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The visiting Indians dominate the Jaguars on the boards and pull away late in nonleague win in Hillsboro.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Scappoose's Colin Stoddard attacks the basket against Century's Jordan Johnson during the two teams' game Friday night, Dec. 17, at Century High School.No players, no problem.

Playing without one of their key contributors, Lukas McNabb, the 5A Scappoose boys basketball team travelled to 6A Century and defeated the Jaguars 75-63 Friday night, Dec. 17, at Century High School.

Junior post Skyler Schmidt led the Indians with 31 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Malcolm Harrison chipped-in 22 points to go along with 12 boards. But beyond the stat sheet it was their effort and overall gritty nature that propelled the visiting Indians to ultimately pull away from the Jaguars and secure what was a needed and very big win for Scappoose.

"I think we're a town of 7,000, but the kids that we have give everything and I couldn't be more proud of them," head coach Matt Humphreys said. "They lay it all out there for Coach (Arbie) Steele and I, and that's a good feeling."

The game was tightly contested from the tip, with four lead-changes in the first half and seven overall.

Century (3-3) trailed by just three after a quarter and hung close throughout the second quarter en route to a 28-25 halftime deficit.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Century's Andre Huynh heads toward a lay-in during the Jaguars' game against Scappoose Friday night, Dec. 17, at Century High School.Sophomore guard Jordan Johnson led the Jags with eight first half points and continued along those same lines in the second half, tallying six third quarter points and 24 overall.

Down 43-40 heading to the fourth quarter, Century briefly took a 48-47 lead after six straight Johnson points, but following a Scappoose timeout, the Indians (3-4) kicked things into another gear behind the energetic guard play of Colin Stoddard and inside domination of the 6-foot-8 Schmidt, took back the lead and ultimately the game with a 28-15 run to close things out.

Schmidt attributed much of that late success to their guards, and said he loves the fact that – despite being short in stature – they're not afraid to mix it up in the paint or for loose balls.

"We have really scrappy guards, but they're also skilled and can really play, and play with high motors," Schmidt said. "That's what I love about them."

Humphreys said the Indians had recently been struggling due to the absence of several players from the lineup due to injury, in addition due to a lack of poise during critical junctures of games. But said that they've been working very hard on rectifying the latter in practice and it showed-up in spades tonight.

"We've been struggling with having poise in tough moments and we worked on it really hard this week," Humphreys said. "Tonight, we stayed calm. They pressed us a lot, trapped us, blitzed us, they did a lot of things to try and get us rattled, but we handled it and I'm just proud of the boys."

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Scappoose post Skyler Schmidt battles inside during the Indians' game against Century Friday night, Dec. 17, at Century High School.The 5-foot-9 Stoddard finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds, and along with Harrison combined for more rebounds than the entire Century team. Throw in Schmidt's 10, another six from 5-foot-9 guard Quorey Bays, two more from Chase Olsen, and one from Jack Duschka, and you have a rebounding difference that undoubtedly was the difference in the game.

Century head coach Scott Kellar acknowledged the enormity of the rebounding disparity afterwards, but in no way pointed to a lack of effort on the part of his kids.

"I thought we played hard and we've got a group of fighters, but yeah, they exposed us pretty good on the offensive boards," Kellar said. "Our first shot defense for the most part wasn't terrible, but it felt like they were always either getting a loose ball or getting that second shot or tip, and that's deflating."

Kellar went on to say that he's been pleased with his team's work and performance over the early part of the season, but also said – understandably – they've struggled with players the size of Schmidt and will continue to work towards shoring things up for similarly future endeavors. Aside from that he said they just need to get out of what's been a bit of a shooting slump and they'll be fine going forward.

"We've been struggling to score and we've got some good shooters, we just haven't shot it well," the coach said. "We need to be a bit more patient but we know it's a marathon, so hopefully we'll keep getting better."

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Century's Jordan Johnson flies high to the basket against Scappoose post Skyler Schmidt during the two teams' game Friday night, Dec. 17, at Century High School.Meanwhile, Scappoose has three more games before league play and will use such to further prepare for an always tough NWOC slate. Humphrey's acknowledged the difficulties that face them in league action, but added that he's excited to see what this group can do against some of the 5A classification's best.

"We have a very good league and we always send four teams to the playoffs, and they do well," he said. "But we're excited and these guys like to compete, so Coach Steele and I are excited too."

Scappoose scorers included: Schmidt 31, Harrison 22, Stoddard 11, Bays 6, Olsen 3.

Century scorers included: Johnson 24, Andre Huynh 13, Axton Wongsomadi 8, Jessley Bukeyeneza 8, Elijah Garcia 6, Euan Granath 4.

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