By Randy Robbins

Special to the Pilot

When the visiting Lady Bobcats of Myrtle Point took to the hardwood of Gold Beach High’s Colvin Court last Friday, MPHS knew it was going to be a cat fight.

Head Coach Dave Larsen’s undefeated Bobcats were 2-0 in Sunset Conference play with wins over bunk mates Walport and Reedsport. Their host Gold Beach, also 2-0, edged Toledo 61-58 in a game where the Boomers had given the Lady Panthers everything they could handle and had bested Bandon, 56-23.

It would be an important game for both schools.

A see-saw battle ensued with the lead trading hands several times. Myrtle Point had a slim 2-point lead at the half, 17-15.

Gold Beach Basketball boss Chris Clark said there was a reason for that.

“Myrtle Point came out very fast and we had to play them hard, maybe a little too hard,” he said.

Clark was referring to one of his team’s leaders, Paris Newdall, who got into foul trouble early on, resulting in a spot on the bench. A calculation the veteran GBHS coach made to ensure Newdall would be around to finish the game.

It turned out to be a good call.

“Paris is so important to the rest of the team’s chemistry, they really feed off of her energy, so I had to back her off a bit but it made a big difference to have her back out there,” Clark said.

With Jordan Rucker holding things together at 12 points in the contest, a newly reinvigorated Gold Beach found their footing and with scrappy play went up by 4 points, 29-25, by the end of the third stanza.

That is when Newdall saved her best for last against a tough MPHS squad refusing to give up, staying firmly in the Lady Panther’s rear view mirror trailing by only 4 points, 31-36, midway through the fourth.

Crashing the boards, Newdall forced the hands of the Bobcats, fouling the Panther senior resulting in a bucket plus a bonus shot; Gold Beach now up 39-31 with 48 seconds left to go.

Myrtle Point responded with a breakaway run to the rack, 39-33. Gold Beach lost the ball on the inbound but when MPHS started to drive in the final seconds, Newdall stole the ball and went to the hoop for two drawing a foul.

With a final swish of the net’ Gold Beach would win it, 42-33.

Gold Beach now sits atop the Sunset Conference with a perfect 3-0 record.