Gladiators upset state champion Philomath in their last home game

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - The Indians can extend their win streak to three games on Friday in Gladstone.The Gladiators are streaky, and the Indians are becoming that way.

Scappoose (5-5 overall), unbeaten in their first two games of the new year, can try to make it three at 7 p.m. on Friday in Gladstone if winter weather allows.

"[The Gladiators (5-5)] have a lot of quick, crafty shooters that we need to keep an eye on and not leave them open," Indians junior guard Joey Wagenknecht said.

Philomath beat Gladstone 61-46 in last year's Class 4A state semifinals on the way to its third championship, and the Gladiators finished Scappoose in the third-/fifth-place game.

Gladstone erased a double-digit halftime deficit and upset the visiting Warriors on Friday, Jan. 6, for its fifth win in its last six games, and Scappoose is the next challenger.

Cody Aker is the Gladiators' reigning Tri-Valley Conference Coach of the Year, and 6-foot all-conference junior Lyric Warren scored 17 points against Philomath.

Six-foot-four senior forward Jose Rodriguez and sophomore guard Damian Zaines followed with 16 and 11 respective points.

Gladstone enjoys an average of 53 points per game against 52 allowed while the Indians put up 58 and give up 54.

Scappoose will try to follow a 63-46 win over Cascade (3-5) on Friday, Jan. 6, in Turner.

Wagenknecht and Jerad Toman went for 21 and 19 respective points, and Chris Bendle came up with nine points and 12 rebounds.

Six-foot-four junior forward Joseph Icovino led the Cougars with 12 points, but the Tribe's perimeter defense was airtight.

"We held [6-foot all-Oregon West Conference senior guard] Tyler Walker, their best player, to four points, which I was very pleased with," Powers said. "Gladstone is a very good team: They have had some nice wins against teams like Cascade, Tillamook, and Philomath, and they have some good shooters and play aggressively on defense. I am hoping the game happens, but we will see with all of this accumulation. We also play Philomath on Saturday [at home, rescheduled for 5:30 p.m. from Tuesday] if conditions permit, so it will be a nice back-to-back test for us."

Coach of the Year Blake Ecker, 6-foot-4 all-state senior forward Cal Stueve and the Warriors survived the visiting Indians 65-64 on Dec. 20, 2016.

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