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Lions lose late lead in 53-50 loss Tuesday; No. 9 Warriors run away from Indians

PAMPLIN MEDIA PHOTO: JIM BESEDA - Lions senior forward Jacob Falk, right, scores over Putnam freshman post Jeremy Devoe in the first half of St. Helens' 53-50 loss Tuesday in Milwaukie.When Putnam needed heroics against St. Helens Tuesday in Milwaukie, freshman post Jeremy Devoe and junior wing Brady Miller stepped in.

Devoe's go-ahead basket with 43 seconds left and Miller's pair of free throws at :14 sealed the Kingsmen's 53-50 win and their seventh defeat of the Lions in a row.

"Putnam came out and played hard for 32 minutes," said St. Helens coach Jordan Massinger, whose side last beat Putnam 60-58 at home Feb. 20, 2014. "Every night in our league is like a playoff game because everybody wants it. You've got to hand it to them for playing hard the whole game."

Junior post Ruben Onishchenko led Putnam (2-10 overall, 1-1 Northwest Oregon Conference) with 18 points as the Kingsmen trailed 46-42 with 4:30 left but sent the Lions (6-6, 0-2) to their sixth loss in seven road games after St. Helens fell 55-49 at Hillsboro (5-7, 1-1) Jan. 5.

Jacob Falk made two free throws and the Lions led 50-49 with 1:16 left, but Devoe, 6-foot-5, got a step on Falk, 6-foot-6, in isolation for a layup from the right and a 51-50 lead with :43 to play.

Trenton Minich's 3-pointer missed from the right corner and Joe Rea grabbed the rebound, but the putback did not fall. Devoe rebounded the miss, Miller sank two from the line and Putnam led 53-50 at :14.

Drake Dow tried to tie it with a 3 from the top but the horn sounded for the Kingsman win.

Falk scored a game-high 21 points and Dow added 15 after St. Helens fell behind 13-1 out of the gate.

The Lions trailed 24-20 at halftime and 38-35 through three quarters, but Rea's putback gave St. Helens its first lead, 42-40, at 6:09 in the fourth. Falk rebounded a Rea miss to lead 46-42 at 4:31, but the Kingsmen persisted.

"We gave Putnam too many easy looks," Massinger said. "I think our guys got a bit tired, so the Putnam players were going around us quite a bit. We tried to stop their ball screens with a little double-team, and we stopped them quite a bit, but we also let them have too many easy baskets."

St. Helens, nevertheless off to its strongest start since it went 14-11 and reached a Class 5A play-in in 2012-13, is scheduled next to host Parkrose (3-8, 2-0), which the Lions have not beaten since they bested the Broncos 57-38 Feb. 23, 2013, in Portland, at 7:15 p.m. Friday.

Parkrose scores 58 points against 67 per game while St. Helens puts up and gives up 63 and 64 respective points.

No. 9 Philomath girls scorch Scappoose

The Indians (4-8) could not get the better of the host Warriors as Philomath (8-4) sped to its fifth win in a row, 52-25, Tuesday.

Sixth-ranked visiting Cascade (8-4) also made the Tribe's life difficult, 45-26, for its fourth win in a row Jan. 5.

Scappoose is scheduled for a break from elite teams as it's scheduled to play at Gladstone (3-10) at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

The Indians score 37 points against 47 per game while all-Tri-Valley Conference senior guard Grace Campbell and the Gladiators put up and give up 36 and 43 respective points.

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