30 points.
Philomath led 9-4 after the first quarter with Steen scoring all five of her points on the evening, a stretch that included a 3-pointer. In the second, Taunisila got hot with three baskets and senior Mia Bennett buried a 3 to help the Warriors to a 24-13 lead at the break.
The Eagles stayed within striking distance in the third quarter and cut their deficit to single digits after holding Philomath to a single field goal and a couple of free throws. In the fourth, the Warriors were able to maintain their lead with both squads putting up 10. Taunisila scored six and junior Ahnika Tryon had four in the final eight minutes.