Cubs shock Stayton, but lead fades fast

Forward Matt Beaudry kept the ball moving for Newport as the Cubs exploded to an early lead, but Stayton battened the hatches and kept the six-five Beaudry scoreless Friday. (Photo by Rick Beasley)

NEWPORT — The Newport Cubs came out shooting Friday, shocking the No. 3 state-ranked Eagles in the opening minutes of an Oregon West Conference double-header.

But the lead faded fast as Stayton, now 8-0 in league, used its towering starting-five to frustrate Newport’s shooting game while running away to a 50-28 win.

Three out of four Stayton players stretched the tape to six feet and well beyond — a man-to-man advantage of eight feet over the Cubs, according to roster figures. But Newport Coach Doug Swain, whose boys are 2-6 in league, was scrappy as he described the challenge.

“They’re talented, well coached and big, but they’re ugly,” quipped Sain, whose game plan depended on zone defense, a “patient” offense and in-you-face slap-downs under Stayton’s basket. “If we can do well on the inside and the outside, we might just tackle ‘em.”

Riding a seven-game winning streak, Stayton took the court like they’d already won. The brashness faded quickly, however, after Newport’s Fred Hidalgo made the first strike with an arching three-pointer, followed by Brian Plechaty who rushed the net to make it 5-0.

By the time Brian Tapia added three more from the corner, Stayton recovered from the opening shock and got the range on the Cubs. Narrowing the Cubs’ defensive perimeter with pressure passes and well-timed attacks, Stayton posted 12 points in the final five minutes of the opening period. The game was 12-8 at the buzzer.

Armed with an anemic lead, Stayton focused on Newport lead scorer Justin Plechaty, who was tripped, shoved and body-slammed as he looked for gaps in the Eagle key. It was just as well, as the 6-3 senior went four-for-four from the charity stripe in the second period. The half ended with Stayton building its cushion to 28-18, anyway.

The end came abruptly in the fourth period as Stayton completely shut down the Cub offense, though it never released the bench until the final two minutes of play.

Newport’s next home game is Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. when the Cubs (2-6 in league, 9-11 overall) host Cascade (2-5 league, 10-8 overall). In their first meeting Jan. 15, Newport bested the Cougars 71-59.

NEWPORT  8 10 10 0 - 28

STAYTON  12 13 16 8 - 50

Newport: F. Hidalgo 6, K. Bruns 1, J. Plechaty 11, B. Tapia 8, Q. Travis 2

Stayton: Butler 3, Rash 2, Nichols 10, Anundi 12, Jenkins 11, Whieldon 1, Classen 11

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