BANDON — Eduarda Reolon is learning the Bandon playbook on the fly. But in Tuesday night’s league-opener, the Bandon guard got some in-game assistance.
“The girls on the court just tell me what I need to do. Like, they have a lot of plays, they have more than 30 plays,” said Reolon, an exchange student who came to Bandon on Dec. 29.
With experience on Brazil’s U-16 team, Reolon has quickly found her way into the Bandon rotation and helped the Tigers score a 55-31 victory over Waldport on Tuesday to open Sunset Conference play.
Operating as a one-two scoring punch, Reolon contributed 15 points in limited minutes as fellow guard Traylyn Arana had 21 points.
“When they get going ... it gives us an opportunity to mix our lineup up and put us in better spots. Change is good sometimes and we’re able to mix it up,” said head coach Jordan Sammons.
Overcoming a slow-scoring first quarter that saw Bandon ahead 9-4, Reolon got the offense moving in the second quarter with back-to-back steals that led to fast break layups. An Arana bucket, a putback from Reolon and a big six points from Kennedy Turner helped the Tigers outscore the Irish 16-1 in the second quarter to take a 25-5 halftime lead. Turner finished with eight points for the Tigers.
But after recording just one made field goal in the opening half, Waldport came out firing in the third quarter. In less than two minutes, the Irish had surpassed their first half point total on the way to outscoring Bandon 19-13 in the quarter.
Waldport’s Charity Smith had 11 points in the quarter and finished the game with 19.
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“I know teams are going to go on runs and we expect that, but it’s tough to win any games if you’re giving up 19 in a quarter. It’s tough to win if you’re consistently doing that so we’ve got to make sure that we lock that in and we fix that,” said Sammons.
Sammons also noted a dip in free throw shooting on the night. While the Tigers have consistently been shooting around 70 percent at the line, the team was seven-of-21 on Tuesday.
“We’ve just got to clean up some turnovers, clean up some fouls and find a way to come out of halftime with the same intensity that we play the other three quarters with and we’re going to be fine.”
Before Waldport could start to believe in a comeback, Arana and Reolon took over in the fourth. Both scoring six points in the quarter, an early steal and layup from Arana was followed by a steal from Reolon, who then found Arana on the break for an easy bucket.
After a timeout from the Irish, Reolon got a steal, looked to Sammons for instructions if she should try to score or slow it down, was told to push and using her yo-yo like ball handling she drove past three defenders on the way to a reverse lay-up.
“I like fast breaks. And they were pressing us and that is the kind of defense that I mostly like to play,” she said.
“We just got to keep incorporating her,” said Sammons. “But yeah, (Reolon) is electric. And she’s a great kid and she’s quick in picking up everything that we’re doing. She’s starting to figure it out and she’ll figure it out quickly.”
With the win, Bandon’s winning streak improved to nine straight games. The Tigers have Friday off before six straight road games. Next week the team goes to Reedsport, Myrtle Point and Toledo.