Lion Boys will lean on returners

The Cottage Grove Lion boys basketball team started to put everything together at the end of the shortened season last year. The Lions played a talented Marist team all the way to the end coming up just short of a victory but were able to earn a big win in their final contest over Siuslaw. 

“I wish they would have had another 11 games last season, I think things were starting to click, and they were starting to figure it out,” said Head Coach Seth Hutchison. “That opportunity we had with Marist and Siuslaw we got around through league and were starting to finish up our second part of the league. And I think that experience, and that understanding of what works for us and kind of just our scheme, they started to understand and anticipate a little bit more. So, I’m just excited about our experience coming back.” 

Coming in for his fourth year as head coach, Hutchison has a lot to be excited about ahead of the 2021/22 season and the experience Hutchison alluded to includes returning four out of their five starters from a season ago. Seniors Jayden Cameron, Ty Kishen, and Juniors Brennen Murphy, Carter Bascue, Brayden Crump highlight the returners coming back with for this year. 

“The experience that they learned and they’ve earned over these last couple years – I mean, it’s gonna finally start to pay off,” said Hutchison. “So the experience, the continuity with each other, and just that chemistry that they built over the last couple of years.”

Along with the group coming back, Hutchison is also excited about the big turnout the program saw during tryouts and the hard work the players were putting in early. 

“I’m excited about the guys that we got coming out,” said Hutchison. “I think finally, we got guys that are committed and that are consistent with wanting to get better in the gym. And I think that’s what I’m excited about, you know, guys that were wanting to come in and wanting to work consistently, and just be committed to something other than just themselves.”

With new energy surrounding the program and players continuing to grow Hutchison sees the potential for things to come together for his squad as they aim to climb the league standings this season. 

“I’m just gonna let them play as hard as they can, and I’m gonna let the effort do the talking,” said Hutchison. “And I think if you do that, and if we build this culture the right way we instill positive attributes into these kids, I think those wins are going to come with it. But if we play hard, and we do the things that we need to do to I think we’re going to be very successful this year.”

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