Win over Philomath gives SH second seed at state

Sweet Home 58, Philomath 43

The Huskies defeated Philomath 58-43 Thursday night on the road to take second seed in the Val-Co conference in boys’ basketball and the right to host Scappoose in the first round of state playoffs.

The Huskies held a 17-13 lead after the first quarter and a 27-22 lead at halftime.

Throughout the third quarter, Philomath kept the pressure on, staying within three to five points of the Huskies. The Huskies led 37-32 at the end of the third quarter.

The Huskies quickly started building an insurmountable lead, sparked by a three-pointer from Jerome Coleman half a minute into the fourth quarter. Gavin Kauffman added another after a Philomath turnover to build a 43-42 lead. In two more possessions, Kauffman and Ryan Graville each added a bucket for a lead of 47-32.

The Warriors finally managed to score again with 4:37 left on the clock, drawing a foul from Coleman and hitting the free throw. Graville missed the next shot, and Philomath put away a three to close the score to 47-38.

The Huskies easily cut through a Warriors press, swapping baskets and rebuilding their 15-point lead and the final score on a Kauffman three and a layup from Graville with a little more than a minute left.

In the fourth, “we got open look after open look and got open jumpers,” Coach Kostanty Knurowski said. That forced Philomath to spread out, which is not the easiest thing to do, especially in a playoff game.

The Huskies did a great job on defense, holding Philomath’s leading scorer, Dan Haynes, to just 11 points and the team to just 43, Knurowski said. Most of the time, the Huskies limited the Warriors to one-shot possessions.

“Defensively, we wanted to play every possession as hard as we could,” he said, forcing the bigger Philomath players to shoot from the outside, while keeping up the tempo and using the Huskies’ speed on offense.

Against the press, “we did a better job than the beginning of the season recognizing the pressure and attacking it correctly,” Knurowski said. The Huskies spread out and hit its open players to break it.

Brent Moyer and Drew Emmert were keys to attacking the Warriors’ defense and press and getting the open looks, Knurowski said. Both have improved a lot recently.

The Huskies were scheduled to host Scappoose on Tuesday. The winner of that game travels to LaGrande next Tuesday.

Kauffman led Huskies scoring with 19 points. Emmert added 12; Graville, eight; Moyer, six; Coleman, five; Levi Marchbanks, four; Brock Cota, two; and Josh Riggs, two.

“Everybody that played scored,” Knurowski said. “They played very unselfishly. Whoever was open, they got the ball to. They made the extra pass and made everybody better.”

Haynes led Philomath scoring with 11 points; Straub added 10; Knudsen, eight; Motter, five; Whiteman, four; Hantan, three; and Thomas, two.

All-League Awards

All-league honors went to four Sweet Home boys basketball players last week.

Gavin Kauffman and Ryan Graville were named to the first team. Levi Marchbanks and Drew Emmert were named second team.

Michael Hamilton of Central was named conference MVP while Central coach Bob McBeth received Coach of the Year.