Bandon boys basketball coach Matt Angove knew it would take some time for his team to get into high gear this winter, given the general youth of the squad.
The Tigers opened the season with four games in seven days, and though they lost all four, they are showing potential.
“We’ve got young guys,” Angove said after Tuesday’s 64-53 loss to visiting Pacific. “We’ve got to work on fundamentals. But we need to work on offense and defense, too.”
He noted that at one point Tuesday, when Bandon was in the midst of one of several runs against the defending Class 1A champions, the Tigers had three freshmen on the floor — Cooper Lang and Angove’s twin sons, Hunter and Trevor.
Bandon has two senior starters returning, Matt Yarbor and Colby Gaston, but much of the rest of the squad is freshmen and sophomores.
The Tigers lost their opener at Days Creek 45-24 and then fell to Glide 66-46 and St. Mary’s 74-55.
But Matt Angove has seen a lot to like in how his team is progressing.
“Our defense is getting better,” he said. “From the first game to this game, it’s improved a lot.”
Bandon also has seen a number of players take roles in the offense.
In Tuesday’s loss, Yarbor led the way with 16 points and Hunter Angove had 14. Gaston scored eight, all in the second half, and Lang and Trevor Angove had six each.
Gaston was the leading scorer in the earlier games, with 17 against St. Mary’s, 18 against Glide and nine against Days Creek.
Bandon is in the middle of a challenging schedule. The Tigers are on the road Friday against Douglas and Tuesday against Brookings-Harbor. They face an improved Riddle team on Dec. 14 and South Umpqua again in the Bandon Dunes Holiday Invitational, when the other game will be against either Douglas or Siuslaw.
Matt Angove is encouraging the team to not worry about wins and losses.
“I told them to keep their heads up,” he said.