COOS BAY — As Seaside star Chase Januik walked off the floor at Pirate Palace on Friday night after the top-ranked Seagulls fell to No. 2 Marshfield 47-43, he looked down the road toward the end of the season hoping for a rematch.
“I want to see them in March,” he said, referring to the Class 4A state tournament. “Hopefully in the championship game.”
The Pirates would love to face the two-time state champions on the final day of the tournament, too, when both teams have had more than a handful of practices and are playing at their top levels.
But Marshfield was understandably thrilled to win the first meeting.
“I’m really glad we can take out No. 1,” Cory Stover said. “It’s a great team win. Everyone is super excited.”
Stover scored a team-high 14 points, but it was his defense — and that of the rest of the Pirates — that turned the game in Marshfield’s favor after the Seagulls jumped out to an early lead.
Seaside scored the first seven points, including 3-pointers by Brayden Johnson and Duncan Thompson, and led by 10 after a drive to the basket by Januik late in the first.
Marshfield got its first field goal on a long buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Mason Ainsworth and then switched to a zone defense that stymied the Seagulls. Seaside didn’t score in the second quarter and the score flipped by halftime, with Marshfield up 19-15.
“They’re a good basketball team,” Marshfield’s Grant Woolsey said. “They know how to get by people.
“The zone was a great switch. Everybody started doing their job.”
Marshfield coach Doug Miles said he got the idea to use the defense, which Marshfield seldom employs, while watching a college game earlier in the week.
“Seaside is an incredible team — they are all guards out there,” Miles said. “We’ve had this zone. I thought we had to get long. It worked good.”
With Stover in the middle to disrupt drives to the basket and Marshfield’s size on the wings, the Pirates threw Seaside out of its rhythm.
“The first quarter, we came out strong,” Januik said. “They came out in the zone in the second quarter and that really rattled us.”
Marshfield led the entire second half, getting a trio of big 3-pointers from Woolsey to offset Seaside’s attempts at gaining momentum. The first came after the Seagulls pulled within 25-23 on the second of Januik’s four second-half 3-pointers and another came early in the fourth after the Seagulls began to chip away at what had been a 10-point lead.
“That was my teammates finding me,” Woolsey said of the long shots. “I didn’t do much.”
He finished with 11 points and Jordy Miles had nine. Both hit single free throws to help the Pirates hold on after the Seagulls came roaring back late.
Januik pulled Seaside within 45-41 with a 3-pointer with 1:21 to go and then, after a Marshfield timeout, the Seagulls got a steal by Johnson that led to a layin by Payton Westerholm to cut the lead to two.
Seaside got the ball back on a steal when Woolsey came up with a huge defensive play, tapping the ball away before the Seagulls could put up a potential tying shot.
“I think that was Cory and Jordy trapping,” he said. “They forced a guy into a bad pass and I was just there.”
After Woolsey hit one free throw with 25 seconds to go, Seaside’s Thompson was off the mark on a 3-pointer and Miles hit the free throw with nine seconds left to put the game out of reach.
Januik finished with 21 points and seven rebounds to lead the Seagulls while Westerholm had 10 points and four assists.
Neither team has had a full amount of preparation. Seaside was less than two weeks removed from losing to Banks in the Class 4A championship game for football and the Pirates lost to the Braves in the semifinals.
“We have a week on them, but it was Thanksgiving week and we only had two practices,” Doug Miles said. “We’re still ratty. Our legs are dead.
“I think we can play a lot better.”
Both teams can.
“It’s their first game and my first game,” said Stover, who missed Marshfield’s opener last weekend during a recruiting visit to Oregon State University for football. “In two months, we’re both going to be better.”