BANDON — After a cold shooting stretch to open the season, the Bandon boys basketball team’s offense came to life in the first half Tuesday against Scio.
The Tigers made five first-half 3-pointers against the Loggers in 11 tries, by far the best shooting performance of any half this season by Bandon. Led by 12 first-quarter points from Coby Smith during a 13-2 run, Bandon opened an 11-point lead after the initial period on the way to a 54-44 win in the Bandon Dunes Holiday Invitational.
The Tigers will play defending state champion Santiam on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
“We haven’t been shooting the ball great this year, that’s been some of our problem,” Bandon coach Matt Angove said. “At the beginning it was nice to see because I know they’re capable of it if we move the ball and take the open shot.”
Bandon’s offense was crisp and flowing early on. Braydon Freitag hit a 3 on the Tigers’ first possession of the game, setting the tone for the rest of the half. Smith was accurate from the paint and Ethan Wright added a 3 while the Tigers opened the big early lead.
The win wasn’t without some resistance, though, as stellar Scio sophomore Garrett Harrison scored 12 of the Loggers’ 18 first-half points with strong and crafty dribble drives and an accurate jump shot. Angove, though, was happy the way his under-sized squad kept the burlier Loggers off the offensive glass.
“You look at that team and you look at our team and every guy’s twice as thick as us,” Angove said. “I thought we did great (rebounding). I especially though Matty (Yarbor) on the weak side. He did a great job boxing out.”
Bandon tired, though, in the second half while using just a six-man rotation, and Scio started to whittle the lead away. The Loggers closed the third quarter on a 9-0 run, capped by a leaning 3 from Harrison to cut the Bandon lead to 11 at 46-35. Just about four minutes earlier, Scio had trailed by 20 at 44-24.
But Bandon did just enough offensively and defensively in the fourth quarter and never really was in danger of losing the lead. Lance Grossman’s second 3 of the fourth quarter shrunk Bandon’s lead to seven at 51-44 with 1:43 left, but a Freitag free throw and a short jumper by Yarbor provided the final tally.
Bandon gets the athletic and experienced Wolverines on Wednesday in a litmus test game for the Tigers.
“We’re gonna see how react to that quickness,” Angove said.
Santiam 61, Glide 46: Jonah Downey had a huge second half to lead the Wolverines to the win over the Wildcats.
The junior scored 27 of his 33 points after halftime as the Wolverines turned a 21-19 lead into a 15-point victory to set up a championship game date with Bandon.
Dillon Towne had 17 points and Clay Farrar 11 for Glide.