NORTH BEND — Coquille’s boys basketball team overcame big games from North Bend’s Jayden Frank and Randy Vader to hold off the host Bulldogs 61-55 on Saturday night.
The veteran Red Devils led by as many as 10 points after a 16-0 run that took less than two minutes in the first quarter, but found themselves trailing 51-50 after Vader’s sixth 3-pointer with 4:25 to go in the game.
Seth Waddington had a rebound basket to put Coquille up for good and the Red Devils survived when they finally hit free throws after struggling at the line all night.
“It’s nice to beat a (Class) 4A school,” said Waddington, who led the Red Devils with 19 points. “We missed some free throws, but we made them when we needed them. We got stops on defense and blocked out and got rebounds. That’s what won us the game.”
Colton GeDeros, who missed his first five free throws, hit two with 26 seconds to go after North Bend had closed within 57-55 and Ean Smith added two more to secure the win for Coquille.
Coquille got big nights from all three of its seniors who are returning starters. GeDeros had 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals; and Henry Scolari had 14 points, eight rebounds, four steals, two assists and two blocks. Waddington also had six rebounds and a pair of steals.
The Red Devils needed those big totals and contributions from the rest of the lineup to overcome the efforts by Vader and Frank.
Frank had 10 of his 23 points by the 4:27 mark in the first quarter (North Bend led 13-6 before Coquille's 16-0 spurt) and either scored or assisted the shots that led to North Bend’s first 18 points — including 3-pointers by Vader and Jake Simmons.
By the end of the night, Frank had 23 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, despite defensive pressure most of the night from Smith and Coquille teammate Cody Deck.
“That guy’s a good player,” Waddington said.
Vader, meanwhile, scored 21 points, with three 3-pointers each half and three late free throws.
Frank and Vader are the only players back with varsity experience for North Bend, with Frank a returning starter and Vader a contributor off the bench for the team that finished third in last year’s Class 4A state tournament.
The relative inexperience of the rest of the squad gave North Bend coach Chris Emerson a lot to be happy with Saturday.
“That was a veteran team we played,” he said. “I think the kids enjoyed the game. And really, we learned something.”
Frank said he was pleased with the effort he saw from his teammates, especially on defense.
Coquille scored nearly a third of its points in that one two-minute stretch in the first quarter and only had 10 in both the second and third quarters.
“Basketball is a game of runs,” Frank said. “They hit a run. We knew we had to lock in on defense and get stops. That’s what got us back into the game.”
Simmons scored five points for the Bulldogs and Kaleb Messner, Garrison Mateski and Garrett Christensen combined for 14 rebounds.
North Bend had a 39-34 rebounding edge, though Coquille forced 18 turnovers and gave the ball up just 10 times.
At times, Coquille thrived with its up-tempo pace, but at other times, the Red Devils made mistakes when trying to play fast.
“I want to get up and down the court, but we’ve got to get up and down the court and make better decisions with the ball,” Coquille coach Willy Layton said.
He added that he was proud of his team’s hustle, which stems from going hard in practice every day.
“We’ve still got a long ways to go,” Layton said. “It’s a step in the right direction.”
Both teams are back in action Tuesday, with North Bend hosting Junction City and Coquille visiting Douglas.