GOLD BEACH — A come-from-behind 2A-4 Sunset Conference road victory Saturday had the Waldport High School boys basketball team thinking big heading into this final week of regular season.
The usual suspects — juniors Zak Holsey and Levi Fruechte — led the way June 12 as the Irish downed a spirited Gold Beach team 52-47 in a league matchup that kept Waldport’s hopes for a postseason berth alive.
Holsey posted a double-double, dropping in a team high 23 points with 10 rebounds. Fruechte added a 16-point effort, and freshman post Haiden Hanks grabbed 12 boards for Waldport, which strengthened its grip on third place in the league standings.
With a third-place league finish, the Irish would be eligible for an at-large bid to a postseason tournament.
“Because of the players’ drive and passion, we have improved and grown so much,” wrote Irish head coach Matt Brown in his postgame media report. “We are truly blessed and privileged to coach these players, but we are not satisfied and want to be better in pursuit of our goals.”
The Irish, who trailed by as many as 10 in the second half and snagged 45 rebounds total against Gold Beach, looked to clinch third place in the final standings Monday at home with a win against Coquille, which entered at 4-3 in league, 5-4 overall.
Waldport was slated to finish the regular season with games at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday (tonight) at home against Toledo and Friday at Reedsport.
Cascade 61, Newport 42
At Cascade, the 4A-4 Oregon West Conference-leading Cougars sent Newport to its eighth straight defeat June 11, derailing the Cubs in a 61-42 setback.
Newport (1-3, 1-9) was slated to finish the season with conference road games Tuesday at Sweet Home, Wednesday at Philomath and Saturday at Woodburn.
Warrenton 69, Taft 36
At Lincoln City, the Tigers were still in search of their first win after dropping a 69-36 decision June 10 to 3A-3 Coastal Range League-foe Warrenton.
Results of the Tigers’ game the following night at Clatskanie were not reported to the Oregon School Activities Association or the media prior to the News-Times sports’ deadline. Taft entered that contest 0-6 in league play, 0-10 overall.
Taft posts win, loss
After earning a 39-25 league win June 10 at Warrenton, the Tigers returned home the following evening and dropped a 3A-3 Coastal Range League contest, 51-23 to Clatskanie.
The Tigers (3-2, 3-4) were scheduled to host Clatskanie on Monday and Willamina on Thursday before completing the regular season Friday at Rainer.
Gold Beach 66, Waldport 49
At Gold Beach, the Panthers earned a measure of revenge June 12 and sent the Irish to their second straight loss in a 2A-4 Sunset Conference defeat.
Gold Beach, which began the final week of the regular season 6-2 in league, 8-2 overall and in second place in the league standings, fell May 26 at Waldport, 43-38.
The third-place Irish, scheduled to host Coquille on Monday and Toledo on Wednesday before closing out the regular season Friday at Reedsport, slipped to 6-3, 6-4.
Cascade 55, Newport 21
At Cascade, the Cubs had three more chances to break into the win column at the start of the week after Cascade dealt the Cubs 4A-3 Oregon West Conference loss June 11 on the road.
Newport (0-4, 0-9) was scheduled to complete the campaign with home league games Tuesday against Sweet Home, at 3:30 p.m. today (Wednesday) against Philomath and at 6 p.m. Friday against Woodburn.