REEDSPORT — The good news for the Reedsport boys basketball team is that the brutal four-game stretch is over. The bad news is that in that stretch Reedsport lost all four games – all to teams ranked in the top-10 of the 2A classification.
After a red-hot 9-1 start to the season, No. 13 Reedsport has started the new year with losses to No. 5 Oakland, No. 4 Coquille, No. 1 Toledo and, on Tuesday night, No. 10 Bandon.
On the strength of a first half in which the Brave held the Tigers to 10 total points, Reedsport had a 10-point lead late in the third quarter. The Tigers roared to life late, mounting a 19-4 run to take a 41-36 advantage that led to the league win. Bandon outscored Reedsport 25-9 in the final quarter.
“I thought they did a fantastic job in the first half,” said Reedsport head coach Allen Chaney. “I mean, how do you hold a team to 10 points and then give up 41 in the second half?”
The fourth quarter consisted of a series of changes. Bandon switched out of its classic 2-3 defense into a man-to-man that helped generate steals that turned into instant offense. After a first half that saw Bandon shoot 23 percent from the field, Bandon got shots to fall as the team went eight-for-11 in the final period of play.
As the Tigers surged, the Brave stalled, shooting two-of-14 from the field.
“I’m not quite sure what to say, I’m going to have to watch the tape first,” said a puzzled Chaney. “I mean, certainly their defensive pressure obviously held us to (nine) points. So that was a change in the game but for us to not be able to hold them to a similar amount — I am going to have to watch the tape.”
While change was all around the fourth quarter, the one constant was Reedsport’s lineup. With a seven-man rotation early in the season, recent disciplinary action on the team removed a starter which cut the players coming off the bench in half. On Tuesday Chaney opted not to sub throughout the entirety of the game.
“Obviously, since I only play five guys they’re going to be tired in the fourth quarter,” said Chaney. “If we can maybe, you know, figure out how to rotate a little bit better and get those guys a little bit of a rest might help.”
Looking fresh early, Reedsport built a 14-4 lead in the second quarter. Dallas McGill scored the first six points for the Brave and was added seven more points in the third quarter to help build the Reedsport lead. McGill finished with 17 points.
Tyler Thornton and Jamison Conger each had eight points while Javier Analco had seven and Shane Saxon two.
Bandon had a big three of scorers in Braydon Freitag with 17, Coby Smith with 15 and Cooper Lang recorded 12.
Reedsport now heads out to Gold Beach (4-9) on Wednesday before returning on Friday against Waldport (3-10).
“We obviously have to improve and I think we can. The talent is there. I just think we have to maintain our composure on the offensive end against pressure defense,” said Chaney. “To hold a team to 10 (first half points) and then give up 41 (in the second half), you’re not going to win many games doing that.”
The Brave had the misfortune of opening against the league’s top two teams, Coquille and Toledo.
Reedsport struggled through a cold shooting night while losing to Coquille 64-41 in the league opener.
The Brave finished a little better than 33 percent, shooting 17-for-47, in the setback. Analco had 17 points and Conger 11. Analco also had 11 rebounds and three blocks.
Reedsport couldn’t keep up with Toledo in a 95-54 loss on Friday, when the Boomers scored a combined 63 points in the middle two periods.
Analco had 19 points, Thornton 13 and McGill eight in that loss.