By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
CORVALLIS - For the first time in school history, the Brookings-Harbor High School boys' basketball team will be playing for a state title at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis at the OSAA State Basketball Championships.
The Bruins will face Marist of Eugene at 8:30 p.m. Friday. A rooter bus of BHHS students will leave for Corvallis at noon today.
Watch for live play-by-play reports from Pilot Sports Editor Josh Bronson at www.CurryPilot.com
In the first semifinal game of the day, the Bruins handily defeated the Stayton Eagles 53-34 to propel the Bruins to the final game.
"We've had a lot of firsts this year," Coach Bryan Wood said. "It's just a credit to the kids we have right now."
The Bruins (23-2) will try and complete the best season in school history with state championship Friday night.
"It's overwhelming almost," Junior Fred Corpening said. "Indescribable. I never thought we'd be here."
The championship game will be at 8:30 p.m. against Marist, who defeated Newport later Thursday.
"Now we just have to outwork our opponent tomorrow," Corpening said. "Since we started, that's how we've done it."
Hard work and defense has been the key to the Bruins success this season and the last two games have exemplified those characteristics.
"I thought we played great defensively," Junior Chase Bansemer said. "I always felt we had a shot to get here (championship game), but I knew we would have to outwork teams game in and game out to get there."
The Bruins had to first get by a quality Hidden Valley club that prided themselves on their defense.
Although Hidden Valley led for most of the game, the Bruins used a 12-0 run in the final three minutes of the game to pull out a 45-38 win over the Mustangs.
In Thursday's game against Stayton, the Bruins took control of the game early and kept the pressure on the Eagles, never allowing them to be serious contenders in the game.
"We didn't do a lot different against Stayton," Coach Bryan Wood said. "Except that the kids played with a lot more confidence."
And that confidence showed against the Eagles as the Bruins proved that they are one of the best team's in the state this year.
In the first five minutes of play, four different players scored as the Bruins took a commanding 10-2 lead in the first quarter.
While the Bruin offense was flowing much better Thursday night, it was the defense that won the game for the Bruins.
"We played some our strongest defense of the year tonight," Corpening said. "We created some early turnovers and got easy layups."
The Bruins held the Eagles to just six points in the first quarter and held a 14-6 advantage after the first stanza.
After outscoring Stayton 12-9 in the second quarter, the Bruins took a 26-15 lead into halftime.
But the Bruin defense only got better as the game went on.
In the third quarter, the Eagles only scored a measley five points as the Bruins dropped 13 points in the quarter to basically put the game out of reach with a 19-point lead, 39-20, heading into the final period.
After holding the Eagles to 38.9 percent shooting from the field in the first half, the Bruins smothered Stayton in the second half as the Eagles went 4-for-20 from the field in the second half for a dreadful 20 percent shooting in the half.
For the game, the Eagles shot only 28.9 percent from the field while the Bruins converted on over half their attempts from the field, shooting a stellar 51.1 percent on the night.
The Bruins led by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter and several young Bruins got valuable playing experience at the big stage.
Chase Bansemer led the way for the Bruins as scored a game-high 17 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field. Bansemer also grabbed a game-high four steals on defense.
Corpening was the other Bruin to register double digits as he tallied 15 points to go along with a game-high nine rebounds.
Kenton Bansemer, Nick Taresh, AJ Weber and Garrett Long all had four points apiece for the Bruins, while Michael Wood and Cody Cozad each had two and Chambers added one.
Once again, tremendous play by the deep Bruin bench helped the team stay fresh and intense throughout the game.
Freshman Coby Proctor led the Eagles with 13 points on the night.
"We're going to have a lot of fun tomorrow," Wood said of the championship game. "We encourage anyone from the Brookings area to come down and support the boys because it's going to be a barn-burner. We live in a great town and a great community and we love these kids."
Follow the state championship game at www.currypilot.com with live updates from Gill Coliseum starting at 8:30 p.m.
