Pendleton — Using a balanced team effort, stingy defense, and a little bit of luck, the Bandon Tigers are advancing to the 2A semifinals after defeating defending 2A champion Gervais 39-30 on Thursday afternoon in Pendleton! The top overall seed Salem Academy beat Stanfield 49-39 earlier in the day to advance to the semifinals. It wasn’t a pretty win by any means, but you will take the dubs where you can in the state playoffs, which is exactly what Bandon did against Gervais.
Things were shaky in the start, as Gervais took a 4-0 lead after a near stalemate through the first half of the opening quarter. Makiah Vierck would come back down the floor to pick up a three-point play, giving Bandon their first shot of momentum of the game against the Cougars. Katelyn Senn and Olivia Thompson aided in keeping the push going for Bandon, who closed out the quarter on a 12-0 run to lead 12-4 after one quarter over Gervais. Olivia Boyd would snap the scoreless drought for Gervais, hitting a jumper to make it a 12-6 game. Vierck punched back with a 7-0 run of her own to break open a 19-6 lead for the Tigers, capitalizing on missed shots by Gervais.
Mayra Perez would snap that streak with a layup, but Thompson came right back with a layup herself to make it 21-8 Bandon with 4:08 left in the half. The rest of the quarter was marred with turnovers and missed shots, with Sofia Contreras hitting a trey with around 30 seconds left to make it 21-11 at the half. Holding the Cougars to 18.2% shooting, the Tigers were in control defensively but couldn’t hit enough to make a bigger cushion for themselves. Bandon would open up a 28-11 lead in the second half, fueled by a 7-0 run courtesy of Thompson, Vierck, and Angelina Morones. Izzy Boyd hit a layup with 2:38 left in the third to break the scoreless streak, but Gervais couldn’t still get going offensively as Bandon led 30-16 entering the fourth quarter.
In an attempt to dig out of the hole, Salma Villegas and Olivia Boyd got a 5-0 run that milked three minutes off the clock, getting within 30-21 of Bandon. Contreras, Ava Sellers, and Perez combined to scrap together some offense down the stretch, closing it to a 32-27 game with 57 seconds remaining in regulation. Morones hit a free throw that made it a six point Tigers lead, with Senn’s jumper with 38 seconds left was a nail on the coffin as Bandon defeated Gervais 39-30 to advance to the 2A semifinals at 6:30 PM on Friday against Salem Academy. Olivia Thompson led Bandon with ten points, while sisters Makiah and Makenna Vierck both had eight apiece. Olivia Boyd led Gervais with 11 points, Salma Villegas had six for the Cougars, who will face Stanfield in the 2A consolation bracket on Friday morning.