Estacada turns physical, as the Rangers rally to steal a 40-37 victory

GLADSTONE - The ever-improving, youthful Gladstone Gladiators watched their season come to an end on Feb. 21, when Estacada got away with a mugging and stole a 40-37 victory in a Capital Conference boys basketball fifth-place tie-breaking game at Gladstone.

Nursing a 5-point lead with four minutes to play, the Gladiators spread the floor. The play then turned brutal, as the Rangers turned attack-dog, stealing the ball and the victory.

'It got pretty physical,' said Gladstone coach Ted Yates. 'Our kids were getting knocked down and there were no calls.'

The Gladiators had eight turnovers in the game and five of them came in the final five minutes of play.

Joey Swan was big for the Rangers down the stretch. His late fourth-quarter 3-pointer cut Gladstone's lead to 2 points, and he tallied 13 points on the night.

Shane Adams had a career night for the Gladiators. The 5-10 junior guard scored a season-high 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting, with two 3-pointers.

Nick Maszy and Taylor Taft led the Glads to a 19-16 edge on the backboards; Andy Applebee (3 steals) headed a defensive effort that forced 13 turnovers.

But the Rangers had one of their better shooting nights of the year, knocking down 12-of-21 field goals.

The Rangers were 14-of-21 from the free-throw line, while the Gladiators were 2-of-7.

'It wasn't for lack of effort [that we lost the game],' said Yates. 'The kids played hard.'

Glads return intact in 2007-08

Next year looks promising for the Gladiators, because they did not have a senior on this year's varsity roster.

However Yates was only cautiously optimistic.

'We return everyone, but it won't mean anything if they think we're going to be better just because we're seniors,' said Yates. 'We've still got a lot of work to do.'

Yates said off-season work on shooting and in the weight room will determine the degree of success the Gladiators experience in 2007-08.

The Glads finished the 2006-07 season with a 4-8 record in league and a 6-18 record overall. But they were competing with the top teams in the Capital Conference by season's end.

They gave conference co-champions Stayton and Cascade a run for their money in recent games.

They were within a point of Stayton with seconds remaining in a Feb. 16 game with the Eagles; and they were within 4 points of Cascade midway through the third quarter of last week's game at Cascade.

Abysmal shooting cost the Gladiators at Cascade. The Gladiators were only 7-of-39 (18 percent) from the field in a 41-23 loss. The Eagles were 16-of-27 (59 percent) from the field.

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