Bulldog boys wallop Toledo

Kendrick Murphy/CG Sentinel

The Bulldog boys basketball team is going to see their winning streak continue into the new year after they picked up another win in dominant fashion over a good Toledo program 72-42. Creswell outscored the Boomers in every quarter of the game and are now averaging over 71 points per game during their win streak and holding their opponents to just under 40 points. 

“They’ve come a long way and they’ve bought into how we want them to play,” said Head Coach Jesse Thomas. “And honestly, I think the adjustment and the buy into the playstyle that we think fits best with this group. It’s made all the difference in the world and, you know we’ve been challenged a little bit. But we’ve played pretty darn well in most of these games.”

Max Velarde now has four games with a double-double on the season, scoring 23 points and grabbing 11 rebounds against Toledo. Caleb Lee made four of six three to also score 23 points, while Connor Hanson added 12 points. 

“Our defense has been key,” said Creswell Forward Max Velarde. “Offensively our team is shooting the ball really good from deep. And some of our guys like Connor (Hanson) and Caleb (Lee) have done a really good job attacking the basket.”

Creswell found their rhythm on offense early as Lee hit a three-pointer in the first minute and a half of the game and Hanson made a nice pass to teammate Carson Williamson for a lay-in. Toledo’s Gunner Rothenberger kept the Boomers close as he had seven of the nine total Toledo points with the Bulldogs leading 15-9 at the end of the first quarter. 

Just like their last game against Siuslaw, the Bulldogs went on a scoring run midway through the second quarter leading them into halftime. Velarde converted and one opportunity while Hanson added a three-pointer in the closing seconds of the half to make Creswell’s lead double digits at halftime 29-16. 

“To be honest, I wasn’t really happy with how we were defending and rebounding going into halftime,” said Thomas. “I thought we were giving up too many line drives. I keep reminding our guys it’s not always just about this game. It’s about the habits that we’re building. And so we’re, you know, we were giving a lot of straight-line, downhill, in transition or press break type layup attempts, and open shots. And so I was a little bit frustrated that I felt like we were late being a little bit lazy defensively, and giving up some easy shots.”

The Bulldogs broke open the game going on another scoring run to push their lead to over 20 points 37-16. Velarde continued his display of outside shooting and getting rebounds for the team as Creswell took a comfortable lead heading into the fourth quarter up 48-30. 

Rothenberger tried to will his Boomers back into the game but Creswell delivered the knockout blow in the fourth quarter doubling the Toledo scoring output and making five threes in the final quarter. Creswell cruised in the final minutes to a 72-42 win over visiting Toledo. 

“I think their confidence is really high,” said Thomas. “You know, they know that there are a lot of things that we need to improve on, that we’ve seen in these games up to this point. And they also know that there’s a lot of things to add in, we’re using this break as kind of an expansion of the things that we’ve been doing offensively and defensively. And so we’ll have some new stuff that we’re going to learn. And that’s I think the key to keeping them locked in.” 

Following the break, the boys will face their toughest test so far on the young season as they travel to Junction City to face a tough Tigers squad on Jan. 4 at 5:45 p.m.

Stat Leaders

Max Velarde 23 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals

Caleb Lee 23 points, 67% 3FG%, 2 rebounds

Connor Hanson 12 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds

Carson Williamson 7 points, 6 rebounds 

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