Fourth Quarter: Bruins start with 39-20 lead
Bruins start with ball and Fred Corpening fouled down low and goes 1-2 from the line, 40-20 lead.
Steal down low by Kenotn Bansemer, but Bruin travel on the other end. Bruins still lead 40-20, 6:32 left.
Stayton's Coby Procter nails a 3-pointer, pulls the score to 40-23.
Bruin turnover and then Hartsell fouled under the basket. Hartsell goes 1-2 from the line, 40-24, 5:15 left.
Nick Taresh hits baseline floater for the Bruins first field goal of the quarter and Bruins lead, 42-24.
Fred Corpening swats away a shot, but Hartsell gets the put back, 42-26.
AJ Weber answers with a putback of his own for the Bruins, 44-26 lead.
Bruins in bonus with 3:41 left to play in the game and Coby Proctor hits both free throws, 44-28 lead.
Stayton starting to press but Bruins break with ease.
Eagles now in bonus with seven fouls, but Fred misses first free throw and won't get the second.
AJ Weber with another offensive rebound and putback, Bruins lead 46-28 with 3 minutes left.
Stayton sticking around and Proctor hits another 3-pointer and the Eagles take a timeout, 46-31 Bruin lead with 2:52 left.
Fred Corpening with a huge swat, but Bruins can't convert on the other end.
Stayton settling for 3-pointers, but not falling.
Chase hits inside on the other end, 48-31 lead, 1:32 left.
After another Bruin steal, Chase hits another runner and gets fouled and hits the free throw, 51-31.
Bruin reserves will take over with 1:17 left.
Stayton's Eric Linemannn at the line, 2-2, 51-33 Bruin lead, 50 seconds left.
Sophomore Cody Cozad gets his first points of the tournament with an inside bucket and Bruins lead 53-33 with 25 seconds left.
Kyle McGrath at the line for Stayton, 1-2 from the line and Bruins hold on for 53-34 win.
Third Quarter: Bruins start with 26-15 lead
Stayton starts with ball, but still can't get by the Bruin defense with another turnover.
On the other end, Chase hits a baseline runner to put the Bruins up 28-15.
Both teams miss transition opportunities, and then Fred Corpening called for the offensive foul, his second of the game.
Kenton comes up with a big block and Fred grabs the rebound and is fouled. Stayton timeout, 28-15 Bruin lead, 6:11.
Bruins called for 10 second backcourt violation, but then get a steal and Fred Corpening hits inside on the other end, 30-15 lead.
Bruin foul, Ryan Bowers at the line for the Eagles, 1-2 from the line and the Bruins still hold a 30-16 lead, 5:25 left.
Stayton's Alex Esparza with a beautiful steal and then gets fouled by the Bruins. Esparza goes 1-2 from the line, 30-17 lead.
Great hustle on the offensive end by Nick Taresh to scramble for the ball and get the Bruins the ball back.
Bruins offense starting to slow down just a hair and forced to call a timeout before a five-second violation. Bruins still hold a 30-17 lead with 4:11 left in the third quarter.
Chase Bansemer takes the ball the length of the floor, hits the contested layup and gets fouled, but misses the gree throw and Bruins lead 32-17, 3 minutes left.
Fred Corpening with a steal and layup at 2:23, Bruins lead 34-17.
Hartsell hits for the Eagles, but Fred Corpening answers with a jumper, 36-19 Bruin lead, 1:35 left in the quarter.
Stayton's Ryan Bowers at the line, 1-2ft, 36-20 Bruins.
Garrett Long hits a floater inside with 1:03 left, 38-20 Bruins.
Charles Chambers fouled down low and goes 1-2 from the line, 39-20, 30 seconds remain.
Bruins can't get off shot before the end of the quarter and take a 39-20 lead into the fourth.
Halftime: Bruins lead 26-15
At the half, Chase Bansemer and Fred Corpening have eight points apiece for the Bruins and Coby Proctor leads the Eagles with five points.
The Bruins shot 59.7 percent from the field in the first half and held the Eagles to 38.9 percent shooting.
