By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
The Azalea Middle School seventh and eighth grade boys' basketball teams grabbed a pair of wins over Riley Creek Middle School of Gold Beach in home games Monday evening.
In the seventh grade game, the Bruins dominated the second half and outscored the Cubs 33-14 to secure a 43-27 victory.
After a shaky start, the Bruins trailed 13-10 heading into the second half.
But the Bruin offense starting clicking in the third quarter as they outscored Riley Creek 15-4, including an 8-0 run to end the quarter.
The scoring continued in the fourth as the Bruins poured on 18 points in the final stanza.
Cade Freels led the Bruins with 13 points on the night and did a great job crashing the boards and corralling rebounds.
Darrell Hopper and Andrew Bilyeu showed off their ability to get to the hoop with slashing drives as they tallied nine and eight points, respectively.
Zach Konkel added six points for the Bruins while Nate Orman chipped in five and Tyree Dingle rounded out the scoring with two points.
In the eighth grade game, the Bruins took a commanding 20-6 lead after the first quarter and never looked back in a 64-40 win.
Alex Pate scored eight of his 11 points in the first quarter as he proved to be an unstoppable force down low.
The Bruins continued to pour on the points in the second quarter, outscoring the Cubs 19-7 en route to taking a 39-13 lead at the half.
In the second half, the Bruin reserves played a majority of the minutes and played even with the Cubs starters as Riley Creek took a slight 27-25 edge in the final two quarters.
Pate led the Bruins with 11 points while his post counterpart, Chandler Gotfried, added 10.
Pete Peterson chipped in nine points, Andrew Tygart added eight, Trevor Gallian had seven, Thomas Rushton six, Nick Corpening and Cory Garvin each had four, while Tyler Wood added three and Thomas Spratt had two.
Just a few days earlier, the eighth grade team took home the championship at the Comet Winter Classic in McKinleyville.
"We're playing really good basketball right now," Coach Keith Wallin said. "We're doing a lot of really good things on defense and our post play is really solid."
In the first game of the tournament, the Bruins downed Pacific Union 65-44.
Chandler led the Bruins with 23 points in the win while Pate had 14 and Peterson added eight.
To reach the championship game, the Bruins had to grind out a 51-50 win over Hoopa.
Once again, Gotfried led the team with a game-high 25 points, followed by 13 from Pate.
In the championship game, the Bruins ran away with the title as they cruised to a 56-31 victory over Fortuna.
"Our defense was as dominate as I've seen it in two years," Wallin said. "And our half-court offense was executed perfectly."
Gotfried had 17 points in the championship game and Pate added 14.
While averaging 21.7 points per game, Gotfried was named tournament MVP while Pate and Spratt joined him on the All-Tournament team.
The next game for the Azalea Bruins will be today (Feb. 6) against a talented Crescent Elk team. The seventh grade team tips off at 4 p.m., followed by the eighth grade team at 5:30 p.m.