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Indians use full court pressure to win big at Country Christian Saturday night

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Molalla's Jake Noe drives to the basket against Country Christian guard Mark Grandle Saturday.

Molalla boys basketball coach Scott Campbell wants to create good habits.

One quarter at a time.

"We had some statistical goals every quarter," Campbell said Saturday after the Indians 56-35 win at Country Christian. "Every quarter we needed to have five deflections, five offensive rebounds and shoot a minimum of five free throws and we hit that three of the four quarters."

The one quarter Molalla did not achieve its goal was the first, when the Indians trailed 12-11 after a layup by Country Christian sophomore Cooper Halverson with 35 seconds remaining.

Mark Grandle gave the Cougars a 19-18 lead midway through the second quarter. But back-to-back 3-pointers by Molalla's Jake Noe and Ty Bauge, followed by 3-point play from Jacob Watson gave the Indians a 27-20 lead.

"I told them I'm not calling any timeouts in this game," Campbell said. "We've got to work through tough spots and not use timeouts to bail us out. The guys responded well in the second half."

The Indians outscored Country Christian 16-5 in the third quarter to extend its lead to 47-27.

"We just did a full court man and played hard," Campbell said. "We're trying to establish good habits and a fight within ourselves. Playing full court man kind of shows you where you're at."

The Cougars, who have struggled with turnovers this season, could not handle Molalla's pressure.

"Their pressure got to us in the third quarter and the turnovers and lack of possessions for us and a lot of them turned into easy points for them," Country Christian coach Dawson Nofziger said. "That's one thing we've been struggling with all season. We're getting better.

"That's a tough team. Big guards and they play aggressive. But it was good for our young guys to see that. That's what we're trying to instill in this program is tough, aggressive, defense."

Campbell had one more goal in mind for the fourth quarter, challenging the Indians to hold Country Christian to under nine points.

The Cougars scored eight as Rhett Johnson went 1-for-2 from the free throw line in the final seconds.

"If he would have made both free throws we would have had consequences on Monday," Campbell said.

Derek Pederson, whose buzzer beater in double overtime the night before earned the Indians a 67-65 win over Estacada, had 15 points at Country Christian before leaving early in the fourth quarter after falling on his right shooting wrist.

Halverson scored 12 points to lead the Cougars, who fell to 5-12 with the loss.

"We're getting better each day," Nofziger said. "Things are looking up. We're figuring it out."

Molalla improved to 4-11 with the victory.

"We're finally starting to see what I hoped would happen earlier, some separation with the guys that are going to be in our long term rotation," Campbell said. "I'm seeing guys that are continuing to work hard, show up and play well."

Derek Wiley
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