COOS BAY — Top-ranked Marshfield can start planning in earnest for the Class 4A state basketball tournament. The Pirates beat Yamhill-Carlton 56-19 on Friday night to earn a second straight trip to the tournament at Forest Grove.
“I’m really excited because I’ve never (played in) the state tournament before,” said Marshfield’s McKayla Myrand, who joined the team this year after transferring from Bandon.
Myrand had a big role in Marshfield blowing Friday’s game open early, both with her shooting and with her defense.
She hit two early 3-pointers and Hailey Browning had another as Marshfield built an 18-7 first-quarter lead. Then the Pirates shut out the Tigers in the second quarter, going up 31-7 at the break, and they kept adding to the advantage the rest of the way.
Myrand said getting a big lead was the goal.
“Some teams are second-half teams,” she said. “We want to have a cushion.”
That was never an issue Friday, though things figure to get tougher at state. The Pirates face Valley Catholic at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Pacific University after the Valiants won at Madras on Friday night.
Banks, which beat Marshfield in last year’s semifinals, is on the same side of the bracket, facing Baker at 3:15 p.m. Baker knocked off Brookings-Harbor by a 73-55 score Friday.
Aside from Myrand, most of Marshfield’s key players were part of the club that placed fifth last winter.
“We know what it’s like,” Browning said. “It’s not all new.”
The Pirates will try to continue their regular game plan, forcing turnovers to limit the scoring of opponents and generate transition offense.
Yamhill-Carlton had nine turnovers in each of the first two quarters and eight in the third and finished with more turnovers (31) than shot attempts (26).
“Our defense was pretty good,” Browning said.
Good enough that Marshfield had a huge halftime lead despite shooting just 36 percent from the floor in the first two quarters.
Marshfield coach Bruce Bryant said he would like to see that number improve.
“We got a little impatient,” he said of Marshfield’s offense.
That led to somewhat stagnant scoring at times. But because of the defense, it didn’t matter.
“We weren’t losing ground,” he said.
Bryant left his starters and top reserves in until the final minutes so they could keep working on things since they’ve only had one other game the past two weeks.
By the end of the night, Browning had 13 points and Jazmin Chavez 12. Tess Garrett scored six of her eight in the second half and Myrand had all eight of hers among Marshfield’s first 15 points, though she also had six of the Pirates’ 17 steals.
Sadie Horne had eight points to lead Yamhill-Carlton.
Bryant said he was relieved to have Friday’s game in the books so he could start preparing for state.
“It was good to get that one out of the way,” he said. “We can start talking about what we want to work on next week.
“It’s a good opportunity.”
The crowd for Friday’s game might have been a little bigger because of the Class 3A state tournament in town. The band definitely was, as Marshfield was joined by the Irrigon pep band and five members of Coquille’s band.
Those musicians were to be back at Pirate Palace on Saturday morning with their respective teams playing in the fourth-place games.