BANDON — Following Bandon’s double overtime loss to Myrtle Point at the Oakland Tournament just before the new year, four Tigers cornered Jordan Sammons and told him they were coming in on a Sunday to get up shots.
Thursday, that work appeared to pay off in a 54-34 win over visiting Reedsport in the Tigers’ Sunset Conference debut, getting 16 points from Ashley Strain and nine from Naomi Martin.
“Offensively, that was one of the best games we’ve played,” Sammons said. “We got the ball moving around, we hit some shots. They were really unselfish with the ball.”
Sammons has always been impressed with the Tigers’ desire and willingness to work.
Posted prominently in the Bandon gym is a sign noting the five Tigers who got the most shots up in the offseason.
It’s the Tigers' 10,000 shot club, and Strain led the way as the only Tiger to eclipse the 10,000 mark. Strain has taken some of the scoring load off of Nikki and Kylie Lakey, and it’s allowed Bandon to be a more balanced offense.
“We got quite a few girls that really took it to heart and came in and worked really hard,” Sammons said. “It’s starting to pay off. (Strain) had 16 tonight and 15 multiple times this year.
Bandon jumped ahead to an 18-2 lead after the first quarter, using its newly-installed press to cause havoc in the Reedsport backcourt.
Paige Hausmann-Noel still managed a good scoring game, leading everyone with 18 points, but Reedsport again suffered one disastrous quarter, throwing the Brave into a hole from out of which it could not climb.
“We can’t do that to ourselves,” Reedsport coach Dan Kenagy said. “Once we got settled down, we did okay. We’re still dealing with too many turnovers is our biggest thing this year.”
Reedsport opened the second quarter on a 9-2 run, cutting the Bandon lead to nine at 20-11 with 4:55 left, but that was the closest Reedsport got.
Bandon shot 23-of-55 from the field on Thursday night.
“When we get some shots to fall, we’re right there. We can kinda compete with anyone,” Sammons said.
Both teams also have league games Saturday. Bandon visits Myrtle Point with an earlier-than-normal 3:30 p.m. tip. Reedsport hosts Coquille at 5:30 p.m.