NORTH BEND — Senior night didn’t start great for the North Bend boys basketball team, but it certainly finished on a high note.
North Bend overcame three six-point or more deficits to down the visiting Springfield Millers 59-57 behind 24 points from Jayden Frank. Jake Simmons had 11 and Cooper Lynn had 10. Zach Brown led all scorers with 26 for the Millers.
North Bend's Brady Messner looks to pass Tuesday against Springfield at North Bend High School.
“Obviously it’s great to get a win on senior night,” Lynn said. “We’ve looked forward to it all year.”
It was a bit of a strange start as a pregame dunk by North Bend cost the Bulldogs a technical foul and gave Springfield two free throws and the ball to start the game.
Brown made both, starting an 8-0 run that lasted the first three minutes of the first quarter, prompting a North Bend timeout to halt the spurt.
It didn’t necessarily stop Springfield's run, though, as Marcel Hill hit a 3-pointer to give the Millers an 11-0 lead with 4:25 left in the first quarter.
“I think we started off pretty slow on the defensive end,” Lynn said. “They got some easy shots. We weren't hitting shots, but we kept pushing, kept shooting.”
Lynn hit a 3-pointer to get North Bend on the board, and soon the Bulldogs had an 11-2 run to give the Bulldogs a 14-13 lead after the first quarter.
The second period featured five lead changes before Springfield built a lead. A Brown alley-oop dunk gave the Millers a 29-23 lead with 1:45 left in the half.
North Bend responded and Simmons hit a 3-pointer with 12 ticks remaining to send the Bulldogs into the locker room down just one at 29-28.
In the locker room, Callaway told Frank he should be more aggressive and assertive on the offense end, and the senior guard playing in his last game at the Dawg Pound obliged.
After Springfield scored to open the second half, Frank scored the first 10 North Bend points in the third quarter.
“Jayden’s special, man,” Lynn said.
Frank's offensive flurry was part of a 10-1 run that gave the Bulldogs a 38-32 lead, one that Springfield never could fully recover from.
But the Millers sure tried.
After Brown scored 16 first-half points, North Bend began to collapse its defense upon the 6-foot-6 senior, opening up the perimeter for Springfield shooters.
Kensen Smith hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, the last of which cut North Bend’s six-point lead in half at 52-49 with 3:42 to go.
North Bend led by as many as seven in the fourth quarter, and Springfield got within two several times. A 5-0 Springfield mini run, capped by a Brown basket after Smith saved an offensive rebounded under the Bulldogs basket, created the final margin.
Twice the Bulldogs had trips to the free throw line on one-and-one opportunities to extend the lead, but both times missed, leaving some room for Springfield to hit a game winner.
Smith had a decent look at a 3-pointer to win it, but it bounced toward the Springfield bench and Charlie Grousbeck rebounded in the short corner and his floater at the buzzer to tie bounced away, as well, giving North Bend its second straight win after losing six in a row.
“The kids have been playing really hard,” North Bend coach Bill Callaway said. “Playing a lot better in the second half of the 5A season. So we’re really happy with it. Good comeback and way to hang tough.”
North Bend finishes up its season on Friday at Eagle Point at 6:45 p.m.
SPRINGFIELD 61, NORTH BEND 26: The Millers limited the Bulldogs to just 15 points through three quarters to remain in a first-place tie with Churchill atop the Midwestern League standings.
When Churchill beat Willamette Tuesday, North Bend remained alone in fourth place heading into Friday's regular-season finale at Eagle Point. If the Bulldogs beat the Eagles, they likely will end up alone in fourth place and earn a spot in the Class 5A playoffs.
Haley Snelgrove led North Bend with seven points against the Millers.
Emma McKenney had 24 points, Rebecca Durbin 13 and Kayley Elliott 10 for Springfield.