Bandon’s boys are getting used to Matt Angove and Angove is getting used to his players in his return to coaching Bandon’s basketball team after several years away from the program.
The first week of games was relatively positive, all things considered.
Bandon lost its opener to a veteran Coquille squad 64-34 in a game that was much closer than the score indicates. The Tigers bounced back two days later to beat Riddle 41-36. And on Tuesday, Bandon fell to Pacific 66-32.
In one week, the Tigers went against one of the state’s best Class 3A squads and one of the top Class 1A teams and won their game against a fellow Class 2A program.
And that all came with just over two weeks practice under Angove.
“We’re going to get a lot better,” sophomore Coby Smith said, adding that he is confident the Tigers will be competitive when they get to the Sunset Conference season.
“We’re not in very good shape yet,” he said. “I think once we get in shape and have a little more time, we’ll be fine.
“Our focus is Jan. 12 when we open league with Reedsport. We have a lot to get done.”
The Tigers lost post player Austin Moore and sharpshooter Zane Olive to graduation, but return a relatively strong core with sophomores Smith and Braydon Freitag, juniors Walker Oman, Matt Yarbor and Jason Wilhite and seniors Ethan Wright and Owen Vineyard.
In the opener against Coquille Bandon was tied 8-all after the first quarter and cut an 11-point halftime lead to five late in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Smith. Coquille dominated the rest of the way, but the Tigers showed some promise on offense.
Smith and Yarbor combined for five 3-pointers while scoring 14 and 11 points, respectively, in the opener.
Against Riddle, Freitag had 15 points, Smith nine and Vineyard six.
When Bandon ran the offense, the points came, showing what the Tigers are capable of.
Against Pacific, cold shooting doomed the team. Wilhite led the way with nine points and Smith had seven.
Veteran Pacific coach Ben Stallard said the Tigers will get a bunch better.
“They ran some good offense,” he said. “The shots didn’t fall for them.
The Tigers are looking at every game as a valuable learning tool as they adjust to the new system.
“It’s a chance for us to get better,” Smith said.
Bandon hosts Days Creek on Tuesday and Oakridge on Friday next week before visiting Rogue River on Saturday.