NORTH BEND — It’s becoming a repetitive theme for North Bend’s boys basketball team in the Midwestern League: The opposing teams are just really good.
North Bend had a strong effort against visiting Thurston, but the defending state champion Colts overcame a double-digit first-half deficit to escape town with a 55-47 win Friday night.
North Bend's Jayden Frank drives in for a lay up Friday against Thurston's Mason Miller at North Bend High School.
“I thought we played with a little more focus throughout the game,” North Bend coach Bill Callaway said, adding that the Bulldogs played pretty well throughout.
“It’s a good game. They were state champs last year and most of them are back.”
North Bend got off to a great start, leading 18-7 through one quarter after shooting a blazing 8-for-12 in the opening eight minutes.
“We had good movement the first half, especially the first quarter,” Callaway said. “That put them back on their heels.”
But the Bulldogs shot just 9-for-30 the rest of the game as the Colts extended their aggressive defense and Thurston warmed up.
Even though the Bulldogs weren’t hitting the final three quarters, they were moving the ball well.
“We didn’t take all bad shots,” Callaway said. “We just missed ’em.”
Thurston opened the second quarter on a 14-2 run and led 21-20 before the Bulldogs got the final five points of the half on a 3-pointer by Devante Byers and two free throws by Jayden Frank, who was fouled at the buzzer.
North Bend led 28-23 early in the third after a long 3-pointer by Frank, but the Colts made their first five shots of the second half, including a pair of 3-pointers (one a four-point play) by Isaac Lange.
The Colts led 42-33 by the end of the third and by 14 with three minutes to go when North Bend finally hit some shots.
Cooper Lynn hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Frank had a three-point play to trim the Thurston lead to 52-47 with 52 seconds to go.
The Colts then missed their second straight one-and-one opportunity, but the Bulldogs couldn’t score and Thurston added three free throws to finish off the win.
Lange finished with 23 points for the Colts and Mason Miller had 17 points and 12 rebounds. After shooting 3-for-10 in the first quarter, the Colts went 18-for-30 the rest of the way.
Frank finished with 26 for the Bulldogs, but Thurston extended its defense on him the final three quarters, limiting his open looks.
And even though four of Frank’s teammates hit 3-pointers, as a team the Bulldogs were just 8-for-29 from behind the arc.
“Even though we lost, this is one of the best games we’ve played,” North Bend’s Garrett Christensen said. “We slowed down on offense and took our time and played well as a team.”
Christensen said the Bulldogs could have blocked out better, though the Colts only outrebounded the Bulldogs 24-20.
North Bend fell to 3-8 in league play with a nonleague game at Bandon on Tuesday before the Bulldogs visit Crater on Friday.
“That’s a good team,” Callaway said. “The fact that we had a shot — I think that shows we’re getting better.”