Scappoose comes from 11 down to get within two, but can't sustain the run

by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Senior Tracy Scruggs shoots over the Tillamook defense in the first half of Tuesday's 69-62 loss. It wasn't quite the start to Cowapa League play the team had been hoping for. Riding high after their dominant win over Estacada, the Indians looked to harness the momentum toward a league-opening victory over 13th-ranked Tillamook on Tuesday night.

Tillamook had other plans, knocking off Scappoose 69-62 and playing spoiler in the Indians' first league game at home.

The Cheesemakers didn't wait long to get started. Early on, the bank was open for the 'Mooks, as the road team raced out to a sizable lead in the first quarter before Scappoose could respond. Before long, the Indians found themselves down 11 and helpless to cool off the hot shooting of seniors Joey Hancock and David Waud.

Where Handcock wasn't, Waud was. Waud muscled his way through the interior of the Scappoose defense, which was without senior center Ethan Marcantonio due to illness. Throughout the first four minutes of the opening quarter, nearly everything fell for the Cheesemakers.

Bank shots, flat shots, wild shots – everything.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the court, things weren't so pretty. Mitch Davis and Chase Johnson were up to their usual business, but the 6-foot-four presence of Waud in the middle made life difficult for Scappoose, especially without the rebounding prowess of Marcantonio's 6-foot-eight frame.

The second period was far better on offense, but equally frustrating on defense for the Indians. Sophomore guard Brennan McNabb got going from three-point range, netting eight points in the quarter to go along with seven more from Johnson to get the home team within eight. As the second quarter wound down, the Cheesemakers responded. Waud poured in seven of his own to help Tillamook lead the Indians by 12 at the break.

Everything changed in the third period and suddenly, the shots stopped falling for the Cheesemakers. Johnson stepped through the open door, exploding for 10 points in the quarter to pull the Indians to within two at 51-49 late in the third, but a Cheesemaker elbow connected with Johnson's face in the latter stages of the period while fighting for positioning on defense. The knock, which drew blood down Johnson's face, ended up keeping Johnson on the bench for a long stretch of the third and fourth quarter, sealing his night with 22 points.

Davis picked up the slack in the fourth period, scoring six of his 18 points in the quarter, but Tillamook was able to hit nearly all of their free throws down the stretch to stay ahead of Scappoose. In fact, the road team made 12 of 18 attempts from the line, throwing a wrench into the Indians' comeback bid giving a sour note to the start of league play.

The Indians will travel to face a pair of teams ranked ahead of them – Banks on Jan. 24 and Seaside on Jan. 28 – before returning to host Yamhill-Carlton on the last day of January.


Tillamook 69, Scappoose 62

TILL 22 23 8 16 69

SCAP 11 22 16 13 – 62

Tillamook 69: Meyer 4, Wright 10, Hancock 16, Strang 12, Waud 19, Stellflug 8

Scappoose 62: Wendelschafer 5, McNabb 11, Loss 4, Davis 18, Johnson 22, Sprute 2

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