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Gladiators stun Madras, drop an overtime heartbreaker to Molalla

The upstart Gladstone Gladiators last week continued to prove themselves as good as any team in Tri-Valley Conference boys basketball, rallying to drop then 11th-ranked Madras 57-53 on Friday, after taking 14th-ranked Molalla to overtime in a 41-39 loss in a Jan. 23 game at Molalla.

“It was our best win of the year....,” Gladstone coach Ted Yates said, following the win over the Madras White Buffaloes. “The keys for us were half-court defense and rebounding, and we executed better in our half-court offense than Madras did.”

Trailing 36-26 at halftime of the Madras game, the Gladiators rallied back to knot the score at 47-47 by the end of the third stanza. They gained the lead for good with 2:30 to play, and made enough free throws and claimed enough rebounds down the stretch to earn the win.

“We adjusted to their quickness and got a few more steals and putbacks,” Yates said of the second-half rally.

Ryun Gibson and Michael Stoutt played huge roles in the Gladiator win. Gibson battled tough on the inside, scoring a game-high 19 points on 9-for-12 shooting, and claiming nine rebounds. Stoutt tallied 18 points, assisted on four baskets, and stole the ball four times.

Yates said that his Gladiators dominated the backboards over the tall, athletic White Buffaloes, with Gibson, Kobe Williams, Jacob Kelly and Trevor Browning leading the effort.

Madras had a balanced offensive attack, led by 6-2 senior post Jhaylen Yeahquo (18 points), 5-8 sophomore guard Jared Pichette (15 points) and 6-1 senior wing Steele Haugen (14 points).

Someone put a lid on Gladstone’s basket in the fourth quarter of the Molalla game. Gladstone outscored Molalla 21-6 in the third quarter to build a 36-32 advantage heading into the final period. But the Gladiators went 0-for-8 from the field in the fourth quarter, and the Indians rallied to the 41-39 overtime win.

Emmanuel Ramos made a rebound basket with 20 seconds remaining for the only scoring in the overtime.

“They left their zone and started playing us man in the fourth quarter, and for some reason we stopped making baskets,” Yates said.

Yates said his Gladiators turned more patient on offense in the third stanza, when they rallied from a 26-15 halftime deficit.

Ramos (11 points) and Ryan Potter (11 points) led a balanced Indian attack.

Gibson scored a game-high 14 points and Stoutt tallied 10 points in the losing effort. Gibson also hauled down 12 rebounds and he sparked the offense with five assists.

Yates lauded Gibson for his defensive play on Molalla 6-7 post Bradley Hagaman. Hagaman had eight points on the night.

Molalla (11-6, 3-1) finished last week second to La Salle (17-1, 4-0) in the TVC standings. Gladstone (9-6, 2-2) and Madras (11-7, 2-2) were tied for third place. Gladstone was to conclude the first half of the league season on Jan. 29, playing North Marion (6-12, 1-3) on the road.

The Gladiators clash with cross-town rival La Salle, at La Salle, next Tuesday.

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