The Cottage Grove boys basketball team was able to regroup after back-to-back league losses against Junction City and Marist to take down Siuslaw 54-37 on Jan. 29. The game was moved to Saturday instead of the originally scheduled Friday due to the Vikings returning from a COVID-19 pause. Despite the change, the Lions were still hungry to get back on the winning side and controlled the contest from start to finish, never trailing at any point in the game.
“I thought the effort and competitiveness was there from our guys from the get-go,” said Head Coach Seth Hutchison. “We never trailed in the game and it’s good to come out fast and come out strong and take it to a really good team in Siuslaw.”
Jayden Cameron was the leading scorer for the Lions with 18 points, Brennen Murphy had 12 and Carter Bascue added 10. Cottage Grove also totaled 12 offensive rebounds while also getting a season-high as a team in blocks with 12.
“Getting a win at Siuslaw was a necessity for our confidence as a team,” said Senior Forward Ty Kishen. “I think that knowing what we are capable of on the court will give us confidence when we play against the other top three in the league.”
The Lions scored 16 points in the first quarter, nearly surpassing the first total quarters of the last two games combined (18) and jumping out to a lead early.
“One of our downfalls throughout the season has been starting slow at times,” said Hutchison. “When we do come out strong, we’re a really good team. And when you can start off fast and not dig yourself a hole you have a little bit more freedom and your confidence just goes way up when you come out strong.”
Cameron and Brayden Crump tacked on the last five points of the first quarter as Cottage Grove held a 16-10 lead at the end of the quarter.
Cottage Grove’s offensive groove continued after Ty Kishen knocked down a three and later Cameron found Bascue for the easy layup stretching the Lions lead to double digits. Murphy tipped in a teammate’s miss from close range for the final points of the half and Cottage Grove was firmly in control at halftime leading 32-19.
Cottage Grove wasted no time coming out of the locker room at halftime and outpacing the Vikings scoring output by nearly double. The Lions lead grew to nearly 20 at the end of the third quarter after Cameron hit back-to-back threes in the last minutes of the quarter and Cottage Grove led 45-26.
Izaac Mattson and Brody Terry hit two threes for Siuslaw to start a 7-0 Vikings scoring run at the beginning of the fourth quarter, making the score the closest it had been since halftime 45-33 with 5:45 remaining in the game.
The Lions offense reasserted itself and pulled away from Siuslaw later in the quarter. Ty Kishen connected with younger brother Cole Kishen for the final Cottage Grove points, capping off a good offensive performance and coming away with a 54-37 win over the Vikings.
“This is a big confidence booster going into the Marshfield game,” said Hutchison. “This win kind of erases those last two losses and just gives us that confidence boost going into the second round of the league.”
Cottage Grove will make another trip to the coast on Friday, Feb. 4 this time to the south coast to square off against Marshfield. The Lions next home game will be against Elmira on Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 7:15.
18 points, 4 rebounds
12 points, 6 rebounds
10 points, 5 rebounds
9 points, 3 rebounds