Last week the Cottage Grove basketball team traveled up to Seaside for an eight-team tournament that featured teams from both Oregon and Washington. The tournament expanded over Dec. 16-18 and saw the Lions go 2-1 in three games.
After losing a close game to the host school Seaside 56-50 on the first night, Cottage Grove rallied for two wins against Elma (Washington) 70-67 and Newport 72-53.
“I was very pleased with the kids’ effort overall night in and night out,” said Head Coach Seth Hutchison. “Our guys fought hard you know, and it was a mental grind and a physical grind. I thought every single kid stepped up to answer the challenge. So it was a good test for us and I thought they answered the call and I was really pleased with them not giving in or making excuses. I was very pleased with their effort.”
The Lions had four starters in double figures in their final win on the weekend against Newport to secure a fourth-place finish. Senior Carter Bascue led the way with 25 points and 9 rebounds, Jayden Cameron had 16 points, while Brennen Murphy and Ty Kishen each added 11 points.
“I feel like we played really well,” said junior forward Brennen Murphy. “I feel like we made some minor mistakes, but I know we’re going to fix them as the season goes on. But we played really well overall, we came together as a team, and we shot the ball well and played hard on defense.”
Coming into the last game of the weekend Coach Hutchison challenged his guys to bring the physicality against Newport and attack the basket hard.
Bascue got the Lions out to a blistering start nearly outscoring the Newport team by himself having 12 points to the Cubs’ team total of 13. Cottage Grove continued to build on their lead in the second quarter shooting at an almost 77 percent clip and holding a 50-28 lead at halftime over Newport.
In the third quarter, the Lions continued to attack the rim as Bascue racked up eight more points as the Cottage Grove defense suffocated Newport holding them to only seven total points in the third quarter.
“I thought we contested shots really well,” said Hutchison. “Going into the fourth quarter we were up by 31 and it gave us an opportunity to play some of our younger guys. And that was kind of a goal for our seniors was to get some of our younger guys some playing time at the tournament, and we achieved it.”
The Lions salted away the final minutes of the game with their younger guy coming in and came out with a big 72-53 victory over Newport.
“I feel like we can build on the defensive end still,” said Hutchison. “We’re not there just yet, we got a couple of things we need to clean up and our guys know it. But we’re taking steps and I ask them every day to get 1 percent better and I tell them ‘if each of you gets 1 percent better that means our team is going to become that much better.’”
The Lion boys will enjoy some time off for the holidays before they return to action at the Sisters Holiday Shootout on Dec. 28-30.
Carter Bascue 25 points, 9 rebounds
Jayden Cameron 16 points, 2 rebounds
Brennen Murphy 11 points, 7 rebounds
Ty Kishen 11 points, 6 rebounds
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