Glad comeback falls just short
Gladiators rally back from a 17-point late-game deficit, but Molalla prevails
GLADSTONE - Trailing 37-20 near the midpoint of the third period, the Gladstone Gladiators staged a spectacular comeback and nearly rallied to beat Molalla in their Capital Conference boys basketball opener, played here Friday.
The Indians prevailed 56-52, but they had their hands full in hanging on for the victory.
When Gladstone junior guard Taylor Taft hit two free throws two minutes into the fourth quarter it put Gladstone on top 42-41, earning the Gladiators their first lead of the game.
The two teams then traded baskets until Molalla star Tarrance Glynn sank a pair of gifters with just under a minute to play to put the Indians up for good, at 52-50.
'We played with no confidence in the first half,' said Gladstone coach Ted Yates. 'In the second half, we got after it. It was a tremendous effort. It was as good as I've seen since I've been [at Gladstone].'
The Gladiators struggled to find the basket in the early going. They were 2-of-12 from the field in the first quarter.
Gladstone trailed 13-8 at the end of the first quarter and 29-18 at halftime.
The Gladiators forced turnovers and ran a more patient offense in the second half, as they rallied back.
They were 9-of-15 from the field in the third period. They made only three field goals in the fourth quarter, but they were 8-of-8 from the free throw line in the period.
The Gladiators forced 21 turnovers, while committing only nine turnovers themselves.
But the taller Indians dominated the backboards.
'Rebounding was where we lost the game,' said Yates. 'Molalla had 19 offensive rebounds.'
Glynn and Casey Newton, two 6-5 big-men, headed the effort for the Indians. Glynn came through with a game-high 17 points and 16 rebounds; Newton scored 13 points and had 11 rebounds.
Taft (12 points) headed a balanced offensive effort for Gladstone. Taft also led the defensive effort, with four steals.
The Gladiators (7-6, 0-1) rebounded from Friday's loss to drop Banks 48-40 in a non-league game played on Saturday.
The Gladiators went up 14-9 in the first period and they were in the driver's seat the rest of the way.
'We played a little tired after Friday, but we moved the ball a lot better,' said Yates.
Taft (11 points), Andy Applebee (11 points) and Dueford Adams (5 assists) headed up the offense.
The Gladiators had 13 assists on 16 field goals.
'We've had some pretty tough competition [in non-league games], and I think we're better because of it,' Yates said. 'All of our losses in preseason have been to teams ranked in the top 10 in the state.'
The Gladiators return to Capital Conference play this Friday, when they entertain Estacada (4-7, 0-1).
COTTAGE GROVE - Gladstone High School hoopsters split in a boys basketball tournament here Dec. 28-29, bouncing back from a tough 56-53 loss to Sweet Home to bury Douglas 72-44.
The Gladiators put Douglas away early, out-scoring the Trojans 24-6 in the first quarter.
'They couldn't handle our defensive pressure and we killed them on the boards,' said Gladstone coach Ted Yates.
The Gladiators also had a strong passing game, with 21 assists on 28 baskets.
Evan Muffenbier (14 points) led four Gladiators who reached double figures in scoring.
Dueford Adams came through with six assists; Bubba Armstrong and Jake Chappell corralled nine rebounds apiece; Willy Yates came through with 11 points and three steals.
Ted Yates said that his Gladiators would have beaten Sweet Home had it not been for the hot hand of 6-3 guard Gabe Kauffman. Kauffman hit four 3-pointers and he had a game-high 21 points on the night.
Chappell led the Gladiators with 18 points. He was 8-of-9 on 2-point field goals.