Scappoose fights in loss to hot-shooting Seaside, too, as playoff time approaches

A slow start did not deter the Scappoose girls basketball team on its Tuesday visit to Tillamook.

As a result, the Indians figure to get at least one playoff game.

A 36-24 win at Tillamook all but assured Scappoose that it will be part of the Cowapa League playoffs. The Indians (2-5 in Cowapa play, 6-14 overall) are fifth with three games remaining. Their second win over the last-place Cheesemakers solidified that spot.

If Scappoose winds up fifth, it will travel for a league playoff game against the fourth-place team.

Before the playoffs arrive, though, the Indians will be tested by visits from the Cowapa's top two teams. On Friday, Banks (7-0 in Cowapa play, 19-2 overall) visits Scappoose. On Tuesday, Valley Catholic (5-2 in league, 15-6 overall) is the opponent for the Indians' final home game of the season.

Indians coach Joe Girres said his team can take confidence from Tuesday's win at Tillamook and from a close loss to Seaside on Feb. 2 into the home stretch.

"I do like the way our girls are playing here of late," Girres said. "Even though it's late in the season, we're coming together better than we ever have."

Examples of that were to be found both in Tuesday's 12-point win at Tillamook and in the 41-38 loss to Seaside on Feb. 2.

At Tillamook, Scappoose found itself in a 7-0 hole before turning to a full-court pressing defense and scoring the final 12 points of the first quarter.

"Once we were able to apply that pressure, the girls started playing with energy," Girres said. "I always tell them they're athletic girls, so once we applied the pressure, our athleticism started to show."

Senior guard Lea Brodala provided a spark with defensive intensity and scored five of her team-high nine points late in the opening quarter.

Up five points at halftime, the Indians limited the Cheesemakers to 10 second-half points.

Seven players scored for Scappoose at Tillamook. In addition to Brodala's nine points, Kaylee Wegner and Emily Kopra scored six apiece, Shaylan Smith and Payton Fisher added five apiece, Sierra Stafford had three and Allison Wills two.

Seaside 41, Scappoose 38

In the Feb. 2 home game against the Gulls, the Indians couldn't quite dig themselves out of a double-digit hole.

Trailing by 11 after three quarters, Scappoose held Seaside without a field goal in the fourth quarter and pulled within a single point, but couldn't get over the top.

A 10-0 run got the Indians within 39-38, and they twice had possessions to take the lead, but turnovers on each denied Scappoose the chance to move ahead.

A couple of free throws extended the Seaside lead to three. Scappoose had a shot to tie the game on its final possession, but a 3-point attempt missed.

Stafford led a balanced Scappoose offense with nine points. Wegner and Brodala added seven apiece, Kopra had six, Fisher three and Smith two.

Girres said his team executed well to get good looks at the basket but missed too many of them to complete the comeback.

Despite the loss, the coach said his team showed a level of fight against Seaside that it had not previously shown.

"Seaside had some hot shooting early in the game and was able to ride that for the win," Girres said. "But I really like the way we executed down the stretch. I like the way we showed no panic. We kept playing hard, and we put ourselves in position to win the game, we just came up short."

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