By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
Just four more games stand between the Brookings-Harbor High School boys' basketball team and a state championship.
But the first of the four steps may be the most difficult.
Tonight (March 8), the Bruins will host the Junction City Tigers in a second round playoff game at CFCU Pavilion.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the game begins at 7 p.m. with OSAA ticket prices at $6 for adults and $4 for students.
The Bruins, who have been the No. 2 ranked team in the state for the past month, will battle with the No. 4 Tigers to determine who will advance to the eight-team state tournament at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis from March 12-14.
With the win, the Bruins would be headed to Gill for the second straight year after an 11 year absence from the tournament.
From 1993 to 1996, the Bruins made four straight trips to the big dance under Coach Tom Owens and won two games in 1995 before losing in the consolation finals.
But this season's Bruins have their sights set on nothing less than a state championship and, so far, they have the credentials to get there.
The Bruins finished as the Far West League champs for the first time in program history and swept their league opponents with a 10-0 record.
Along with a perfect league season, the Bruins also finished with a 20-2 overall record - the first 20-win season in the program history - and are riding a 12 game win streak into today's game.
On the other hand, the Tigers are having an incredible season of their own.
They finished second in the very tough Sky-Em League at 10-2 and also racked up a 20-win season with an overall record of 22-3.
The Tigers are riding a nine game win streak of their own and have a number of quality wins over playoffs teams such as Marist, Sisters, Stayton, Cascade, Philomath and Sweet Home.
The game will also feature a pair of league MVPs as Sky-Em Player of the Year Blair Wheadon will go head-to-head with the Bruins' Chase Bansemer, who was voted the Far West League Player of the Year.
Offensively, the Bruins are averaging 63.2 points per game - fourth best in the state - while the Tigers average 56.9 points per game - ninth highest in the state.
Both teams play excellent defense and have allowed an identical 45.1 points per game, which is third best in the state.
With limited seating available, those who are unable to get ahold of one of the 300 tickets being sold at the door will be able to view the game via a live feed in the auditorium for a small $3 fee.
Look for a brief summary of the game Sunday afternoon on www.currypilot.com.