COOS BAY — Many basketball coaches will say that practice time is invaluable, especially after the games start. In this extra-short season, compact with multiple games every week, practice time also is hard to come by.
So Marshfield girls basketball coach Bruce Bryant was thrilled with how his team performed its zone defense in a 38-26 win over crosstown rival North Bend on Monday night.
The Pirates were able to stymie the Bulldogs much of the game with the defense and gained separation by scoring the final 12 points of the first half to take a 20-9 lead to the locker room.
Kate Miles had 13 points, Charlie Dea 11 and Kaylin Dea eight to lead the Pirates.
The biggest key to the defense was how the players were talking on the floor, Miles said.
“We had really good communication,” she said. “If you don’t have that, your defense is basically in the dumps.”
That communication hasn’t always been a strength this year, Bryant said.
“They threw a lot of offensive looks at us and we did a good job communicating,” he said. “I was pleased.
“I thought we played one of our better games this year defensively and offensively.”
Marshfield found success in a few different ways on offense.
First, that pesky defense created a number of transition opportunities.
“We’re a fast, athletic team,” Miles said. “When we take advantage of that, it usually works out well.”
Second, the Pirates were effective from outside when they got good looks by being patient with their offense.
“Tonight, we were really composed and moved the ball,” Miles said.
That’s a lesson Bryant has been trying to reinforce often.
“I hope they see the value of moving the ball, taking care of it and getting the shot you want,” he said.
And Marshfield also got hoops by driving to the basket through North Bend’s defense, including several by Miles.
North Bend coach Mike Forrester said he thought his team played pretty well with its own defense and rebounded well, especially Adrianna Frank. The Bulldogs just weren’t able to get enough shots to go through the hoop when often all they could find were 3-pointers.
“We didn’t shoot well at all,” Forrester said. “I felt like we had good open shots. We didn’t force stuff. We just couldn’t get the ball to fall in.”
He credited Marshfield’s interior defense for making things difficult when the Bulldogs did penetrate.
“Kaylin Dea did a good job swatting the ball when we got it in there,” Forrester said.
Trinity Barker had eight points and Caitlyn Anderson six for North Bend, with each hitting two 3-pointers.
It wasn’t nearly enough offense to keep up Monday, with Bryant walking away delighted with his team’s winning effort.
“It was very nice to see us play a pretty solid ballgame on both ends of the floor,” he said. “Hopefully we can build on what we did tonight.”
Both teams followed Monday’s game with wins Tuesday.
Marshfield was home again and topped Siuslaw 46-25. Kaylin Dea had 16 points, Miles eight and Rylinn Clark seven in the win.
Gracie Freudenthal had 12 points for the Vikings.
North Bend, meanwhile, traveled to Class 6A Roseburg and won 42-26.
Frank had 12 points, Kylee Lambert 11, Barker eight and Anderson seven in the win.