Philomath High School gym logo
PHS Warriors (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The Philomath High School boys basketball team got some love from Mid-Major Media, a website that focuses on high school sports.

Robby Scharf, a Mid-Major Media contributor, had good things to say about the Warriors.

“Year in, year out, Philomath is competitive, sometimes in spots where they should not be competitive,” Scharf said, giving a lot of credit to head coach Blake Ecker.

“If you watched Philomath last year, there was a very large overachievement factor,” he said. “Philomath did not pass the eye test in a lot of games. There were a lot of games they walked into the gym and if you just looked at them, or had seen the other team play, you’d say, ‘OK, Philomath’s going to lose by 15 points. And then they’d win. And they’d win comfortably.”

Part of the reason for the team winning, he said, comes down to the coaching.

“If you watched Philomath last year, the dedication to defense and just rebounding and all of the hustle stats that coaches talk about, it was like the personality of Blake Ecker was just bleeding into the roster,” Scharf said. “They were one of the most hardest-working, hard-nosed teams you’ve ever seen play basketball and I wish they would’ve had a chance in the state tournament.”

Philomath won the Oregon West Conference last season and finished 20-4 overall. The Warriors were set to play in the 4A tournament at Forest Grove in March but as we all know, it was called off because of the virus.

Mid-Major Media picked Philomath to finish third behind Cascade and Woodburn in the conference. Despite being the defending league champs, the story mentioned that the Warriors lost Toby Stueve, Ben Reams and Dylan Edwards to graduation.

“Philomath made their mark last season as a senior-heavy, incredibly disciplined and patient, defensively dominant, rebound-smothering team that never handed their opponents anything for free,” the website wrote. “This season, Philomath will be considerably younger and could struggle a bit on the defensive end as a consequence.”

Another graduated senior that the article didn’t mention who could be a force inside was Dylan Bennett. Colby Roe and Brody Hiner also graduated.

Mid-Major Media believes Philomath would be a state playoff-caliber team.

“No Blake Ecker team can be counted out for any reason, but seeing them win the OWC for the third time in five years just doesn’t seem likely,” they wrote. “They are still a playoff team for sure and a team to track as Ty May develops.”

May is on track to be a pretty good one. The Warriors also have Michael Lundy, Dillon Olsen and others back in uniform.

Now, let’s just hope we have a season. Even if we do, there may not be a state playoff during that “culmination week” and only regional champions.

Give the Mid-Major Media site a look. Philomath High grad Logan Hannigan-Downs is among the contributors.

The website also had some things to share about the Philomath girls basketball team. I’ll write about that in my next Warrior Nation blog.