Scappoose falls on the road 79-72 at the hands of Cascade, knocking the Tribe from the playoffs

A season of dramatic ups and downs for the Scappoose boys' basketball team finally come to an end, closing on the road at Cascade High School after a 79-72 loss in the play-in round of the OSAA Class 4A playoffs on March 1.

Scappoose (13-13, 5-5 Cowapa) trailed at halftime and made a big push in the third quarter, but couldn't manage to stop the Cascade offense down the stretch, falling by seven points and dropping out of contention for the 16-team championship bracket.

The Indians survived a scare late in the season when they dropped four consecutive games between Feb. 11 and Feb. 18, and fell from second to fourth in the Cowapa League standings. It took a win over Astoria in the season finale and a league playoff win over Seaside to force the Indians' berth in the play-in round.

It's the first year in several tries that Scappoose hasn't wrapped up a conference title, but an influx of youth and strong performances from several underclassmen standouts give the program's future a considerably brighter tint. The Indians will lose six seniors from their varsity squad, including starting point guard Taylor Loss and the crunch-time star Mitch Davis. Guards Tracy Scruggs, Sam Margheim and Isaiah O'Brien, and post Will Sprute will also be graduating this spring, opening up opportunities for the younger generation to step up.

Likely leading that charge will be the soft shooting touch and relentless rebounding edge of six-foot-four junior Chase Johnson, who led the Indians in scoring in many of their games this season. Scappoose will also welcome the return of six-foot-eight post Ethan Marcantonio and Jacob Wendelschafer, who handled much of the backup point guard duties when Loss was on the bench. Jake Ford and Robby Backus are also juniors set to return, along with sophomore Ian Donaldson and freshman Boogie Davis, who saw limited time with the varsity squad as the only freshman to make the JV team.