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Central junior Mo Tapasa came up big for the Panthers in a win over Scappoose last week.
January 02, 2013
STAYTON -- With a youthful team and a new coaching strategy, consistency has been tough to maintain for the Central girls basketball team.
Lately, though, junior Mo Tapasa has that part down.
Filling in at the post position for her sister, Sai, who was out with a head injury, Mo Tapasa helped the Panthers stave off Scappoose, 43-28, in an early morning consolation game Friday at the Stayton Holiday Classic.
Tapasa scored 12 points and pulled down six rebounds for the Panthers, who defeated Stayton 52-32 after the Itemizer-Observer went to press Saturday.
"Mo had a good game -- I was proud of her," said Central teammate Ryanne Huffman, who added seven points in Friday's win over Scappoose. "She's a go-getter. That's really what we need and what everyone needs to do."
The two victories were a welcome rebound from Thursday's 64-57 loss to Brookings-Harbor, ranked No. 7 in the latest Oregon School Activities Association Class 4A power rankings.
Tapasa, like she has nearly all season, did what Central coach Julie McDonald needed her to do Friday.
"I kind of challenged Mo about three games into the season and she's consistently brought what I asked her to," the first-year Central coach said.
"I sat down with every girl and gave them a role of what I expect them to do, and it took Mo about two games to figure that out. She's taken it upon herself. ... She really shined (Friday), filled in for our post."
Maddy Pape added 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists to lead the Panthers, who led 20-14 at the half.
Central was able to extend its lead late to pull away for the victory.
In Thursday's loss, Catherine Cutsforth and Pape each scored 12 points and Mo Tapasa added 10 in a game that saw the Panthers trailing at one point by 15 points.
Central made a run in the fourth quarter to take a three-point lead, but was unable to close out the game down the stretch.
"We just need to get them consistently playing well," McDonald said. "We're still learning how to play every single day -- learning how to be a competitor. They have to understand that that's required -- it's just a mental toughness that we're just lacking."
Saturday, the Panthers used a 14-5 scoring advantage in the second quarter to pull away from host Stayton. Pape poured in 17 points and Cutsforth added 13 to lead Central, which hosts Cottage Grove Friday and Yamhill-Carlton Tuesday.
Cottage Grove at Central
When: Friday, 5:30 p.m.
Yamhill-Carlton at Central
When: Tuesday, 5:30 p.m.