BANDON — For the Bandon boys, the league season started right where the nonleague games finished. After three wins in three days last week, the Tigers opened the start of the Sunset Conference at home on Tuesday with a 74-28 victory over Waldport.
“We just continued to play our game and came out with intensity and that’s what they did from the beginning. Once again, not another bad quarter. I thought this game we really executed the offense well,” said Bandon head coach Vince Quattrocchi. “And man, defensively it was great to see them flying around. Once again defense set the tone and I think a lot of good things happen when we do that.”
As the Irish hung around in the first quarter, it was the second quarter that saw the Tigers take over, outscoring Waldport 19-3. Leading the way was guard Braydon Freitag who went five-of-five from the field in the quarter for 11 of his game-high 19 points.
Freitag’s scoring started with a made 3-pointer — one of Bandon’s three made 3-pointers in the game — before he started attacking the rim and could not be slowed by the Irish defense.
“I’m trying to play more aggressive now. Now that league is here, take better shots, more efficient shots and they’re going to go in,” said Freitag. “In practice we go over the offense and it’s about efficiency. If we run it right we’re going to get an open shot and if we don’t it shows.”
Also finding open lanes to the basket was Coby Smith, who finished with 16 points for the Tigers. Working a high-low game with fellow post Cooper Lang, the ball was working around the lane before an open shot.
“We got so many touches inside and we were patient,” said Quattrocchi. "I think we executed the offense so well that we got those easy two-point shots. That’s a good thing. In the second half we really started moving the ball around and got more open shots outside and it was just really good to see everybody playing as a team."
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With a 23-8 advantage in the third quarter, the Tigers continued to move the ball and capitalize on Waldport turnovers. Through the first 20 minutes of the game, the Irish committed 20 turnovers. Bandon was also able to capitalize on free throws at the team went 15-of-17 from the line.
Sean White had 11 points for Bandon and Trevor Angove added nine. With all the starters on the bench for the fourth quarter, Andrew Robertson scored eight points for the Tigers.
Levi Fruechete had 15 points for the Irish.
Most importantly for Bandon, Tuesday’s result meant a coveted league win in a conference that features three of the top seven teams in the 2A classification.
“It’s going to help us overall at the end, especially when our league is this tough,” said Freitag. “Every win matters.”
The Tigers now prepare for seven straight road games — six league games and one nonleague game against Umpqua Valley Christian — before returning home on Feb. 4. After a bye in the league schedule this Friday, Bandon will start the road trip next week with games against Reedsport on Monday, Myrtle Point on Wednesday and Toledo on Friday.
“It’s tough, we know what’s ahead of us, we know it’s going to be a tough road. Once we get that one win at home against a league opponent, it’s a good thing. It’s good momentum going into next week,” said Quattrocchi.