Bandon’s boys basketball team started the second half of the league season just like it started the first, with an overtime loss to one of the top clubs.
The Tigers fell at Toledo 73-60 on Tuesday. After rallying to tie the league-leading Boomers and force the extra session, Bandon failed to score in the overtime period.
The Tigers opened Sunset Conference play with an overtime loss at home to Reedsport and followed that with several other close losses before getting their first league win Friday night at Myrtle Point.
On Tuesday, they nearly stretched that win streak to two games an put themselves in position to get back into what could be a tight league race.
“It was another gutty performance,” coach Matt Angove said. “So proud of how they are playing together and leaving everything on the floor.”
The Tigers were hampered by foul trouble on a night when Toledo shot 22 free throws and Bandon just four. Braydon Freitag picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter and Jason Wilhite fouled out at the start of overtime.
Toledo went 9-for-9 from the line in the extra session to pull away for the win.
Freitag scored 27 points to lead Bandon, while Matt Yarbor had 16 and Wilhite nine. Yarbor and Wilhite both hit big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help the Tigers force overtime.
The Tigers were coming off a big offensive performance in a 72-44 win at Myrtle Point on Friday night.
Freitag had 39 points in that win, while Josh MInkler scored eight and Wilhite had seven.
Colby Gaston added five points in one of his better offensive nights since entering the starting lineup after Coby Smith went down with a broken hand.
“We finally put two good halves together,” Angove said of the win. “I’m proud of these kids. They keep working hard and never give up.”
Bandon missed a chance to get back into the league race when they couldn’t finish off the win at Toledo on Tuesday. Reedsport, which was second in the league at 4-1 at the midway point, lost to Waldport. The Brave still are second at 4-2, while Waldport and Gold Beach, which lost at Myrtle Point, are 3-3.
To get back into the top two and have a chance to advance to the playoffs, Bandon needs to win out and get help, but either way, the Tigers are improving with a roster that does not include any seniors.
Regardless of the final outcome for the season, Angove is proud of his squad.
"Since the first practice, we have had four varsity-level players quit and then lost Coby (to injury)," he said. "Throughout all of this, we have just stayed positive, continued teaching and preparing these young guys and trying to put them in a position to be successful.
"We stress every day to them to give it their all, to play together and to never give up. The two Toledo games show that, as we are down 21 and 13 at half and came back with a chance to win. The way these guys have stepped up and competed every night is amazing. Hopefully we continue to get better the next four games."
Bandon hosts Myrtle Point on Friday, the Tigers’ second game in a week against the Bobcats, before hosting Waldport on Tuesday. The game against Reedsport next Friday will be played at North Bend High School since Reedsport’s gym can’t be used because of damaged trusses.