K Bacho
PHS senior K Bacho eyes the hoop on a fast-break layup. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Philomath coach pleased with results after 52-25 win over Sisters

When the games get tougher come postseason, the Philomath High girls basketball team will need to be in top form in pursuit of the top prize. So even though the Warriors don’t see much of a challenge on the scoreboard against overmatched opponents, that doesn’t mean it’s a night to just relax and cruise to victory.

There’s always work to be done.

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“We did a fantastic job against their ball pressure,” PHS coach Ben Silva said following Tuesday night’s 52-25 victory over Sisters. “That was something we struggled with early on in the season. We have worked on that a lot and we did a great job.”

Silva recalled one possession in the first half as a good example.

“We had four passes and the ball never touched the ground and we had a layup on the other end — four different girls touched it,” Silva said. “So, I was pleased to see that with the way we handled their full-court pressure.”

Silva said the team also worked on some new out-bounds strategies that he’s implementing.

The team’s four seniors were recognized during pregame for their contributions to the program. One of those seniors, K Bacho, said it’s been a fun ride and described team chemistry as her favorite part of playing basketball with the Warriors.

“I would say it’s really emotional,” Bacho said about senior night. ‘It’s been a long four years but it has been really fun playing with this team. I’ve really gotten close to everyone.”

PHS junior Ingrid Hellesto hangs in the air on a shot attempt against the Outlaws. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Joining Bacho in their final season with Philomath High are Sage Kramer, Reagan Larson and Cassidy Lewis.

“This was our first group we took over from their freshman year so it’s kind of a special group,” Silva said in reference to his first year coaching the program. “But it seems like it’s gone really fast the last four years, let alone just this season — it’s flown by.”

Against Sisters, Philomath went on a 25-0 run to put the game on ice in the first half. Kramer was in typical form and finished with 28 points, which included a couple of 3-pointers that offset an off night at the free-throw line. Junior Hailie Couture also had a pair of 3-pointers — both coming during that 25-0 run — and finished with eight.

PHS senior Cassidy Lewis attempts a shot over a Sisters player. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Philomath’s biggest lead of the evening came late in the third quarter when the Warriors went up 49-14 on an Abigail Brown basket.

Bacho said the team is focused on finishing this season out on the highest of possible notes.

“Everyone’s had just good energy on the team and we’re really fighting for this full season and then going to state,” Bacho said. “I think we’re all really excited.”

Junior Haleigh Froelich had 10 points to lead Sisters (7-14 overall, 2-8 Oregon West).

Philomath (17-2 overall, 10-0 Oregon West) will head to Stayton on Thursday night in what has the potential to be a competitive road game. The Warriors beat the Eagles 55-36 on Jan. 25. Stayton comes into the contest with records of 13-6 overall and 7-4 in league play.

The tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Warriors will then end the regular season on Tuesday at Newport. Athletic Director Tony Matta said he’s trying to schedule an extra game — preferably at home — for Philomath to stay in top condition heading into the playoffs.