Squad beats Wilsonville after turning its season around

The Estacada seventh grade boys basketball team got off to a rough start this season, but was able to turn it around and win the league championship on Friday. Feb. 22.

For the first half of the season, the team struggled and lost all of its games. That all started to change when it faced off against Wilsonville, which lead the league.

At that point, Wilsonville was undefeated and averaging more than 50 points per game. But the Rangers beat Wilsonville 23-22 for its first win of the season.

Once they got used to winning, the Rangers got on a roll, going undefeated for the season’s entire second half.

The final game, on Feb. 22, pitted the Rangers against Wilsonville once again. This time, the contest was held at River Mill, with Estacada winning 38-31.

Rivals throughout the season included teams from Beaverton, Milwaukie, Newberg, Lakeridge, Lake Oswego, Gladstone, West Linn and Putnam.

“All these schools are so much larger than us,” coach Dick Stiles said. “That’s a tough, tough league. But our philosophy is, defense wins games and offense tells you by how much.”

Stiles has two grandsons on the team, Gavin and Tom. That inspired him to “come out of mothballs to help coach.”

He was aided in his efforts by Tom Turner. A 1964 graduate of Estacada High School, Turner set a record for making 107 free throws in a row. Turner worked with the kids on that aspect of their game, upping their free throw percentage to 68 percent and helping them to become the league champions.

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