By Jeremy McDonald
PHILOMATH, Ore.– It was a tale of two halves in the Oregon West Conference showdown between Stayton and Philomath Tuesday night.
One team had the dominance in one half whereas the other took control for the other.
Unfortunately, it was the dominance of the Warriors in the second half, with the help of a 32-7 run, decided the game as the Eagles struggled to duplicate their first half success in the (score) defeat.
“We were playing physical defense,” started Matt Lindemann. “We knew they had a lot of big guys, stronger to get to the rim with rebounding and scoring wise, So defensive end we did really good and offensive end hitting a lot of shots.
“So the first half was going good and we came out the second half just a lot more laxed and not as strong as the first half.”
The first half saw nothing but rebounding dominance by Stayton over the stealing machine that was Philomath as they lead 25-13 by the half.
“We came out with a lot of energy,” said Charlie Weeks. “We were defending well, we held them to 13 points there in that first half and we were hitting shots. So that was a big part of it
“I thought we were attacking the rim well. Getting good kick out looks for three’s and shots were falling.”
But the shots stopped falling in the second half for the Eagles as the Warriors showed why they are the number two team in the OSAA 4A division with an unprecedented 32-7 run entering the final four minutes of the game.
Philomath were out-rebounding, creating offensive opportunities with turnovers and pressing their way to a 45-32 lead before Kyle Schwarm snapped his Stayton team back to their first half form.
“We came out somewhat flat and gave up some easy buckets to start and it kind of went downhill,” described Weeks on what happened during that 12 minute span.
The Eagles (8-9, 2-3 OWC) fought back, faced with a 13-point deficits they didn’t quit as the deficit shrunk to six with 30 seconds to go, but couldn’t finish the comeback.
For Stayton, they’ll look to get back on track Friday when they travel to Newport (11-8, 3-2 OWC). Tip off is at 5:30pm.
Jeremy McDonald is a professional sports journalist in the Salem/Portland area and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalist in Oregon with B.S. degrees from Southern Oregon University in Journalism (2011) and Health/PE (2013). Got a story idea? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @J_McDonald81!