The Cedar Creek boys basketball team came out of the gates fast and hard Tuesday night, with an attacking defense that helped the Cougars defeat Glenbrook 55-28 at The Brickhouse.
Cedar Creek’s press and size frustrated the Apaches from the start, as the Cougars scored the opening six points with D.J. Carter’s free throw at the 6:24 mark of the first quarter being the first score of the night for Glenbrook.
“That’s been good to us early on this season,” Cougars coach Robert Mitcham said about his team’s press defense. “Carter Hill (a 6-2, 175-pound junior) has the wingspan of a condor. We’re long. Even our guards are long.”
The Cougars pushed their advantage to 21-6 at the end of the first quarter and 34-6 at the half.
“We looked great at times, and sloppy at times, which is normal first of the season stuff,” said Mitcham. “I’m proud of them. We just have to learn to pick our spots on offense and not try to go to the basketball on every possession.
“You have to let your offense give you the opportunities to attack the basketball and not just do it every time. We get a little bit ancy sometimes, but they’re young. They’re learning. And we only have one senior.”
After each team managed only six points in the third quarter, Cedar Creek outscored the Apaches 15-11 in the final eight minutes to win its fifth straight game to open the season.
“We needed this momentum,” Mitcham said. “We’ve never started out 5-0 since I’ve been here, so we just have to keep on working.”
Hill led the Cougars with 14 points on the night while Davis Walsworth added 13 and Hayden McClusky chipped in with 10.
“I’m pleased with the effort, and we have got the best group of kids I have coached since I’ve been here,” Mitcham said. “There’s not a bit of an attitude problem in the whole bunch. They’re not selfish. They love each other. And they’ve got great chemistry — that makes it so much fun to coach these guys. You only have to worry about things on the court. You don’t have to worry about jealousies and selfishness and all of that.
LADY COUGARS 76, LADY APACHES 23
The Cedar Creek girls team used strong starts in both halves to march to its 76-23 win over the Lady Apaches.
Sarah Adams’ nine-point performance in the opening stanza, aided by six points each from Allie Furr and Ava Hartwell, helped the Lady Cougars build a 23-8 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
But Cedar Creek slowed down in the second quarter, went into the locker room leading 35-15 at intermission.
“In the first half we kind of jumped out and got a little lead, but it didn’t really seem to click until the third quarter,” said Lady Cougars coach Gene Vandenlendenberg. “Then it all came together and we put together a big run there that kind of finished out the game early.
“We’re trying something different — playing a little more up tempo and using the press, and I think we just kind of ran out of gas there late in the first half. We also need to watch our fouls. We committed too many out there tonight.”
The Lady Cougars roared away from the Lady Apaches in the third quarter, outscoring Glenbrook 26-3 in the stanza and allowing Vandenlendenberg to be able to to empty his bench for valuable playing time early in the fourth quarter, with nine players contributing to Cedar Creek’s scoring effort on the night.
“We’ve scheduled a lot of JV games, so those girls have been seeing a lot of action on that level,” Vandenlendenberg said. “But any time we can get them out there in these varsity games, with the crowd, the students and all of the excitement, it’s not like practice or even a JV game. I’m proud of the way the team played overall and had fun playing together out there, because that allowed some of our younger girls some game experience. And I’m proud that they played well. They came together in the fourth quarter and played hard and did well.”
Adams led Cedar Creek with 25 points while Hartwell added 15, Furr chipped in with 12, Millie Venters and Elli Dickerson hit for six each and Zoey Venters finished with five.
Photo: Darrell James (dgjames.photoshelter.com)
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