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Boys basketball: Indians make way for 'Wendy'

Jacob Wendelschafer takes over the offensive reins

Photo Credit: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Jacob Wendelschafer cuts through the Banks defense on his way to the hoop during the Indians 54-30 win over the Braves on Tuesday night. Wendelschafer has been given a longer leash from Head Coach Rahim Tufts - long enough that the players get to run their own offense.Following the Indians' heartbreaking finish last Friday night, the Scappoose boys basketball team might have had some reason to fret when looking forward at the approaching second half of Cowapa League play. The league is the only Class 4A conference in which there are four teams ranked in the top-15, and with a double overtime loss to Tillamook now in the books, Scappoose sat at 1-3 in league play.

But it still wasn't panic mode. The Indians rebounded to trounce Banks 54-30 on Tuesday evening, moving into a three-way tie for third in the Cowapa League standings at the halfway mark of the conference schedule.

“Watching film, we're doing good things, we're getting good looks and playing good defense. In those losses, we're holding teams down,” Tribe Head Coach Rahim Tufts said, taking a moment to point out the excellent defensive numbers against Seaside and Tillamook — whom the Indians held below their average in regulation. “They're averaging a lot of points, so defensively no adjustments. Offensively we need to loosen up a little bit.”

The “loose-ness” comes by way of a deepening confidence in the team and senior point guard Jacob Wendelschafer, who had 22 points against Tillamook last Friday. Tufts has decided to step back on the offensive side, and simply watch the fireworks.

“We're shooting it a little bit better, and just from a philosophical standpoint, offensively I'm letting them make decisions,” Tufts said after the win over Banks. “I said, 'Wendelschafer, here's the ball. You can run whatever offense you want. Defensively is my thing. I'm going to yell, and we're going to be excited. Yelling positive encouragement. Get pumped. Offensively, I'm not really saying a word. You guys just go play.'”

The change has been evident over the last several weeks, as Scappoose has improved their scoring numbers by more than 17 points in comparison to the first two games of league play. It's a freedom Tufts has awarded to other point guards in the past, but never this up front.

“Right now, I'm telling the whole team, 'Offensively is you. Go, play. Go have fun, and then if I see adjustments, then I'll make adjustments. Just go play,'” said Tufts, adding that the whole idea is built on trust.

“And leadership, and we've got a lot of different weapons” he said. “I think in anything we run on offense, we're going to end up getting good looks.”

Against Banks, the offense had scoring input from 10 different players. McNabb led with 10 points, but the Indians got solid contributions from up and down the roster. Scappoose jumped out to a 15-2 lead in the first quarter, and cruised to a 27-9 halftime lead after McNabb beat the halftime buzzer.

The Tillamook game was entirely the opposite. Robby Backus, Jake Ford and Ethan Marcantonio combined for 16 of the Indians' 72 points, while the rest came from Wendelschafer, McNabb and Chase Johnson.

A red-hot start from Wendelschafer gave Scappoose a huge boost in the first quarter against the Cheesemakers, leading 23-12 after the first period behind 10 points from the senior point guard. Tillamook responded with a wild second quarter to take a lead at halftime, and rallied from a four-point deficit to force extra periods, where Tillamook seniors Zane Wright and Trent Meyer hit a combined 14 free throws and scored 19 of the Cheesemakers' 25 overtime points.

Wright finished with a game-high 32 points in the win for Tillamook, which had the Cheesemakers perfect until falling 69-60 at Seaside on Tuesday evening. Scappoose will host Seaside (12-7, 4-1 Cowapa) on Friday night at 7 p.m.


Tillamook 83, Scappoose 72 (2OT)

SCAP 23 9 15 11 14 — 72

TILL 12 25 6 15 25 83

Scoring: Wendelschafer 22, Backus 2, Ford 4, McNabb 17, Johnson 17, Marcantonio 10

Tillamook scoring: Meyer 22, Wright 32, Collett 3, Moore 2, Martindale 2, Maloney 4, Berg 18

Scappoose 54, Banks 30

SCAP 15 12 9 18 — 54

BANK 5 4 13 8 — 30

Scoring: Wendelschafer 9, Oslin 2, Backus 2, Fazio 5, Lohman 7, Nelson 2, McNabb 10, Ford 7, Marcantonio 2, Johnson 8