COOS BAY — Marshfield’s boys basketball team is headed to the state tournament.
The Pirates beat visiting Baker 61-44 on Saturday in the Class 4A playoffs to punch their ticket to the state tournament in Forest Grove, where they will face Newport in the quarterfinals Thursday after the Cubs beat Sutherlin on Saturday.
“I’m excited for Forest Grove,” said Marshfield’s Cory Stover, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds in Saturday’s win.
After a slow start Saturday against the short-handed Bulldogs, Marshfield took control with a 26-2 run that started midway through the first quarter and lasted into the final minute of the second. When the Pirates started the second half on a 10-2 run, the only two questions seemed to be what the final score would be and if Baker would still have five players on the floor.
The Bulldogs started with just seven and found themselves in massive foul trouble. They played the final 13 seconds with just four, and one of those had four fouls.
Marshfield’s Chase Howerton said Baker’s short bench played into Marshfield’s game plan.
“We did a good job driving in,” he said. “We knew they didn’t have many players. We wanted to get them in foul trouble.”
The Pirates scored in a variety of ways with a variety of players. Stover scored on rebounds or passes from teammates. Grant Woolsey hit 3-pointers. Grant Webster scored in the key. Jordy Miles scored on drives. Howerton scored on fast breaks off turnovers.
“We were rusty at first and then I thought we really got rolling,” Marshfield coach Doug Miles said.
Meanwhile the defense was stellar, ironically with a zone technique.
“That’s the most zone I’ve played in years,” Miles said. “We were going to try it out.”
When Baker struggled against it, Miles stuck with it.
“We’ll do whatever it takes,” he said.
After jumping to a 6-2 lead, Baker only got one more field goal the entire first half. That came late in the first quarter and the Bulldogs didn’t get another until 2:35 remained in the third. By then, they were facing a 38-16 deficit.
Baker finally got shots to go in the fourth, but it was far too late then.
Woolsey joined Stover with 12 points, Webster added 11 and Howerton eight.
Cayn Osborn had 13 points for Baker. Gabe Bambleton had nine and Riley Flanagan and Kaden Sand eight each.
Along with the easy win, the Pirates got to experience the playoff atmosphere.
“Playoff basketball is a lot more intense,” Howerton said. “It was a good experience. It got us ready for the next round.”
“That was a good team,” he said. “It will get us ready for next week.”
Marshfield is the No. 3 seed in Forest Grove, and Miles likes the Pirates’ chances to make some noise, even though nearly all the key players are juniors and most will be at state for the first time.
“That’s going to be a good experience,” he said. “Anything is possible.
“I still think we are getting better every time out.”
Howerton described getting Saturday’s win and officially earning the trip to the tournament as “a big relief.”
“I’m excited,” he said. “I think we’re going to be prepared for it.”
Stover said the Pirates will take things one game at a time.
“The plan is to win our next game,” he said. “We need to bring our energy.”
Miles is looking forward to seeing how his squad does.
“I’m proud of this team,” he said.