By Randy Robbins

Special to the Pilot

When the Lady Panthers Head Basketball Coach, Chris Clark, welcomed the Sunset 2A-4 Conference’s newest addition from the 3A-Coquille, to Colvin Court, he already knew his girls would have their hands full. Last time these two squads met Gold Beach went down in flames up at the Devil’s domain 87-34.

This time it hurt, but wasn’t quite so painful.

Gold Beach managed to hang a bit closer to the #4 ranked Devils who led throughout and are hoping for a state championship when this season is all said and done. With Tim GeDeros at the helm, the Red,White, and Black have steam rolled nearly all of their hardwood opponents for their lunch money sitting pretty atop league play coming onto tonight’s contest game with a perfect 9-0 record, and left with 10-0 firmly in place. The Lady Devils-true to their name-have delivered fire and brimstone to their new neighbors in the Sunset gang hanging upwards between 30 to 50 points on their bunk mates in every outing. Only a non-league 48-53 hiccup to #1 ranked Kennedy, has tarnished Coquille’s otherwise stellar season. The Trojans in turn had their perfect storm upended by #2 Oakland 29-36 earlier this year. But even with things looking interesting at the top of the state DeGeros and company are busy getting from here to there and weren’t looking past the improving Panthers.

“Look we have to be ready for every game and come with big emotion, big execution.” said DeGeros.

Gold Beach came into the contest nursing a 1-7 league record (3-17) overall with wins coming against non-league Prospect Charter, Mapleton, and a few weeks ago Reedsport 30-26.

The young Lady Panthers have struggled with both inexperience and were vertically challenged against the more experienced, taller physical Lady Devils as well. A youthful roster populated with seven freshmen and two sophomores averaging 5’ 3” leaves Clark with no illusions. “Where do we need to improve the most?” He considers the question briefly and fires back. “Everything that has to do with basketball!”

Friday the Panthers host Toledo at home. Game time is 7 p.m.