Second quarter: Bruins lead 14-6
Bruins start with ball, but having trouble with Stayton's half-court trap defense and can't get off a shot before traveling with the ball.
Michael Wood hits a long jumper after the Bruins patiently waited for the right shot, 16-6 Bruin lead, 6:30.
Stayton's Hartsell hits from inside, 16-8 Bruin lead.
Bruin starters back in and Fred Corpening hits a short baseline jumper and gets fouled, but misses the free throw, 18-8 Bruins.
Bruins playing good pressure defense and force an Eagle timeout. Out of the timeout, Eagles still have trouble getting off a shot until Cody Procter hits a jumper, 18-10 Bruin lead, 4:50.
Chase Bansemer hits a floater in the lane on the other end and the Bruins stretch their lead to 10, 20-10.
Bruins in bonus at 3:46, but Stayton misses the first free throw and doesn't get the bonus shot.
Chase takes the ball the length of the floor and hits a short jumper in transition, 22-10 lead, 3:05 left.
Stayton's Justin Anderson hits inside, lead back down to 10, 22-12 Bruins.
But then Proctor hits a 3-pointer for the Eagles to cut the lead to seven, 22-15, with just two minutes left to play in the half.
Fred Corpening grabs a huge offensive rebound and gets the putback, 24-15.
Kenton gets a steal and looks like he may have a dunk, but then gets tripped up from behind and no foul called.
Bruins get ball back and then forced to take a timeout with a 24-15 lead and 49.3 seconds left in the half.
Nick Taresh has a nice baseline drive, but the layup rims out, Stayton ball.
Stayton holds for the last shot, but Fred Corpening gets the steal, misses the layup, but Garrett Long is there for the tip in and the Bruins head into the locker room with a 26-15 lead at the half.
Stayton wins the tip, but Nick Taresh gets a steal and Chase Bansemer hits a bank shot for a 2-0 Bruin lead.
After a missed 3-pointer by Eagles, Chase Bansemer called for offensive foul, Eagle ball, 7:06.
Another Bruin steal, but a foul on Kenton down low and Eagles tak over again.
Fred Corpening goes for a steal and is fouled, Bruin ball with a 2-0 lead, 5:53.
Nick Taresh hits Chase Bansemer on a beautiful backdoor cut for an easy layup, 4-0 Bruins, 5:42, Eagle timeout.
Eagles Justin Anderson puts back an offensive rebound for Stayton's first points of the game, 4-2 Bruin lead, 5:20.
Corpening fouled going to the hoop, and going to the line. Corpening hits both free throws, 6-2, 5:03
Kenton Bansemer fouled down low and going to the line for two free throws.
Bansemer hits both, 8-2 Bruins, 4 minutes left.
Bruins playing great defense and force another Eagle turnover.
Physical game and Bruins getting into some foul trouble, already have five personal fouls with 3 minutes left in the first quarter.
Nick Taresh gets free and gets an easy layup, 10-2 Bruins.
But Stayton answers back as Trenton Hartsell hits inside, 10-4 Bruins.
Kenton takes advantage of his guy hitting the floor and gets an easy bucket, 12-4 Bruins.
Eagles' Esparza gets a steal and layup with 50 seconds left, 12-6.
Fred Corpening hits a short jumper, 14-6 with 30 seconds left in the quarter.
Double foul gives the Eagles the ball with 6. 3 seconds left, but they can't do anything with it and the Bruins take a 14-6 lead after the first quarter.
It's about time for tip-off here from Corvallis and here are tonight's starting line-ups.
#31- Ryan Bowers
The Brookings-Harbor High School boys' basketball team will tangle with the Stayton Eagles in the semifinals of the OSAA Basketball State Championships at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis at 3:15 p.m.
With a 45-38 win over Hidden Valley yesterday, the Bruins (22-2) won their first game at the state tournament in 13 years.
A win tonight would send the Bruins into the state championship game for the first time in program history.
Stay tuned with us as we follow the game live from Gill Coliseum.