Scappoose boys basketball beats Hillsboro, wins second straight
Off the schneid at last, after suffering through a miserable 24-game losing streak that spanned two seasons, the Scappoose boys' basketball team is enjoying a sea change of success.
The Indians not only have won three of their last four games, but they beat Hillsboro 58-53 on the road on Jan. 14 to open Northwest Oregon Conference play to move their record to 4-8 overall and 1-0 in league. This, after going winless in the NWOC a year ago. On Friday, Scappoose hosts Columbia County rival St. Helens at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. The Lions are afflicted with a dry spell of their own, having not won a contest this season. The Indians could justifiably start the league slate 2-0 before taking on a four-game gauntlet of Milwaukie, Wilsonville, La Salle and Parkrose the following two weeks.
Head coach Matthew Humphreys had a hunch Scappoose was about to turn the proverbial corner. The Indians have familiarized themselves with Humphreys' coaching methods and housed more and more practices together. Continuity and confidence are invaluable traits to a team, both of which are pushing Scappoose to this surprising start.
"The boys continue to work hard at practice and focus on better execution," Humphreys said. "I think that we are improving and learning how to compete better. I think that if we can combine effort, with better execution that we will have some chances to win some games."
Humphreys also pointed to Scappoose's tougher than normal non-league schedule where they took on state powerhouses such as Seaside, Corvallis and Thurston who helped thicken the Indians' skin.
"We did not win those games but found times where we were very competitive," Humphreys said. "We try to take confidence from those moments and apply that mentality."
Scappoose beat The Dalles, 61-60, in its non-league finale. Kyle Negelspach scored a game-high 28 points. Jake Boyle did a nice job getting the Indians into their offense, according to Humphreys. Luke McNabb showed off his versatility, scoring inside and outside. Logan Johnson came off the bench and made some nice contributions.
The chance to move to 2-0 in league before taking on the NWOC's best is enticing, of course. Beating the cross-county rival they see all the time during the season and in the offseason is incentive enough. But that's all Scappoose is focused on, the next game on the schedule. The Indians aren't itching to look past anybody and they surely aren't getting too big for their britches.
"I don't have expectations in terms of wins and losses," Humphreys said. "The team is focusing on executing offense and defense better while getting in the best condition possible. We will focus on those things and see where it gets us."
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