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Central’s Ryanne Huffman, center, looks for an opening Friday against Cascade.
January 23, 2013
INDEPENDENCE -- Philomath, a squad that took fifth place in the Class 4A girls basketball state tournament a year ago, is typically known for its defense.
Prior to their Jan. 15 Oregon West Conference opener with visiting Central, the Warriors had given up more than 40 points just three times.
With its 30-point first-half outburst, Central made sure it was the fourth time last week.
"We just pounded it down low," first-year Central coach Julie McDonald said of her team's 40-39 victory -- the Panthers' first win over Philomath since the 2010-11 season and the just the second loss for the Warriors this season.
"We worked kind of our four (players) out, one in and we just beat that to death in the first half."
It worked too -- to the tune of a 15-point halftime lead.
Central's Maddy Pape (13 points) and Sai Tapasa (seven points) led the way in the scoring column, but 6-foot-1 forward Catherine Cutsforth had a stellar game of her own, netting five points and a team-best 16 rebounds.
Cutsforth followed that performance with another strong one in Friday's 57-44 setback to Cascade with a team-high 15 points and Pape added 13 points.
Friday, Central (11-5, 2-1 after Tuesday's 67-29 blowut win over Taft) came up with another strong first half, using a 20-2 second-quarter run to take a 25-16 lead at the break.
But the Cougars came alive in the second half to outscore Central 41-19 to pull away late.
"I knew Cascade was going to make adjustments in the third and fourth quarter and we tried to prepare the girls for that at halftime, but we just got too complacent," McDonald said. "There's stuff we're still working on, areas we need to improve in, but the biggest thing is just the confidence and the knowledge that we can play with these top teams. It's just a matter of putting four quarters together."
Central at Stayton
When: Friday. Girls, 5:30 p.m.; Boys, 7 p.m.
Newport at Central
When: Tuesday. Girls, 5:30 p.m.; Boys, 7 p.m.