Things came down to the wire last Friday for the Bruins boys basketball team, who managed to overpower the Douglas Trojans in overtime, 58-51, after a going neck and neck all game.
The win starts the Bruins off at 1-0 to begin their league season, tied with Marshfield and North Bend in the Far West League. The Bruins are now 7-8 overall at rank No. 16 in the OSAA 4A rankings.
The Bruins kept it close during the first quarter as they went into the second slightly behind at 7-9. Things were tied 16-16 at halftime, but the Bruins fell behind again at 30-33 in the third quarter.
After the Bruins made substantial gains in the fourth quarter, the Trojans managed to hit a 2-point shot to tie the game 48-48 with only seconds to spare. The game went into overtime, where a glut of free throws put the Bruins ahead at 58-51 when the clock finally ran out.
Coach Buelle Gonzalez felt the Bruins had many good opportunities to score throughout the game, but had difficulty cashing in until the final quarter. Going into overtime, Gonzalez was confident, as the Trojan’s star player Quinden Parson had fouled out.
“I felt when Quinden went down, that upped our advantage,” said Gonzalez.
Bruins player Luke Beaman was confident going into overtime, saying he thought the Bruins had a higher skill level than the Trojans and that if not for some small mistakes, could have won earlier. Beaman went on to make several key free throws to help rally his team during overtime.
“Once I hit those shots at the end, the intensity brought our team up and brought the crowd up to pull us through and win,” said Beamen.
The intensity of Friday’s game gave Bruins player Austin Fronckowiak flashbacks of last year’s league opener, when the Bruins were forced into overtime by Marshfield, but were defeated.
“The same thing happened then. We had a big shot, but then they had a big shot that sent us into overtime,” said Fronckowiak. “This time, we’re going into league 1-0, which is a huge boost to our motivation.”
Gonzalez was happy to have such an exciting home game to kick league play, but at the end of the night had his eyes immediately forward.
“The most important thing is we ended with a win,” said Gonzalez. “We’re 1-0. We’re up against Siuslaw now and that’s what we need to focus on.”
The Bruins host Siuslaw Tuesday, then travel to North Bend on Friday to play the Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m.