Close loss in competitive game indicates progress this basketball season by Scappoose

FOR THE SPOTLIGHT: ROBERT HILSON - Payton Fisher goes for a layup for the Scappoose Indians in their Cowapa League playoff game against Astoria.Despite some missed opportunities, the Scappoose girls basketball season that ended with a four-point loss at Seaside on Monday seemed to be a step in the right direction.

Being in a competitive, 44-40 Cowapa League playoff game "is a testament to how far this program has come in the last year and a half," Scappoose coach Joe Girres says. "We are leaps and bounds ahead of where we were."

The Indians finished 6-18 overall and 2-8 in league. Competitive losses to Seaside, Valley Catholic and Astoria were evidence of progress, Girres says.

Scappoose and Seaside were tied 21-21 at halftime on Monday. The Indians had a three-point lead midway through the third quarter but were unable to convert several opportunities to stretch that advantage.

Seaside led 37-33 entering the fourth quarter and maintained its lead over the final eight minutes.

In the closing minutes, Scappoose failed to convert off a couple of Seaside turnovers. Had the Indians done so, the game might have turned in their favor.

Eight players scored for the Indians. Junior guard Sara Mills topped the list with seven points. Lea Brodala, Sierra Stafford, Emily Kopra and Shaylan Smith scored six points apiece. Allison Wills scored four points, Krystal Easterly three and Kaylee Wegner two.

Bryre Babbitt led Seaside, hitting four 3-pointers and scoring 16 points.

Players who will be back next season scored 29 Scappoose points. The Indians will graduate seniors Brodala, Easterly and Wegner, but the six juniors on this team should provide a strong core next season.

Nine freshmen and five sophomores played girls basketball this season for the Indians. Girres says he is excited about the improving participation in Scappoose girls basketball, including in middle school, which this year had strong participation among the fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade groups.

Throughout the season, Girres said the measuring stick for the 2017-18 Indians was how the players felt about their effort at the end of each game. He says the team could feel good about its effort at Seaside.

Astoria 56, Scappoose 39

On Feb. 15 and in the regular-season finale, the Indians played from behind throughout the game at Astoria.

Each quarter was competitive, but the Fishermen outscored the Indians in each onw to gradually construct a comfortable lead.

Mills led Scappoose with 17 points, hitting five 3-pointers.

Wegner scored six points, Brodala five and Smith four. Stafford, Kopra and Payton Fisher had two points apiece.

Freshman Kelsey Fausett led Astoria with 12 points.

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