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Bandon’s boys basketball team tuned up for league play with its best performance of the year on Saturday, a win at St. Mary’s in Medford.

The 59-49 win was particularly nice because it followed a home loss to Illinois Valley when the Tigers were unable to overcome a terrible first half in a 52-6 loss.

Bandon played Illinois Valley again Wednesday (results were not available by press time) and opens the Sunset Conference season at home Friday against Reedsport.

The win at St. Mary’s shows the Tigers are making progress.

“This was our best game of the year, and unlike last game, we took control in the second quarter,” Bandon coach Matt Angove said.

The Tigers trailed 11-7 after the first quarter, but outscored the Crusaders 19-6 in the second quarter and led the rest of the way.

Braydon Freitag scored 28 points and Matt Yarbor and Coby Smith added 10 each in the win. Walker Jason Wilhite had the other six points.

“Braydon was fantastic the last three quarters,” Angove said. “Hopefully we can build on this win.”

It was a big change from the game against Illinois Valley, when the Cougars outscored the Tigers 12-3 in the second quarter to take a 19-16 lead the Tigers couldn’t overcome.

But Angove found things to be happy about in that game, too.

Yarbor did a great job defensively in the second half on Caleb Hess, who had 22 points for Illinois Valley. And the Tigers got balanced scoring with 16 points by Freitag, 15 by Smith and 11 by Yarbor.

Bandon opens league against a Reedsport team with the best preseason record among Sunset Conference schools at 8-3. Angove has been pointing toward Friday’s date all season while installing the new offense and defense for the Tigers.

The Tigers (5-7) visit Gold Beach on Tuesday and host defending league champion Toledo next Friday.

Bandon’s girls came up short in both their games last week, falling to Illinois Valley 45-15 and St. Mary’s 30-14.

The Tigers scored just three points in the first half against Illinois Valley before playing the Cougars nearly even in the second half.

Nikki Lakey had eight points to lead the team against Illinois Valley and Kennedy Turner scored seven against St. Mary’s.

Bandon’s girls were 1-11 entering Wednesday’s game at Illinois Valley. Toledo has the league’s best record at 8-5 and Gold Beach and Myrtle Point both are 7-5.

The league schedule for basketball games calls for the girls game to start at 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys about 7.

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