Cottage Grove/Creswell boys basketball game preview

Kendrick Murphy/CG Sentinel

To start the new year Cottage Grove (6-2) picked up their first win against North Bend after missing the previous three scheduled games due to a COVID-19 pause. While Creswell (8-1) was handed their first loss against the number one ranked 4A Junction City Tigers. Now both teams get ready to square off against each other tonight for the fourth time in eight years with the Bulldogs winning two of the previous three games. 

Where Cottage Grove has an advantage

The experience for the Lions returners is starting to come together nicely. Jayden Cameron, Ty Kishen, Carter Bascue and Brennen Murphy are four starters who have returned and together are accounting for 85% of the Lions total points. 

In Cottage Grove’s 6 previous wins they allowed 40 PPG (Points Per Game) to their opponents while in turn outscoring them by just over 26 points. 

Their primary 1-3-1 defense has been successful in forcing steals so far this season. Cottage Grove is averaging just under 10 steals per game and will look to continue at that pace for the rest of the season. 

For the Lions to continue winning they will have to keep causing turnovers on defense and get out in transition where they excel in the open court. 

Where Creswell has an advantage

The Bulldogs won’t let one loss derail their whole season. Creswell still remains a premiere 3A team in hopes of a deep playoff run. Their focus will now be getting healthier and getting back to what made their 8 game winning streak so successful. Playing tough defense, attacking the rim, and finishing possessions with rebounds. 

During Creswell’s winning streak the Bulldogs averaged over 63 PPG and held their opponents to a shade under 40 PPG. 

Max Velarde is nearly averaging a double-double with 16.3 PPG and 9 RPG (Rebounds Per Game). Senior Caleb Lee is finding his shot well as he averages 11.8 PPG and shoots 55% on FG’s and 45% on 3PTFG’s. 

Keys to the game:

Coming back from the pause, Cottage Grove cannot allow second chance opportunities to Creswell on defense. Creswell averages over 12 offensive rebounds per game and the Lions will have to hold them below that for a chance to win. Cottage Grove also has to not let Creswell get out in transition where the Bulldogs can convert on easy buckets. Offensively, the Lions have had their best success attacking the basket where they have shot over 46% on two-point attempts. They will also look to get out in the open court where Brennen Murphy and Ty Kishen can try to hammer home some dunks. 

The best strategy on defense for Creswell is forcing Cottage Grove to shoot from the three-point line. The Lions have struggled in that realm so far this season only making 27% of their outside shots. They will also need to continue to cause havoc with their full-court press - so far this season the Bulldogs have averaged over 14 and a half steals per game. On offense, Creswell will need to navigate Cottage Grove’s length in the 1-3-1 zone and look for open pockets to attack, and look for open shots from the outside where the Bulldogs make 3’s at a near 40% clip. 

Creswell will look to make it back-to-back wins against the Lions, while Cottage Grove is looking to win its first game against Creswell since the 2015-16 season. But both teams have high hopes for the rest of this season and are excited for the opportunity to be a part of this rivalry, with the chance to use this game as a springboard for the rest of the way. 

Stat Leaders for Cottage Grove 

Jayden Cameron 15.5 PPG, 4 RPG, 3 APG, (Assists Per Game)

Ty Kisken 13.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.6 APG 

Brennen Murphy 12.5 PPG, 7 RPG, 1 APG 

Carter Bascue 12.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.5 APG

Stat Leaders for Creswell 

Max Velarde 16.3 PPG, 9 RPG, 2.4 APG, 3.4 SPG (Steals Per Game)

Caleb Lee 11.8 PPG, 1.7 RPG

Connor Hanson 9.3 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 2.8 APG, 2.4 SPG

Carson Williamson 7.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 

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