Bandon Girls get revenge on Kokilu for their defeat

BANDON. Two weeks of good training helped the Bandon women’s basketball team a lot.

The Tigers avenged their first Sunset Conference loss in three seasons on Thursday night by beating Kokil 46-39 to equal the Red Devils in the losing column early in the league’s second half of the season.

“Since then, our training has been great,” said Bandon coach Jordan Sammons, recalling an earlier one-point loss to the Red Devils. “They came every day ready to go.”

The Tigers lashed out at the Red Devils early Thursday, taking an 8-2 lead with Caitlin Senn all points and taking a 22-9 lead at half-time as the Red Devils struggled offensively.

Bandon extended his lead to 23 points, extending his lead into the third quarter after two 3-pointers from Makia Virk before the Red Devils bounced back under furious pressure in the fourth.

In the end, Kokil ran out of time and missed the opportunity to close the lead, reducing it to seven points.

“We knew Kokil was going to run away, we just had to get through it,” Sammons said.

The Tigers had already been through adversity when senior captain Carly Freitag, Bandon’s best center, went down with an injury in the first two minutes.

“Our starting players kept us moving forward and our bench was amazing,” said Sammons. “They gave us great minutes.”

Senn and Olivia Thompson finished with 12 points each, while Virk scored 11 points for the Tigers.

“Today was a very fun game,” Thompson said. “We worked very hard in training and we were very motivated.

“We found pleasure (from the game). We will continue to push and hopefully succeed.”

The state tournament is the ultimate goal for both teams, and winning the championship is a big step towards that because the league’s top seed gets a playoff home game.

If both Coquille and Bandon make it to the end of the standings, they’ll share the regular season title and have a one-game playoff for that top seed.

“If we take care of the business and they take care of the business, we’ll play them for the championship,” Thompson said.

But both teams know there is a lot of work to be done to get to this point.

And Kokil will have to play many more full games than on Thursday.

“We didn’t give up,” Kokila coach Marty Stallard said of his return in the fourth quarter. “I’m proud of the effort we put in for the comeback. Finally we got the right combination (players)

“I wasn’t proud of the first three quarters. We were absolutely lost.”

Partly it was because of the way the Tigers played.

Kokil used a transition offense to score a lot of points in the first meeting, taking advantage when Bandon tried to press.

The Tigers never pressed Thursday night.

“Today we came in with a completely different game plan,” Sammons said. “We gave them easy opportunities to score for the first time. We wanted it to be a half court game (tonight).

“The girls did well.”

Kokil struggled on the half-court offense for the first three quarters, with the exception of Taylor Kellner’s 3-pointers.

Kellner finished with 11 points, Holly Vig had the team’s top 13 and Trinidi Blanton had eight.

Chill, breaking an eight-game streak, hosts Myrtle Point on Tuesday and Days Creek in a non-league game on Wednesday.

Bandon returned to action on Saturday, defeating Waldport 52-37 after trailing 18-9 early.

“It was a big win for us,” Sammons said. “I was proud of our efforts tonight.”

Thompson had 14 points while Makenna Virk added 13 points, Makia Virk added 11 and Angie Morones added eight.

The Tigers face Myrtle Point in each of their next two games, making up for a previously postponed Wednesday home game and visiting the Lynx the following Monday.

The Bobcats will be looking to get back on track after losing 48-42 at the Woldport on Thursday and 39-37 at home to Toledo on Saturday, continuing the trend of all six of their league games being decided by six. points or less (three wins and three losses).

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