COOS BAY -- North Salem's boys basketball team is headed to the championship game of the Les Schwab South Coast Holiday Basketball Tournament.
The Vikings blew past North Bend with a dominating second half, winning 70-42 after being tied going into the second quarter.
North Bend's Logan Lucero said his team didn't play its best against the deep-benched, quick-running Vikings.
'I think it was more us than them," he said. 'It's kind of hard, you know, we're seven guys deep, and we started running too much ... lazy passes and stuff."
North Bend coach Tom Nicholls said he thought the Bulldogs came out strong, but couldn't finish, giving up 26 points and committing 12 turnovers in the third quarter alone.
'I thought we played a fairly decent first half," he said. 'You kind of get a false sense of security, breaking the press easily, running the ball.
'In the middle of the third quarter we kind of shut down."
The Bulldogs were running quick and effective in the first quarter, only turning the ball over once while easily scoring past North Salem's full-court press.
North Bend was ahead 15-8 before Ricky Johal drained a 3-pointer for North Salem, and LJ Westbrook and Garrett Mueller sank back-to-back hoops to tie it 15-all at the end of one.
Westbrook said the Vikings' offense didn't start off so hot.
'As a team we broke down a little bit," he said. 'We're still in vacation mode.
'But we knew our offense would come. Our defense kept us in it."
In the second quarter, the Vikings tacked on foul after foul, sending North Bend into the bonus only two minutes in. But the Vikings' foul woes didn't hurt them much, as North Bend made only 4 of 15 from the charity stripe.
In a second quarter dominated by Westbrook's quick driving to the hoop and eight points, North Salem ran up a 31-23 edge by halftime after Avery Holmes drained a trey.
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs fell apart. North Bend couldn't stop turning the ball over during its press break, giving up two quick hoops after North Salem steals before Nicholls called a timeout 40 seconds in.
Kai Johnson answered with a score, but the Vikings ran off eight straight points before Johnson scored again. Then the Vikings scored 14 consecutive points, including a monster dunk from Holmes, who got fouled on the play and made the free throw, which just pumped the Vikings up more.
North Bend's Jackson Stump scored just before the end of the quarter, with the Bulldogs trailing 57-29.
'I don't know what happened. I was a little disappointed," Nicholls said.
North Bend tried to slow the Vikings in the fourth, but it did little good. Lucero hit a 3-pointer, but the deficit was too large to overcome.
Westbrook was excited to head to the championship game today after such a big victory.
'Pretty happy with how we did in the second through fourth quarters," he said. 'We've been working real hard in practice."
Lucero said he wasn't sure why the Bulldogs fell apart in the second half, but he said he knew what kept the game close early.
'We were running our offense better, I know that," he said. 'We were more calm."
For North Salem, Westbrook scored 20 points, and Holmes added 12.
Lucero led North Bend with 11 points and six rebounds, Jackson Stump added nine points and three boards and Johnson had eight points and six rebounds.
'Tomorrow's another day," Nicholls said of the third-place game against Marshfield. 'Put it behind you and move on."