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Boys' Basketball: Indians smash Estacada, prepare for league

Scappoose comes out on fire in the third quarter for 24 points, more than enough to put away the Rangers.


by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Junior Chase Johnson is fouled on his way to the hoop during the second half of Fridays' win over Estacada. Johnson led the Indians with 19 points in the victory, which gives Scappoose a huge momentum boost heading into league play.There are two ways to respond to a heart-wrenching loss. There's the dreaded tailspin, or you could choose to bounce back and take it out on your next opponent. The latter, as it happens, is the route the Scappoose boys' basketball team took, flattening Estacada 73-52 on Friday night and wiping away the sting of Wednesday's loss to Roosevelt.

“We wanted to just come out and punch them in the mouth, like coach always says,” said senior guard Mitch Davis, who finished with 18 points in the win.

As worked up as the Indians were for the game, however, it wasn't the home team that did any punching. Midway through the third quarter, one Ranger had seen enough. A pair of technical free throws later, and Scappoose had an even larger advantage. Shortly before the end of the third, the Indians got another pair of chances from the charity stripe off a flagrant foul.

The entire time, Scappoose played just as head coach Rahim Tufts has taught them: cool, calm and collected. Even when things got a little chippy and the Rangers hit a few shots, the Indians never lost their composure.

“It's a good experience to go through that tonight against Estacada and test our judgement, test our collectiveness,” said Tufts. “Kids got a little excited, but they just cooled themselves off and handled it well.”

Davis, who is often one to play amped and with his heart on his sleeve, agreed.

“If your mind's not in the game, you're not going to perform well,” he said. “Coach had to calm us down a few times in timeouts and said to just keep going and keep battling.”

The battle started early in the third quarter. Scappoose led 29-20 at halftime, but got off to a red-hot start in the third period, racing out to take a 21 point lead heading to the fourth quarter. The Rangers' rally hopes were fueled with a buzzer-beating three-pointer from junior Willie Blankenship, but that was about all the fuel they'd get.

by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Taylor Loss (center) and Mitch Davis, both seniors, take to their feet to cheer on their teammates after a good play in the third quarter. Davis, who finished with 18 points, said it was their intent to 'punch them in the mouth' after a rough loss to Roosevelt earlier this week.The Indians came out strong in the final frame, getting six points from senior Isaiah O'Brien and four from junior Chase Johnson, who led all scores with 19, to stem the tide and thwart the advancing Rangers. By the end of the quarter, the Indian starters were mostly sitting on the bench, resting from their trying three-game week. The finish, though, is all that matters.

“They know what's at stake leading up to league, and everybody's goal on their sheet at the beginning of the year said that we want to win league,” said Tufts, who told his team they needed to play better than their performance against Roosevelt.

“After watching the film from that Roosevelt game, it shouldn't have come down to that last shot. We just made too many mistakes. We competed, and we played our hearts out, but there were some things that we didn't do well enough, and we did those things tonight,” he said. “Kids responded. It's tough to come back after such an emotional loss, and they bounced back.”

Though Estacada may not be on the same competition level as Roosevelt, the Indians were far better than Tuesday evening, and in every facet of the game. Limited turnovers, improved shooting and rebounding, along with a superior ability to find the open man for an easy shot were all at the Indians' disposal against Estacada, and it couldn't have come at a better time.

“It's really nice, especially after that Roosevelt game,” said Tufts. “Guys are feeling good and feeling confident heading into a game with a good Tillamook team.”

Davis, as expected, was a little more to the point.

“It's huge,” he said. “It gives us a lot of confidence that we're going to beat Tillamook on Tuesday. Or whenever that game is.”

SUMMARY:

Scappoose 73, Estacada 52

EST 9 13 12 20 – 52

SCA 16 13 24 20 – 73

Estacada 52: Kirchhofer 3, W. Blankenship 11, Beguelin, Johnson, Cantele 2, Shannan, Nation 2, Smith 2, Barstad 15, Kelly 4, S. Blankenship 3, Stamm 3, Avalos 1, Day

Scappoose 73: Scruggs5, Margheim, Backus 2, Wendelschafer, Fazio, O'Brien 9, McNabb 2, Ford 4, Donaldson, Loss 1, Davis 18, Marcantonio 6, Johnson 19, Sprute 7, B. Davis