Though the result wasn’t the one sought, Friday night wasn’t a disaster for Reedsport's basketball teams.
Sure, both the boys and girls lost at Oakland. But the girls’ 50-18 outing and the boys’ 76-54 encounter with the Oakers gave girls coach Dan Kenagy and boys coach Allen Chaney things to think about and work on.
“The girls played hard. They finished the game,” Kenagy said. “I’m encouraged by the progress they made during the game. It’s a learning season we have ahead of us, so I thought that was really important for us. And I’m very encouraged by that.”
For the girls, the plan remains the same.
Until Oakland, with its talented squad of returners, pulled off its press Reedsport couldn’t do much at the offensive end of the floor, scoring just two points by halftime.
But after Oakland settled into its half court defense following the halftime break, Reedsport found an offensive rhythm, even hitting a couple 3-pointers along the way.
“Mackenzie Seeley made a couple 3-pointers and we had a couple others make some shots,” Kenagy said. “They felt very encouraged by the end of the game, in spite of what happened in the first half.”
Defensively, too, Reedsport made strides.
Kenagy has already said he’s not looking at scoreboard results as his barometer for success, but instead at intra-game results. Small wins, he called them.
One happened Friday, in addition to the offense finding a scoring rhythm. Kenagy runs a zone defense that traps the corners, and the Brave got a little more comfortable in it as Friday’s game wore on. The players became slightly more familiar with it, trapping Oakland players and communicating with each other for fluidly.
It was an encouraging first step.
“I think, when you compare it to last year from this year, it’s definitely showing some progress,” Kenagy said.
Friday was encouraging for the boys too, as they begin a season with many gaps to fill.
Friday, though, will hopefully be an outlier as the Brave had to work through some severe foul trouble, forcing key contributors to the bench for long stretches, even whole quarters.
On the down side, that situation forces a team to play without its best players, giving the opposition an advantage. But it also allows a team to build its depth by giving its reserves a chance to play important minutes in a yet-to-be-decided game.
Dallas McGill, despite a solid scoring night, played only two and a half quarters on Friday. Senior Leo Voepel played only a little more. A handful of Brave finished with four fouls as the Oakers pulled away in the second half.
“I was really proud of our guys,” Allen Chaney said. “Given the situation and having to play those bench guys much more than we would’ve expected to, I thought they really hung in there. They never quit.”
But Reedsport learned something.
It learned Jacob Chaney, playing his first full-time varsity season, can run the point and play guard if absolutely necessary. Allen Chaney saw growth and improvement from his two tall post players, McGill and Analco. He got some bench depth, hopefully, developed and, like Kenagy and the girls, walked away encouraged by a loss in the debut.
“I thought it was a great game for us, even though the score didn’t tell that story,” Chaney said. “I think our guys got a lot of really good minutes to prepare them for what we’re gonna have to do the rest of the season.”
Reedsport's teams hosted Glide on Tuesday (results weren't available by press time) and play in the annual Winter Lake Classic at Coquille this weekend, starting against Illinois Valley on Friday. The boys play the cougars at 3 and the girls at 4:45.