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Senior guard's 39 points lead Indians against Braves' Class 4A-best defense

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Indians senior guard Chris Bendle, center, scored a career-high 39 points Tuesday in Banks.





The Indians gave Banks bigger trouble than nearly anyone else on the road Tuesday.

Chris Bendle scored a career-high 39 points against the Braves' Class 4A-best defense, but Banks persisted in a 72-55 win.

The Braves (17-0 overall, 3-0 Cowapa League) are perfect in their last 19 games since they beat Henley in the consolation semifinals last season, but Scappoose (7-9, 0-3) has won three of the last five head-to-head.

The Tribe came within 17 points of their top-ranked rival, and only third-ranked Newport (11 points), sixth-ranked Valley Catholic (11), Stayton (14) and eighth-ranked Henley (17) have come closer in beating the Braves' usual 27-point spread.

"It feels good, and it shows that we can compete with the other teams," said Bendle, a senior guard who scored 15 fourth-quarter points and sank six 3-pointers and five of six free throws.

The Indians have battled to a nine-point average differential in their early run through the Cowapa League -- Class 4A's best division as it includes Banks, Valley Catholic and second-ranked champion Seaside.

"We kept battling, and I was really proud of how the guys kept working," Scappoose coach Weston Powers said. "Bendle got it going offensively ... His teammates did a great job of finding him for looks and he made some tough shots in the lane."

The Tribe is scheduled to play next at Valley Catholic (12-5, 1-2), league Co-Coach of the Year Joel Sobotka and seniors Andrew Plambeck (a 6-foot-5 guard) and Jack Grasberger (a 6-foot-6 post) at 6 p.m. Friday in Beaverton.

The Valiants have beaten the Indians in three of the last five head-to-head by an average 59-47 difference in their favor, but score and allow 55 and 41 points this season to Scappoose's dueling 61s.

In Tuesday's outing, six-foot-six Banks senior forward Dalton Renne scored as many first-quarter points as the Tribe (13), including three 3-pointers and a fastbreak dunk.

Junior posts Blake Gobel (6-foot-7) and Ryan Hiestand (6-foot-5) went right to the basket against the undersized Indians, though Nate Maller (5-foot-11) and Logan Travis (6-foot-2) helped in on them.

"We worked hard on defense and fought hard, trying to keep their bigs off the board," Powers said. "They are a good team with lots of length and have been giving the whole state a lot of problems this season."

With supremacy in rebounding -- and six players 6-foot-4 and taller -- junior guard Bret Cameron and the Braves enjoyed creative freedom to swing the ball around the perimeter and line up shots from range as they pleased.

Gobel, 6-foot-4 sophomore forward Jacob Slifka and Renne swatted Indians layups, but Bendle's deep 3 from the left shoulder brought Scappoose to within 19 at 69-50 with 2:20 left in the fourth while the Braves' student section chanted, "Ain't going down today, ain't going down today."

Renne, Gobel and Slifka's 25, 18 and 13 respective points, including two, six and two triples, sparked Banks.

Tillamook gets away late

Bendle, Joey Wagenknecht and Toman came in sharp from beyond the arc against visiting Tillamook (11-5, 2-1) Friday, Jan. 19, but the Cheesemakers gripped a lead through three quarters and beat Scappoose for the fourth time in a row, 66-60.

Toman's teardrop layups helped the Tribe lead 36-32 at intermission, but Cheesemakers senior guard Ian Collett sped up the floor with Indians turnovers, and Scappoose raced to stop him at the rim.

Tommy McKedy, taller than the loftiest Tillamook defenders (6-foot-1 seniors Anthany Taylor and Gabe Lachenmeier and junior Charlie Jenck) at 6-foot-4, gave the Tribe a paint presence, "Rebound," became the Indians' conviction out of a timeout, and Bendle attacked the rim twice in a row as Travis cleaned the glass.

Maller's block beneath the basket kept Scappoose within five at 56-51 with three minutes to play and elicited, "You got swatted," and "Overrated," chants from his student crowd.

Toman's skip pass from in front of the scorers table to Bendle in the paint helped the Tribe linger, down three at 56-53 at 2:22, but Tillamook senior Nathan Abbott's pair of free throws lifted the Cheesemakers to a 64-55 lead with 22 seconds after the rivals traded layups.

Bendle sank a triple from the deep left shoulder and traded two free throws with Taylor, but Collett dribbled through attempted fouls as time expired.

Bendle and Toman scored 19 and 17 respective points, and Abbott, Collett and senior Chase Wagner came away with 21, 17 and 10.

TILLAMOOK 66, SCAPPOOSE 60

Friday, Jan. 19, in Scappoose

T 19 15 13 19 -- 66

S 15 21 10 14 -- 60

TILLAMOOK (11-5, 2-1) -- Nathan Abbott 21, Ian Collett 17, Chase Wagner 10, Anthany Taylor 7, Ramon Flores 5, Josh Rojo 3, Gabe Lachenmeier 2, Landon Werner 1. 3-point goals -- 5 (Abbott 3, Taylor, Rojo). Total fouls -- 16. Totals 23 15-21 66.

SCAPPOOSE (7-9, 0-3) -- Chris Bendle 19, Jerad Toman 17, Joey Wagenknecht 8, Tommy McKedy 6, Bradley Verbout 6, Connor McNabb 2, Logan Travis 2. 3-point goals -- 8 (Bendle 5, Wagenknecht 2, Toman). Total fouls -- 19. Totals 23 8-13 60.

BANKS 72, SCAPPOOSE 55

Tuesday in Banks

S 13 9 11 22 -- 55

B 26 14 16 16 -- 72

SCAPPOOSE (7-9, 0-3) -- Chris Bendle 39, Joey Wagenknecht 7, Jerad Toman 5, Connor McNabb 2, Nate Maller 2. 3-point goals -- 7 (Bendle 6, Toman). Total fouls -- 10. Technical fouls -- Bradley Verbout. Totals 20 8-12 55.

BANKS (17-0, 3-0) -- Dalton Renne 25, Blake Gobel 18, Jacob Slifka 13, Ryan Hiestand 6, Trevor Geraci 5, Bret Cameron 3, Hayden Vandehey 2. 3-point goals -- 10 (Gobel 6, Renne 2, Slifka 2). Total fouls -- 16. Totals -- 27 8-10 72.

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