Pirates stave off upset against Cottage Grove Boys

Kendrick Murphy/CG Sentinel

The Cottage Grove boys basketball team nearly orchestrated a huge upset against third ranked Marshfield Pirates at the Pirate Palace on Friday, Feb. 4. The Lions played one of their best halves of basketball, taking a six-point lead on the Pirates at halftime, but Marshfield eventually was able to rally and came away with a 68-64 win. 

“I’m proud of them for the way they fought, and the way they competed,” said Head Coach Seth Hutchison. “I’m not one for moral victories. But I think we took a step forward and I told them I hope they remember if we can do things like we did on Friday night, we can be a really good team and we can compete with anybody in the state.”

Jayden Cameron had an incredible performance and led all scorers with 33 points on the night. Carter Bascue added 13 points and Brayden Crump had 8.

“We shot the ball well which gave us a lot of confidence knowing that we can run with the best,” said Junior Forward Brennen Murphy. “I think that confidence is a major key for us in wanting to take the next step. We definitely still need to work on our trust in each other but even in losses we are still learning how to get better.” 

The opening minutes of the game looked just like the last matchup between the two schools with Marshfield jumping out to a quick lead on the Lions 8-0. But this time Cottage Grove had an answer; Cameron hit three three pointers while Ty Kishen added one of his own as the Lions held a 20-13 lead at the end of the opening period. 

Cottage Grove’s blistering scoring pace continued, scoring the first seven points of the second quarter opening up a 14-point lead with 5:38 left in the second quarter. Marshfield slowly trimmed the lead back within single digits before halftime with Cottage Grove still holding their lead 33-27 going into the locker room. 

“I think kids responded really well to that little adversity in the first quarter,” said Hutchison. “Going into the second quarter we had great energy, top to bottom through our five players, and then you know, our bench supplied a lot of energy. But we responded against a really good team, and we put ourselves in a really good spot starting that second quarter.”

Starting the second half Marshfield asserted themselves quickly going on an 11-0 scoring run with Monty Swinson accounting for seven out of 11 that catapulted the Pirates back in front 38-33. Carter Bascue got the first Lions points of the quarter at the 5:10 mark but Marshfields scoring onslaught continued giving them a 51-44 lead at the end of the third quarter. 

Kishen hit a three to help the Lions get back to within seven, Marshfield still held Cottage Grove at an arm’s length with their lead until under two minutes left in the game. Cameron knocked down a pull up three at 1:45 left in the game and the comeback was alive. 

In the final minutes Cameron made a pair of free throws and stole an inbounds pass on the Lions full court pressure to cut the Pirates lead to only two 66-64. Dom Montiel missed two free throws, but Marshfield was able to get an offensive rebound that was then followed by a pair of made free throws this time by Mason Ainsworth. 

Cottage Grove wasn’t able to score on the ensuing possession as Marshfield was able to hold on for the win 68-64. 

“I thought that was a great opportunity for us to learn about how good we can be and how good this team is,” said Hutchison. “Moving forward, hopefully a light switch flipped but the whole goal is just making the dance. And playing your best basketball towards the end of the season. That’s the goal, it doesn’t matter if you’re the one seed or the 24th seed as long as you’re playing good basketball anything can happen.”

The Lions still have three conference games left and will have another tough road trip when they travel to Junction City on Feb. 11 to face the Tigers at 7:15 p.m.

Stat Leaders

Jayden Cameron 33 points, 3 rebounds

Carter Bascue 13 points, 4 rebounds

Brayden Crump 8 points, 6 rebounds