COOS BAY — Sutherlin has one of the top girls basketball teams in Class 3A — the Bulldogs were runners-up in last year’s state tournament at Marshfield High School.
So Marshfield coach Bruce Bryant wasn’t terribly disappointed after the Pirates fell to the visiting Bulldogs 60-36 in the season opener Thursday, especially considering veterans Charlie Dea and Raegan Rhodes were unavailable because of the state track meet that started Friday.
“I saw a lot of good things,” Bryant said. “We played a lot of kids.”
Indeed, the Pirates used 12 players, most seeing time in at least three of the quarters. They included four freshmen and two sophomores and a few upperclassmen new to the varsity program.
“We haven’t had many practices,” Bryant said, adding that the limited court time together can make getting into a rhythm challenging.
Especially given the opposition, he found a lot to be happy about.
“I was really impressed with our young kids,” Bryant said. “The freshman didn’t show any jitters. They played at the level necessary to play at the varsity level.”
He added that the Pirates showed toughness handling the ball against a talented defense, which will be a key this season.
Ultimately, Marshfield couldn’t keep up with the Bulldogs, who took advantage of talented and athletic seniors Amy Dickover and Jadyn Vermillion.
Dickover used her skillful moves inside and good passing from teammates to score 20 points and Vermillion used her speed to add 18.
Micah Wicks had a pair of 3-pointers and added 12 points for Sutherlin.
Josh Grotting, the veteran coach of the Bulldogs, said his team should be pretty good as the season progresses.
He wasn’t thrilled with the occasional sloppiness in the first half, when Sutherlin led 33-20, but added he was just happy the girls were able to be on the court.
“It’s fun to see them playing,” he said.
Kaylin Dea and Makiah George had six points each for Marshfield and freshmen Gracie Peach and Kaleigh England both scored five.
Marshfield was trying an entirely new scheme, which showed potential.
“I was pleased with the effort tonight,” Bryant said. “I was pleased with what I saw out of the offense. We haven’t done dribble-drive before.”
The Pirates hosted Brookings-Harbor, another top Class 3A team, on Friday, falling 49-24.
Kaylin Dea had seven points and Kate Miles six for the Pirates. Sierra Fitzhugh hit four of Brookings-Harbor’s eight 3-pointers and had a game-high 18 points.