By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
For the first time in the history of the Brookings-Harbor High School boys' basketball program, the Bruins have won the Far West League (FWL) title outright with a 67-56 win over the Sutherlin Bulldogs Friday night.
But just winning the league title wouldn't be enough for this Bruin squad.
No, they had to sweep their entire league schedule 10-0 on their way to the FWL crown.
"When you get out there and win 10 league games, it's just a credit to how hard the kids play every night," Coach Bryan Wood said. "You can't ever take a night off, no matter who you're playing."
The win put the Bruins at 20-2 on the year and extended their win streak to 12 straight games.
"We have to stay focused and we can't be too proud of what we've already done," junior Fred Corpening said. "We have to stay humble and we can't look past Junction City."
On Saturday, March 8, the Bruins will clash with Junction City in a second round playoff game at home in the newly christened CFCU Pavilion.
League win No. 10 didn't come easy Friday night as Sutherlin looked to put a blemish on the Bruins' record.
The Bruins came out a little shaky in the first quarter and Sutherlin took a slim 16-15 lead at the end of the quarter.
In the second quarter, the Bruins made some defensive adjustments and held the Bulldogs to 13 points while they poured in 21 of their own and took a 36-29 lead into halftime.
Once again, the Bruins picked up their defense as they headed into the third quarter and only allowed the Bulldogs to score nine points in the stanza.
For the entire second half, the Bruins suffocated the Bulldog shooters and forced them to shoot a dreadful 20 percent from the field on 6-of-30 shooting.
The Bruins took a 49-38 lead into the fourth quarter which quickly became a free-throw shooting contest between the two teams.
In the fourth quarter alone, the Bruins were 16-of-23 from the charity stripe and were 26-of-36 for the game.
"We won because we made our free throws," Wood said. "That's a game that if our kids don't spend a lot of time in the gym, we don't win."
Fred Corpening went 10-of-12 from the free-throw line as he dropped a game-high 20 points to go along with eight rebounds.
Chase Bansemer also had an excellent night from the line as he knocked down 12-of-14 free throws for 19 points on the night.
Although Kenton Bansemer had just nine points on the night, his presence in the middle was priceless for the Bruins as he pulled down 14 rebounds and swatted away seven Sutherlin shots.
Michael Wood added eight points for the Bruins while Nick Taresh had six, AJ Weber and Chris Hodge had two apiece and Charles Chambers added one.
Freshman Bradley Seehawer led the Bulldogs with 19 points and Caleb Trowbridge added 14.
For six seniors Wood, Taresh, Weber, Chambers, Garrett Long and Michael Holmes it was their final regular season home game as a Bruin.
In the JV game, Cody Cozad scored 24 points as helped lead the Bruins to a 67-63 win over the Bulldogs.
Now the Bruins will have two weeks to prepare for a talented Junction City team.
"We just want to encourage everyone to come out March 8 and support the guys," Wood said. "And I can guarantee that they'll play hard for you."