Molly Webster leads the charge in a 34-29 upset

The upstart Gladstone Gladiators upped their stock in Class 4A high school girls basketball on Jan. 10, knocking off sixth-ranked Banks 34-29.

It was the lowest scoring game of the year and only the third loss in 13 games for the Braves, who entered the contest averaging better than 54 points an outing.

Trailing 25-22, the Gladiators put the Braves away in the fourth quarter, when they outscored their guests 12-4.

Sophomore Molly Webster had a big night for the Gladiators, scoring a game-high 13 points, hauling down 10 rebounds, and stealing the sphere three times.

Melisa Campos (8 points) hit two big 3-point baskets and sparked the Gladiator offense with three assists.

The Gladiators pulled off the upset despite ice-cold shooting from both the field (11-for-37, .297) and from the free-throw line (9-of-20, .450).

In another game last week, Webster scored a season-high 22 points to lead the Gladiators in a 54-45 win over Tillamook.

The Tillamook game was a lot more one-sided than the score might indicate, as Gladstone coeds built a 24-11 lead in the first quarter and a 36-17 advantage by halftime. They pulled away with sharp shooting over Tillamook’s zone, hitting nine 3-point baskets.

Webster hit three treys, made six assists, hauled down seven rebounds and made six steals.

Nichole Petersen also hit three treys and added 11 points.

Mikaela Simac helped open up the lead with five steals and four assists.

Tillamook 6-2 post Keleigh Hoopes helped close the gap in the third quarter when she scored 16 of her game-high 28 points. Hoopes was a hot-handed 10-of-11 from the free-throw line.

The unheralded Gladiators (6-5) were to open Tri-Valley Conference play on Tuesday (Jan. 15), playing fourth-ranked La Salle (10-3) on the road. Gladstone travels to Estacada (4-7) on Friday, and the Gladiators host Molalla (4-9) next Tuesday.

Glad guys are

hot and cold

Gladstone won two of three games in boys basketball last week.

The Gladiators were impressive on Friday, when they earned a 51-38 win over Yamhill-Carlton, and on Jan. 8, when they dropped Tillamook 51-38. But Gladstone coach Ted Yates said his charges left a lot to be desired on Jan. 10, when they got outscored 18-10 in the fourth quarter of a 44-39 loss to Banks.

“Yamhill-Carlton was a lot better team than the Banks team we lost to the night before,” Yates said. “They beat Central earlier in the week, when Central was ranked No. 2.”

The Gladiators pulled away from Yamhill-Carlton in the second half, when they outscored their guests 32-18.

“We defended a lot better,” Yates said. “We started pressing midway through the third quarter and they only made six field goals in the second half. We also made our free throws. We were 8-of-10 from the line in the fourth quarter.”

Junior forward Ryun Gibson scored a game-high 17 points. Sophomore Handsome Smith sparked the offense with six assists and eight points. Senior Kobe Williams was tough on the backboards, corralling nine rebounds.

Yates said of the Banks game: “We came out and played like we were disinterested. Our energy level was low.”

The Gladiators ran out of gas in the fourth quarter, when they found the mark on only three of 21 shots from the floor. Meanwhile the Braves salted the game away with 12-for-19 free throw shooting in the final period.

No one from Gladstone reached double figures in scoring.

The Tillamook game was over early. Gladstone built a 20-4 advantage in the first quarter, and coasted home from there.

The Gladiators rallied around their defense to break the game open, forcing 28 turnovers. Michael Stoutt, Handsome Smith and Jacob Kelly had 12 steals between them.

Stoutt (15 points, 3 assists), Smith (14 points, 6 assists) and Kelly (10 points) headed up the Gladiator offense.

Ranked 13th in the state, Gladstone guys were to begin Tri-Valley Conference play this week, hosting third-ranked La Salle (13-1) on Tuesday (Jan. 15), and playing Estacada (4-6) on the road on Friday. In games last week, La Salle defeated No. 3 Central 47-28 and fifth-ranked Astoria 58-35.

“We haven’t peaked yet,” Yates said. “We’re not a finished product by any means. But we’re getting closer....”

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