A few halftime adjustments sparked a monster third quarter for Bend High Friday night, and now the Lava Bears appear ready for Class 6A Mountain Valley Conference play.
In its last tuneup before league play begins next week, Bend outscored Redmond 16-2 in the third quarter on its way to a 64-32 drubbing of the 5A Panthers in a nonleague boys basketball game at Bend High.
Brian Warinner led the Bears with 20 points and Bryan Brown added 12 for Bend (6-4), which opens MVC play by hosting Sprague on Tuesday.
The Lava Bears led 28-17 at halftime, but some transition baskets and solid passing between Warinner and Brown led to the third-quarter outburst that put the game out of reach for Redmond (2-10).
“At halftime we talked about playing the way we’re capable of playing, taking care of the ball, getting every loose ball and every rebound,” Bend coach Scott Baker said. “I thought the kids did a great job in the third quarter.”
The 6-foot-6-inch Warinner scored 10 of his 20 points in the third quarter and the 6-5 Brown scored six of his 12 in the period.
Brown found Warinner for a basket off a nifty backdoor pass, then on the Bears’ next possession, Warinner returned the favor to Brown on a basket that gave the Bears a 41-17 lead late in the third quarter.
“Brian and Bryan do a very nice job,” Baker said. “In the first half they missed each other a lot. That was one of our points of emphasis at halftime, that they needed to be sharing the ball with each other, because both of them are pretty solid passers and pretty good finishers.”
Dylan Moss, Blaine Aamodt and Charlie Rawlins all scored seven points to lead the Panthers, who open Intermountain Conference play against rival Ridgeview next Friday.
Moss, a 6-4 post player, scored all of his points in the first half as Bend collapsed on him in the second half.
“They made some good adjustments to what we were trying to do, and we couldn’t get the ball down to our low-post threat,” said Redmond coach Reagan Gilbertson. “They put the pressure on us a little bit in that third quarter and we struggled to get good looks. We’ve got a young group that’s still learning to play at the varsity speed and the varsity physicality. But I’m proud of our guys. They played hard.”
Gilbertson added that his team’s failure to get back on transition defense and too many turnovers helped spark Bend’s big third-quarter run.
“That’s a good ballclub with some good athletes on it,” Gilbertson said of Bend. “(Warinner) is a really good player. He’s going to be a tough guy for anybody to guard in their league.”
Despite the lopsided loss, Gilbertson said he sees improvement in his team.
“We’re getting better,” he said. “We’ll take some positives from this. We’ve just got to get better every day. We’ll put all the pieces together before league and give ourselves a good shot.”
Baker said the way his team played in the second half is a good sign as the Bears prepare to compete in the MVC.
“They were crisp and they started doing things that they are very capable of doing, working together and believing in each other,” Baker said of his team. “And that’s what we needed going into next week. I think this was a good second half to lead us into that.”
— Reporter: 541-383-0318,