Indians have done everything they set out to do so far
by: Self-portrait Sports Editor John Brewington

The Scappoose Indians boys' basketball team deserves to be commended for the way they have handled this basketball season.

Coach Rahim and #8200;Tufts is in his first year at the helm of the Tribe and he's done a fantastic job.

The Indians' started the season with a convincing win over local rival St. Helens and went on to a 20-6 record. Most of those losses came against top 10, and really top five teams. They lost to Central, the top-ranked OSAA team, by just three points. They led in that game.

They lost to one-time No. 1 and #8200;Seaside by one in their first meeting, then beat them twice to win the league championship. The Indians have been in all but a couple early season games.

It's fun to watch Tufts work. He knows when to call a timeout and has a lot of faith in his team.

The team themselves by all accounts is a tight-knit squad with more a group ego than individual ones.

I've never seen them get down on one another or panic when behind.

They don't seem to let adversity bother them and just forge ahead. They're always looking for the open player, or getting the ball to the hot player of the moment.

Much of the time that's been Blake Updike or Zach Smith taking the initiative, but they have no qualms about dishing the ball off for an assist. Joe Nelson has come up big lately, and others like Cody Stutzer, Paul and #8200;Revis, Shawn Moffett and Eric Raya have their roles to fulfill as well.

Scappoose is a true team, and they seem to know it.

They don't have a big tall post in the middle to dominate things, but they have dead-eye shooting and a lot of quickness.

Tufts has adapted well to the talent he has, and that's a sign of a great coach.

I've been watching high school teams for a long time and I don't think I've ever seen one as focused and as unflappable as this one.

Tufts always says what a joy it is to work with this group, and it's evident in their interaction with him and each other.

They're out there having fun. What more could you want for a team?

What they want now is to see how deep they can go in the 4A state playoffs. Winning league and a play-in game to move onto state was their goal this season.

How will they do? Nothing is for certain. Scappoose has shown they can play with the top teams in state and win or come close. The Indians travel to North Bend for a 1 p.m. game this Saturday. North Bend is physically a team much like Scappoose. They have similar records.

North and #8200;Bend is ranked higher because the ranking system penalizes teams if their league is weak overall. Sorry, but all in all, the Cowapa League is not that strong.

The officiating may play a role and it's hard to know how good the officials will be.

However, the fans will probably be more nervous than the players. I expect Scappoose will take the game in stride, do everything they can to win, and let the chips fall where they may.

If the Indians pull off a win, they advance to the tournament at Gil Coliseum in and #8200;Corvallis the following week. There will just be eight teams left.

The state is pretty open this year.

Regardless where Scappoose finishes, they have a lot to be proud of this season. Congratulations on a job well done.

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