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Senior Derek Pederson led the Indians with 19 and 16 points in nonleague losses

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Molalla senior Derek Pederson drives to the basket against Colton senior Wyatt Earls.

Playing two of the top programs in Class 4A, Molalla was not favored in either of its games last week.

But that did not make the results any less disappointing for first-year coach Scott Thompson.

"The record is not what I was hoping for or what we want," Thompson said of the Indians 1-3 start. "I was thinking that we would at least be 2-2 and hoping that we would have stolen one this week. I know Woodburn and Stayton are both good programs and teams. We practice to win, we prepare to win and we play to win."

In Monday's 78-59 loss to Stayton, the Indians led 34-33 at halftime, but were then outscored 22-7 in the third quarter.

It was not Molalla's first ugly third quarter of the season. The Indians also struggled after halftime in a 50-35 loss at Riverdale on Dec. 4.

"We've got to go out and attack at the start of the third quarter," Thompson said. "I've got to be making adjustments or be aware of adjustments that the other team is going to make."

In Wednesday's 58-43 loss to Woodburn, the Indians actually won the third quarter, but were outscored 14-8 in the fourth.

"We were right there until the start of the fourth quarter," Campbell said. "I was humbled and reminded that winning is hard. You've got to battle and prepare and sometimes the ball has to bounce your way."

After finishing with a 2-20 record last season, Molalla also has to learn how to win.

"I think some of the guys are really getting what we're trying to do and they've embraced it and they've enjoyed the challenge and some of the guys I think are still checking it out," Campbell said. "We expect to go out and win every single game. That is our goal."

Derek Pederson led Molalla in both games. The senior forward had 19 points, four rebounds and three steals against Stayton. He finished with 16 points and four rebounds versus Woodburn.

Senior Mason Simpson had 12 points against Stayton and 10 versus Woodburn.

"They are playing very well for us as captains and leaders," Thompson said. "I believe in order for us to win any game, they have to play well."

Seniors Afanasy Kutsev and Ty Bauge have also stepped up.

"They are hitting the next gear in their game," Thompson said. "They're starting to seperate themselves as guys that are going to see more playing time, I would expect. The good thing is I believe that all of our guys continue to fight and provide great effort and our grinding away. There's no quit. As long as we can have that we're going to put ourselves in a good place."


Derek Wiley
Reporter
503-263-6831
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