COQUILLE — Given a rare opportunity for a marquee game against another top Class 3A program, Coquille’s boys basketball team extended its unbeaten string to start the season to 10 games.
The Red Devils beat visiting Amity 85-57, pulling away after a slow first quarter against the Warriors.
Amity entered the game ranked No. 2 and Coquille No. 4 in the Class 3A coaches poll. The Warriors, somewhat weakened by illness, couldn’t keep up when Coquille finally got rolling.
“The tempo in the first quarter (wasn’t good),” Coquille’s Henry Scolari said. “We came out super flat.”
The Red Devils trailed by eight points early before rallying late in the quarter to take a lead on a 3-pointer by Seth Waddington. Amity’s Jaycen Nelson beat the first-quarter buzzer with a hoop to give the Warriors an 18-17 lead and the teams traded the lead four times early in the second and were tied three other times before Coquille took a 41-35 lead.
“Around the end of the second quarter, we started running,” Scolari said, adding the Red Devils had a little hangover after beating three Class 4A teams to win the title in the Les Schwab South Coast Holiday Basketball Tournament over the weekend.
“I think everybody thought, after seeing how we can play over the weekend, we expected to play great,” he said. “I think our heads were a little big.”
A little motivational speech from coach Willy Layton during halftime got the Red Devils back into the right frame of mind, Scolari said.
“We finally pulled it together,” he said.
Coquille started the second half on a 12-0 run, with Colton GeDeros, Scolari, Waddington, Hayden Davis and Ean Smith all scoring before Amity’s first hoop, and the lead grew from there.
“After this weekend, I was a little disappointed with the effort,” Layton said of Coquille’s first half. “I thought we played great, but the intensity level wasn’t there.
“I thought we moved the ball great (the second half). Once we started kicking it up, we were fine. We got some fast breaks.”
By the end of the night, Scolari had 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. GeDeros added 15 points, five rebounds and four assists; Waddington and Davis both scored 13 and Davis had 12 rebounds; and Smith had six points, four rebounds and three assists.
Davis had his big night on an evening when fellow post Jeremy Kistner found himself in foul trouble.
“I thought Hayden stepped up great today,” Layton said.
Nelson and Sam White had 13 points each for Amity. Zac Blake scored 12 and Tommy Jackson had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Coquille hasn’t had many chances to play top Class 3A teams in the preseason, especially at home. Of the team’s 10 wins this season, six have come against Class 4A teams. After a game against Gold Beach on Friday, the Red Devils should get more opportunities against strong Class 3A foes in the Salem Academy Tournament.