BANDON — The Bandon girls basketball team is coming off a third-place finish in the Class 2A state tournament, albeit with only two players back who had extensive minutes during the tournament run and with three freshmen getting major time this year.
So far, so good. The Tigers beat visiting North Bend 41-34 Tuesday to improve to 2-0 on the season, following a win at Waldport a day earlier.
Bandon coach Jordan Sammons said the two returners — seniors Kennedy Turner and Sterling Williams — have played a vital role with their leadership on the squad.
“They’ve really helped out,” he said.
That’s been important because the Tigers have had limited time together, including about four practices with the entire squad since the softball team, which includes Williams, and the track team, which includes Turner, were still in action at the end of the week last week.
Turner said the outlook for the season is promising.
“We’ve got a lot of talent and a lot of girls willing to work hard,” she said. “These girls are awesome to play with.”
Turner led the Tigers Tuesday night with 14 points inside, off offensive rebounds and good passes from teammates.
But Katelyn Senn, one of the freshmen, was next in scoring with 13, including a tie-breaking 3-pointer and another hoop to stretch the lead to five late in the game.
Williams and Olivia Thompson, another of the freshmen, added six each and junior Carlee Freitag had a big momentum basket, beating the third-quarter buzzer with a hoop that gave the Tigers the lead going into the final eight minutes.
Freshman Makiah Vierck and junior Angie Morones fill out the seven-player rotation. Turner said she is confident in all three of the freshmen.
“There’s a big learning curve between middle school and high school, but they’ve got it,” she said.
In Monday’s win, Turner had 15 points, Senn 12, Williams nine and Thompson eight.
On Tuesday, the Tigers trailed 12-6 through one quarter, but didn’t flinch, opening the second quarter on a 7-0 run.
“I’m proud of our effort,” Sammons said. “We’ve had teams go on runs and they’ve battled back.
“You can’t teach heart.”
North Bend suffered its first loss of the season after lopsided wins last week over Powers and Siuslaw.
“That’s the first competitive game we’ve been in,” North Bend coach Mike Forrester said, giving the Tigers credit for giving the Bulldogs fits.
“Bandon’s girls got on us and played good defense,” he said. “They made it tough in the first half to get into some stuff.”
The Tigers also came up with several critical rebounds late, Forrester said.
Trinity Barker and Adrianna Frank led the Bulldogs with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Barker got off to a quick start, with 10 of hers coming in the first quarter. Frank, meanwhile, scored eight in the third quarter to help the Bulldogs keep the score close.
Both teams face Myrtle Point for their next games, both at home and part of a stretch of four consecutive nights of games for the Bobcats.
Bandon hosted Myrtle Point on Thursday (results were not available by press time) and the Bobcats visit the Bulldogs on Friday. The Bobcats also hosted Coquille on Wednesday and will host Waldport on Saturday.