Following their 58-72 loss at Pleasant Hill, the Lion boys basketball team was ready to focus their energy on their first home game of the season against North Valley. Cottage Grove outscored North Valley in all quarters of the game, getting back on the winning side, beating the Knights 72-46.
“I think that we used the mistakes we made in the Pleasant Hill game to improve,” said Cottage Grove Senior forward Ty Kishen. “We were super excited to have our home opener, and if we keep learning from our past games and each guy gets one percent better between each game, we can keep the momentum up as we dive into the rest of the season.”
Ty Kishen led the Lions in scoring with 23 points, while Jayden Cameron and Carter Bascue each added 14 points.
“I thought we played well,” said Head Coach Seth Hutchison. “I challenged our guys with elevating the energy and being more disciplined both offensively and defensively. I think that was the key to the game. Offensively I thought we did a good job attacking, I thought Ty Kishen attacked the basket well, I thought Brennen Murphy attacked the basket well, and it was one of the things I asked them to be physical and be tough and don’t settle.”
The Lions started the game in a man-to-man defense going in a different style from their typical 1-3-1 zone look. North Valley jumped out to a quick 8-5 lead after a three-pointer by the Knights Max Cartwright. Jayden Cameron and brothers Ty and Cole Kishen led a quick scoring run for the Lions grabbing the lead back a couple of minutes later following a Cole Kishen score and ending the first quarter on a 10-2 run with the Lions leading 15-10.
Brennen Murphy made his presence felt the next quarter scoring twice in the opening minutes and throwing down a two-handed dunk growing the Lions lead. After a three made by North Valley’s Matthew Hawkins, the Knights were still hanging around at the half only down by nine 26-17.
“I was just telling our guys I believe in them,” said Hutchison. “I’m confident in them and I told them the shots will fall and I thought they stepped up and did a good job of hitting those shots when they needed to.”
After shooting a modest one for ten from the three-point line in the first half, the Lions came out in the third quarter and made four of five to nearly double their lead by the end of the third quarter 46-30.
Cottage Grove kept their scoring pace up with an 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter after two made free throws by Bascue.
In the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, a technical foul was assessed to North Valley’s Gabriel Champion sending Cottage Groves Ty Kishen to the free-throw line.
Kishen would make all his free throws putting the finishing touches on another win for the Lions 72-46.
“You got to get your wins at home and you got to protect your home court,” said Hutchison. “You know, one of the things I really enjoyed was we had a lot of energy at the home court as well. The fans came out to support us, we had the band and cheerleaders there, it was a great atmosphere overall. It was good to show the home crowd how we play and how we compete and resulted in getting the win, and that’s something we can continue to build on.”
Cottage Grove will travel later in the week to Seaside to face eight other teams in a tournament that starts on Dec. 17 and goes through Dec. 18.
Ty Kishen 23 points, 5 rebounds
Jayden Cameron 14 points, 5 rebounds
Carter Bascue 14 points, 6 rebounds
Brennen Murphy 13 points, 4 rebounds
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