After winning their first playoff round at home on Feb. 23 against the Yamhill-Carlton Tigers, the Bruins advanced to the quarterfinals where they took on the Burns Hilanders. The Hilanders triumphed over the Bruins at 57-40, knocking them into the consolation bracket.
“That first team is always the toughest,” said Bruins coach Chris Schofield. “We might not of played the best game, but we definitly played hard and we’re proud of that.”
The Bruins kept their heads up, however, as they won their first consolation bracket match against the Oregon Episcopal Aardvarks at a close 47-45 last Friday. Capping off their season on a high note, the Bruins took on the Warrenton Warriors in the final round of the consolation bracket.
The Bruins defeated the Warriors at 45-40, ending their season strong at 16-9 overall and at fourth place in the playoffs. The team also earned a Sportsmanship Award for the tournament.
According to Schofield, this is the highes he has seen the program go so far.
Brookings-Harbor vs. Burns
The Hilanders took an early lead against the Bruins, but things were close going into the second half as they only managed to truly break away in the fourth quarter.
A glut of two-pointers, a spare three-pointer and free-throw put the Hilanders ahead at 14-8 in the first quarter. The Bruins managed a pair of three-pointers and free-throws themselves from Mickey Fulton and Lexi Schofield, respectively.
The Bruins bounced back in the second quarter with a big 15-points spread out across the team as the Hilanders kept up the pressure close behind with 11 points of their own. The score was a close 25-23 in the Hilander’s favor going into the second half.
The Hilanders started to take back the momentum in the third quarter as they outpaced the Bruins with 16 points from a glut of two-pointers and a pair of three-pointers. Sierra Fitzhugh helped the Bruins keep the pressure on with five successful free throws, but they began trailing behind with only 12 points, taking the score to 41-35 in the Hilanders favor.
With a slurry of two-pointers and free-throws, the Hilanders finally jumped ahead with 16 points as the Bruins fell behind with only five of their own from Lexi Schofield. The game ended at 57-40 in Burns favor, sending the Bruins to the consolation bracket.
Burns advanced to the semi-final round where they were defeated at 47-39 by Clatskanie.
Brookings-Harbor vs. Oregon Episcopal
In the first round of the consolation bracket, the Bruins faced the Oregon Episcopal Aardvarks, who had been defeated by Clatskanie in the quarter-finals. The Bruins earned the win at 47-45, advancing them to the final round of the consolation bracket.
“The second toughest thing after an early loss is the quick turn around,” Schofield said. ‘It was early, but we played hard again Friday morning and I think we also played better, executed things better, both offensively and defensively.”
The Bruins took ahold of the momentum in the first quarter as they put 18 points on the board with Lexi Schofield leading at 11 to herself. Chloe McCrae got a pair of two-pointers, while Lexee Murray earned a three-pointer.
The second round saw the teams evenly matched with 10 points each, but the Bruins stayed ahead as the score hit 28-21 going into the second half. Fitzhugh led the quarter with a pair of two-pointers and a pair of free-throws.
The third saw the Bruins keep their momentum, as they scored another 10 points while keeping the Aardvarks at seven. McCrae led the Bruins this time around with a two-pointer and a pair of free-throws.
The third quarter began at 38-28, but the Aardvarks seized the momentum and scored a big 19 points to the Bruins nine, but the Bruins stayed ahead thanks to their lead, ending with the win at 47-45.
From there the Bruins advanced to the final round of the consolation bracket against the Warrenton Warriors.
Brookings-Harbor vs. Warrenton
The Bruins played their final game of their year against Warrenton on Saturday to see who would take first in the consolation bracket and fourth place in the playoffs.
“It was an interesting matchup for us,” Schofield said. “They wanted to get onto the floor and play fast, but we played hard and well and were right there with them.”
The two teams started out evenly matched in the first quarter, tied at 12-12. The Warriors broke away before the end of the half with eight points to the Bruins six, taking the lead at 20-18.
The Warriors maintained the lead in the third quarter, slightly widening it to a 33-29 split. The Bruins managed to rally before the end however and took the win at 45-40.
“If you asked me who I thought might have won the playoffs this year, Warren would have been in that group,” Schofield said. “We worked hard though and improved from that first game and managed to take the win.”
With this victory, the Bruins ended their season at fourth place in the OSAA 3A state championships. They went 16-9 overall this season and were frozen at rank No. 11 at the end of league play.
“In December when things were just getting started and someone told us we’d be bringing home fourth place at the state tournament, I think the team would have looked at them funny,” Schofield said. “But all season, the girls kept fighting and kept working hard and improving and in the end, it paid off for us.”