Bandon — It wasn’t pretty, but it’ll go down as a resume bolster and step forward for the Lakeview Honkers…..a win over #1 Bandon…..in the Bandon Dunes Invitational. Yep, going on the road and defeating #1 in a hostile road environment. It’s the latest in what’s been a badly shaken 2A landscape, one that has featured more chaos and reshuffling than any other class this season so far. At this point, we have no idea who will be the next team to take the #1 spot in the classification, but we can add Lakeview to the list of teams to watch for the state title in March. Yep, the Honkers are the real deal and they just proved it, so take notice.
Bandon hit some nice jumpers, but they had to work hard for them, and Lakeview’s D made it miserable trying to find those looks. As the game progressed, the Honkers went from a half-court zone to a full-on press, placing pressure on the Tigers from the very start of each possession. It worked. They forced Bandon into many mistakes and turnovers, capitalizing with points down on the other end of the floor. Big middle Tyler McNeley stuffed up the paint, shutting down the Tigers and forcing them into making contested shot attempts. Bandon couldn’t get into rhythm and the gameplan worked, the Honkers held them to 31 points in a 42-31 dub.
On offense, the commanding general Savannah Greenfield took command of her offense and directed it the best she could. Bandon placed pressure on them, and it wasn’t always pretty, but they ultimately dominated the paint. McNeley had herself a dominant performance, cleaning up the glass with relative ease and establishing herself as a putback queen on the scoring end. Greenfield did a nice job with ball distribution, sending it to the best opportunities and even finding herself with some points on the board, including a beautiful corner trey in the game. Kenna Stratton also had a notable performance, as the 6’0″ inside out combo played well defensively, crashed the glass pretty well, and was a great contributor on both sides of the floor. Its these types of cores and subsequent role players that ultimately make championship contenders.
After winning the Bandon Dunes Invitational, the Honkers return for a few more non-league games before kicking off Southern Cascade play. With the league having a down year, Bonanza seems to be the only team that would cause any problems for them down the stretch. Don’t be surprised to see Lakeview run the table and go undefeated in league, then go deep into the 2A playoffs depending on who ultimately gets paired up. The Honkers need to clean up the offensive side with turnovers, but overall are a very solid team that can pull some wonders this season in 2A. With the Salem Academy injury ridden and everyone else seemingly vulnerable in some way, 2A is wide open so why not Lakeview? The answer is, there isn’t a reason to believe they can’t win it all. Don’t sleep on the Honkers from the “Tallest Town In Oregon”.
Footnote: Header photo provided by Lakeview HC Cody Blair!