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COOS BAY — North Bend girls basketball coach Mike Forrester hoped his team would get at least two wins during the Les Schwab and First Community South Coast Holiday Basketball Tournament.

After letting a big lead go away in their opening loss Thursday, the Bulldogs took control early and kept it in their consolation game Friday, beating North Valley 54-31.

“I’m very proud of my team,” North Bend senior Aby Holling said. “I think we all worked very hard today.

“This was our best game.”

North Bend got its first win of the season by jumping to a 22-5 first-period lead and never letting up.

Makoa Matthews, Holling and Caitlyn Anderson hit consecutive 3-pointers for the first nine points of the contest and the Bulldogs led 35-12 at halftime.

“It was a good win,” Forrester said. “Our girls came out, played hard and just hustled.”

The Bulldogs had a great first half, playing two good periods unlike Thursday’s opening loss to Junction City when a long scoring drought in the second allowed the Tigers to erase a 12-point deficit.

North Bend was 7-for-11 from the floor in the first period and when the Bulldogs started missing shots in the second, more often than not they grabbed the rebounds.

“It’s easier to play hard when you are hitting shots,” Forrester said.

By halftime, the Bulldogs had forced 17 turnovers and had eight offensive rebounds.

Matthews scored all 12 of her points in the first, hitting two 3-pointers and also getting two consecutive baskets off turnovers to help the Bulldogs build their lead. Anderson also had two 3-pointers in the first half and she and Holling combined for 15 points before the break. Anderson finished with 13 points and Holling 12.

Though Adrianna Frank had just two first-half points, she had three of North Bend’s six assists. And she hit a 3-pointer to open the second half, which saw the Bulldogs lead by as many as 28 points.

Forrester praised both Frank and Matthews for their work running the offense, which committed just eight turnovers, and pointed to the Bulldogs’ 29 forced turnovers as helping the offense.

“We’re going to have to push the ball to generate offense,” he said.

It was on defense, where North Bend was particularly strong.

“I think our defense won the game for us,” Holling said. “We were on our toes. We were talking a lot more than we usually do. We were helping each other.”

Megan Proett and Holling had four steals each and Matthews nabbed three steals.

North Bend will meet Sisters in the fourth-place game Saturday morning at Marshfield.

North Valley, which meets Crook County for seventh place at SWOCC, was led Friday by Karlee Touey with eight points. Abby Kirkland and Hannah Kersten scored seven each and Sydney Moore grabbed 11 rebounds.

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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