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Indians venture south for Hidden Valley Tournament Dec. 28-30 in Grants Pass

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The Indians will welcome the new year at the Hidden Valley Tournament Dec. 28-30 after their Columbia River clash with Seton Catholic of Vancouver, Wash., Thursday.

Scappoose (3-2 overall) spent the week in anticipation after proving too quick for Estacada (1-4) in a 66-40 Dec. 15 road win.

"The Estacada game went well," Tribe coach Weston Powers said. "They played really hard and competed well but did not have a bunch of scoring threats. We started off giving them a bunch of easy looks in the first quarter, but then our defense really picked up from quarters two to four."

The Indians beat the Rangers for the fourth time in five years, a trend in which they carry a friendly 65-46 average result.

"The main focus for us as a team has been our defense, working on our transition and help-side defense," said Chris Bendle, a Scappoose senior guard.

The Tribe outguns rivals 69-60 in its first five games, and defense creates transition scoring.

"[Joey] Wagenknecht got hot with five 3s in the first quarter [Dec. 15]," Powers said. "[Jerad] Toman did a great job of setting teammates up with open looks: He made some amazingly athletic plays in the open court and on defense. We rebounded well as a team. Bendle didn't have his best shooting night but still made plays on defense and hit some timely shots from outside to get us going on a nice run in the third quarter."

The Indians can jump into their first three-game win streak since they won six in a row between Feb. 16 and March 10 of their Class 4A fifth-place campaign in 2016.

"We play Seton Catholic at home [at 7 p.m.] on Thursday, then have a little down time through Christmas," Powers said. "After that, our next game [is] on Thursday, December 28th down in Grants Pass against Hidden Valley."

The Mustangs (3-6) feature all-Skyline Conference senior forward Kasey Copeland as they score 50 points against 53 per game.

"[We want to] run a lot in transition and play our brand of basketball," said Wagenknecht, a senior guard.

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