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Basketball

COOS BAY — One day after a lackluster performance in its Sky-Em League boys basketball opener, the Marshfield boys basketball team put together a strong effort for four quarters, beating visiting Woodburn 58-45 in a matchup of teams ranked in the top four in Class 4A at Southwestern Oregon Community College.

The Pirates, ranked third in the coaches poll and fourth in the power rankings, jumped out to a 7-0 lead and led all the way while holding off several challenges from the Bulldogs, who are fourth in the coaches poll and third in the power rankings.

“It was a very good win,” said Mashfield’s Jordy Miles. “We just knew we had to step it up tonight.

“All the seniors just stepped out and went hard from the get-go.”

The Pirates have six seniors back from last year’s team that finished fourth at the state tournament, though Jacob Carpenter missed both the Friday and the Saturday game with an injury.

Miles and Cory Stover finished with 16 points each and Stover also grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked two shots. Grant Woolsey scored nine points, to go with eight rebounds and three assists, and made seven of his eight free throws. Grant Webster didn’t score, but had eight rebounds and four assists.

And Chase Howerton made a first-half 3-pointer and finished with four points, but did his most important work defending Woodburn star RJ Veliz.

“Chase is great,” Miles said.

Veliz led the Bulldogs with 16 points, but none of his teammates scored more than seven, which was what the Pirates were hoping for.

“Our goal was to contain RJ and get out on the shooters,” Miles said. “That was a big deal.”

The Pirates have had a recent trend of slow starts, but Saturday they started with a 3-pointer by Miles and a pair of put-back buckets by Stover.

They led by 10 before EJ Barajas came off the bench and quickly hit a pair of 3-pointers late in the first quarter for Woodburn.

But he never scored again and Woodburn finished just 4-for-27 from 3-point range and 12-for-50 (24 percent) overall from the field.

Still, the Bulldogs made several runs through the game, the most serious when they cut the lead to 28-25 early in the third quarter.

Marshfield followed with a 14-0 run that included just two field goals. The first score in the run was a short jumper by freshman Mason Ainsworth, who finished with 13 points.

Marshfield coach Doug Miles described Veliz as the best player the Pirates have faced this season, and added that Howerton did a great job.

“He’s special,” Miles said. “We did a good job on defense. We just got in foul trouble.”

Both teams actually got in foul trouble, leading to a total of 57 free throws (the Pirates shot 18-for-28 and the Bulldogs 17-for-29).

The game was one of two big nonleague contests for Marshfield amid what is expected to be a relatively easy Sky-Em League schedule — the Pirates also host North Bend next Saturday.

“We just have to get ready to play basketball,” Doug Miles said. “Tonight we were.”

Marshfield visits Cottage Grove on Tuesday.

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Sports Editor John Gunther can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 241, or by email at john.gunther@theworldlink.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jguntherworld.

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Sports Editor