Coquille was faced with what has become a near-impossible task Friday night — playing a first-round boys basketball state playoff game at Knappa.
The Loggers have become unbeatable in first-round games at home, as they showed again with a 70-46 win over the Red Devils.
Knappa has won six straight first-round state playoff games on its home floor — all by lopsided scores — Union (70-45), Yoncalla (86-47), Monroe (95-34), Heppner (84-67) and Reedsport (81-35).
And now it’s on to the Loggers’ home away from home, Pendleton, where Knappa will play Thursday against Oakland (3:15 p.m.), with the winner to face either Kennedy or Columbia Christian in the Final Four.
Outside of a good second quarter, the Red Devils were never in the ball game after the first eight minutes. Knappa outscored Coquille 47-16 in the first and third quarters.
Leading 25-9 after one quarter, the Loggers “jumped on them early, but Coquille battled back and cut the lead to seven at the half,” said Knappa coach Paul Isom. “Our pressure and pace seemed to get to them some in the third and we were able to pull away.
“Credit to Coquille,” he said. “Those kids battled and if not for some timely shooting by Joe Ramvick, we would have been in a fight. Joe And Ty (Vanderburg) played really well. They made plays all over the court defensively and Joe ended up going 3-for-3 from (the 3-point line) which was huge. Tristin (Wallace) also was aggressive and had some big steals in the third quarter.
“Timber (Engblom) and Eli (Takalo) led the way,” he added, with Takalo scoring 24 and Engblom adding 18. “Seemed like every time Coquille wanted to make a run, one of those guys would make a play.”