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Indians win 69-49 Wednesday in Molalla, shoot for best home start since 2014-15 championship

PHOTO CREDIT: LISA MARSHALL-BENDLE - Indians senior guard Chris Bendle made the All-Evergreen Federal Bank Tournament team as he scored 47 points in three games Dec. 28-30 in Grants Pass.

The Indians will open the new year at home against Cascade Friday.

Scappoose (6-4 overall) is scheduled to tip off against the Cougars (6-4) and all-Oregon West Conference talents Damian Ball (a 6-foot-7 senior center) and Treyden Harris (a junior guard), whom they beat 63-46 on the road in 2017, at 5:30 p.m.

In the interim, the Tribe won 69-49 Wednesday in Molalla.

The Indians return to their friendly confines after opening the Evergreen Federal Bank Tournament with a 71-62 defeat of hometown Hidden Valley (4-8) Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in Grants Pass.

"Hidden Valley [was] a solid win," Indians coach Weston Powers said. "We pulled out the win, even with going 11-of-26 from the free throw Line. [Joey] Wagenknecht [led with] 21 points, [Chris] Bendle [followed] with 20, [Jerad] Toman with 13 and Logan Travis with 10."

Class 5A No. 3 and eventual tournament champion Crater (10-0) ran away from Scappoose, however, 76-37 Dec. 29, in the Tribe's toughest loss since its 89-52 home loss to eventual Class 4A conqueror Seaside in 2017.

"Crater [is] one of the best 5A teams in the state and have tremendous length," Powers said. "Multiple skill players over 6-foot-6, and three very good guards who could handle the ball well, shoot it from deep, and set up the tall guys for easy looks. They gave us problems with their length, as they did every other team in the tournament. They won the tournament, and no one came within 20 points of them the whole time. Bendle [came up] with nine points, [and next was] Wagenknecht with five points, [Bradley] Verbout with five points and Tommy McKedy with four points."

Class 4A third-ranked Marshfield (7-4) outlasted the Indians 74-71 in double overtime the next day.

"It seems we always have nail-biters against Marshfield [after Scappoose beat the Pirates 50-48 in the same tournament exactly a year prior], and this time was no different," Powers said. "They have two 6-foot-7 players who were very athletic and coordinated. We played very well, as they are one of the better teams at the 4A level: We had chances to put the game away in regulation with free throws, but we missed and the game went to OT. In OT they started out hot and got up early -- we kept grinding and taking the game one possession at a time, [but] we were down seven points with 36 seconds left. We drew up a quick-hitter for a 3, which Wagenknecht drained, then they turned it over and fouled Verbout, who made both free throws. We forced another turnover and drew up another play for a 3, which Bendle nailed with a couple seconds [left] to spare to force double overtime."

The fireworks helped Bendle, a senior guard, to all-tournament recognition.

"We played hard, and I thought we competed well against the teams we faced," said Wagenknecht, also a senior guard.

The Tribe can stay unbeaten in its own gym through four home games Friday and improve upon its 3-1 start in its neck of the woods that became its fourth state championship in 2014-15.

"I feel we grew and learned a tremendous amount from the end-of-game situations we encountered [in Grants Pass]," Powers said. "It was a great reminder that you are never out of a game until the final buzzer rings. [Against Marshfield] Bendle had 18 points, Toman 14 points, Wagenknecht 12 points and Verbout 12 points."

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