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You are here: Home Forum Boys Basketball 4A Boys Basketball Better keep an eye on North Bend
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TOPIC: Better keep an eye on North Bend

Better keep an eye on North Bend 6 years 7 months ago #303

The last time NB went to the state tournament was 1959, where they went 1-2. Mel Counts was playing for crosstown rival Marshfield back then so it was Bay Area dominance, which sounds strange given the Valley-centric way basketball in this neck of the woods has gone for most years.

Guess what? It could be strange at least from the Bulldog perspective to actually be relevant come tournament time. North Bend got a decent coach, a guy who used to coach at SWOCC. There were no killer players returning, none of the tall guys that have been around the last several years are to be seen and graduation losses were heavy. All there was in NB's favor was a better coach. Yet that has been enough for NB to rout Junction City by 30, pound Cottage Grove by 13 and then nail out #1 Elmira by 9 to open the season. Sky-Em teams are not exactly chopped liver so those are extra-impressive wins.

Should NB make state as the FWL #1 seed, guess who they would play? The SkyEm #1 seed, which will likely be Elmira. Talk about an exciting game to start the tournament with for both teams if it works out that way!

North Bend plays Marshfield on Friday and after that they will play in an 8 team tournament hosted by Marshfield, featuring bigger schools. Watch for the results. If they are as stunning as the beginning of the season has been, check the skies for a blue moon because North Bend would then be the favorite to win the 4-A title and I swear, that is something I would have never believed possible. Even a decent showing at .500 would be doing good against the 5-A's and show NB will be a force to be reckoned with.

North Bend vs #1's has never seen NB win. When I was a senior at NB back in 1973, we were playing North Eugene, who was #1 and on the way to the state title with Danny Ainge's older brother Doug. We were on the way to what was a 7-15 record. With 2 minutes to go, NB led NE 50-49. The crowd (we really did have crowds back in the day...LOL!) gave the Bulldogs a standing ovation for their great showing. After that the balloon popped, reality set in and the Highlanders quit screwing around as they rolled off 10 straight points to win the game by a count of 59-50. That is as close as it ever has been until the win over Elmira's Falcons on Tuesday night. The win was THAT historic.

Now to see how the rest of the non-conference schedule against a tough slate of teams goes. In FWL play Brookings, Sutherlin and Siuslaw have been tough nuts to crack for NB in the past. Douglas saw a resurgence in football that could easily carry over to basketball. South Umpqua hasn't done much but NB has already seen what happens when they don't show up against the weaker FWL teams in football, losing to SU in 2008 and Sutherlin in 2009. Each of those teams gets 3 shots at NB and believe me, they will take them. NB is a young team and success has not been common so it will be a real challenge for the Bulldogs to play the FWL part of the schedule.

If North Bend does rise up, it will be for the first time in half a century and worth remembering. Never has rooting for the underdog been so much fun as I actually have a dog in the fight for a change come roundball season!

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Re: Better keep an eye on North Bend 6 years 7 months ago #304

  • Cipole
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Great little blurb and very enjoyable reading DB! So NB is one of those "Every 50 Years" team it looks like?!? Thats a pretty amazing dry spell but seems like wrestling has always ruled the roost in NB. (In a previous life I was from Newberg)....so hey DB.... speaking of wrestling whatever happened to Willie Little?

And I'll have to bookmark the NB Ballteam this year.
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Re: Better keep an eye on North Bend 6 years 7 months ago #308

No idea about Willie or even who he is. Wrestling saw NB and Marshfield win all the Midwestern League titles for 25 years. Marshfield on occasion made some noise at state in basketball but with wrestling having gotten so big that even grade school kids were involved in wrestling, that was the successful winter sport for the Bay Area. NB won their first ever state title in 1979 thanks to the wrestling team.

I would find it like living in an alternate universe where NB was a basketball power...LOL! Wrestling is on the rocks over here so that's strange enough but to do well in boys' basketball? Wow! The girls have done well at NB with a state title (beat Marist by 20 in the championship game too!) and some other OSAA hardware to prove their worth but you won't see any of those nice shiny bits they hand out at state tournaments for the boys in NB's trophy case. Other than Oregon State making it to the Rose Bowl in my lifetime, I have no greater wish than to see NB do well and snag some state hardware in football and basketball.

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Re: Better keep an eye on North Bend 6 years 7 months ago #316

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I had an idea that NB might be pretty good. The return enough decent guys from the FWL all-league team and the early wins against JC and CG had them on my radar. I voted them #6 in the OL poll and that was BEFORE they went and knocked off Elmira (who I had as #4). NB will definitely be moving up in my poll this weekend.
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Re:Better keep an eye on North Bend 6 years 6 months ago #341

North Bend finished the nonconference at 7-1. After opening 3-0 against 4-A teams (including #1 Elmira), the Bulldogs beat rival 5-A Marshfield to get to 4-0. A holiday break was in the cards and after that the basketball resumed with the Les Schwab Tournament held at Marshfield. NB opened up by beating 5-A Willamette, then fell to 6-A Roseburg by 20. Not getting discouraged, the Bulldogs sent 6-A Grants Pass back to their cave with a win and garnered 3rd place against a field of bigger schools and Marist. The final non-conference game was against a 3-A Coquille team that has been a thorn in the side of Bulldog basketball before but this time it was the pitchfork getting stuck to the Red Devils as NB won by 18.

Looking at other FWL scores this season shows another surprise for an unexpectedly tough team: South Umpqua. The Lancers have been mired with massive amounts of losing on both the boys' and girls' side this past decade. Now it looks like they are going to be a rough and tough bunch to play against.

The usual suspects for the crown (Sutherlin, Siuslaw, Brookings) are all down this year. Douglas, coming off their football title, looks to be way down in basketball. The 2009-10 season shapes up to be rather unique in terms of order of finish for the FWL.

NB will without a doubt get a playoff game but will they be able to win it and then advance to Corvallis? No other 4-A team played as many big schools (four, going 3-1 against them) as NB did as far as I can tell. Adding in Elmira to the mix made sure the non-conference schedule would be as taxing as possible. It's a good start. Now to see if there is the good finish!

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